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Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

The crescent moon has been sighted in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, setting the stage for a month of spiritual reflection and fasting.

The global Islamic community is abuzz with excitement as Muslims in Saudi Arabia and the UAE gear up for Taraweeh prayers, officially marking the initiation of Ramadan 1445 AH.

Traditionally, the crescent of Ramadan is first spotted in Saudi Arabia, India, and select Western countries, and tonight’s sighting has heightened anticipation across the Muslim world.

Notably, the crescent moon is expected to be visible in various parts of the world tonight, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia. The latter nations are eagerly preparing to observe the first fast of Ramadan 2024 on Monday, March 11.

As the moon sighting holds immense cultural and religious significance, it plays a pivotal role in determining the beginning of a month-long period of fasting, prayer, charity, and self-reflection for millions of Muslims worldwide.

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, spans 720 hours, equivalent to four weeks and two days. Observers of Islam engage in fasting from dawn until sunset, refraining from eating, drinking, smoking, evil thoughts, actions, and marital relations. This practice, one of the five pillars of Islam, emphasizes spiritual discipline, empathy, and compassion.

Due to the lunar cycle of the Islamic calendar, the commencement of Ramadan varies globally. In South Asian countries like India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, the sighting of the crescent moon on the evening of March 11, post-Maghrib prayers, will determine the initiation of Taraweeh prayers, with the first fast scheduled for March 12.

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