Ramadan 2024: When will India and Saudi Arabia sight the crescent moon? - Hindustan Times

Ramadan 2024: When will India and Saudi Arabia sight the crescent moon?

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Mar 10, 2024 02:17 PM IST

Ramadan 2024: Islam's lunar calendar, based on moon phases, determines Holy month of Ramzan. Here's when moon crescent will be sighted in India, Saudi Arabia

Ramadan 2024: Islam follows the lunar or Hijri calendar which is based on the phases of the moon cycle and has 354 days unlike the solar or Georgian calendar that the rest of the world follows hence, Ramadan (also spelt Ramazan or Ramzan or Ramzaan) is 10 or 11 days earlier every year and Muslims across the world cannot wait to sight the crescent moon that will mark the onset of the Holy Month. After the sun sets on the last date of Shabaan, moon sighters face West with a clear view of the horizon to spot the small slither of the new moon or crescent moon to determine the start of the month and upon being sighted, the testimonies of people who have spotted the moon are recorded and Saudi Arabia's Judicial High Court that decides when Ramadan should begin.

Ramadan 2024: Here's when Ramzan crescent moon will be sighted in India and Saudi Arabia (Photo by Alyona Yambakova on Pexels)
Ramadan 2024: Here's when Ramzan crescent moon will be sighted in India and Saudi Arabia (Photo by Alyona Yambakova on Pexels)

This is because usually, the crescent of Ramadan is first sighted in Saudi Arabia and some parts of India along with some Western countries and then usually a day later in the rest of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other countries. Ramadan fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam where observant Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk and traditionally gather to break their fast with a date or khajur at iftar in the evening.

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It is once again that time of the year when Muslims across the world are eagerly waiting for Ramadan as it is the Holy month of blessing in which the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Many make Ramadan the turning point of their life where they break free from the deceptions of this world, break bad habits instead of putting them on pause, supplicate, heal, give charity, sleep less and pray more and indulge in the sweetness of imaan during this month of forgiveness.

This year, it may begin from March 11 if the crescent moon is sighted in Saudi Arabia, UAE and other Muslim-majority nations on the evening of March 10 that is the 29th day of Sha’ban 1445 Hijri. If the Ramadan crescent is not sighted on Sunday, March 10 after Salat al Maghrib, the moon sighting committee in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will announce on Monday evening that the first day of Ramadan may be on March 12, Tuesday.

The International Astronomical Center stated that the central conjunction is expected to occur on March 10 at 9am in the morning GMT, with the moon slated to set after sunset across nearly all regions of the Islamic world but according to scholars including Ibn Tariq, Wutheringham, Maunder, Parwin, Elias and astronomical observatories like SAAO, along with researchers Yallop and Odeh, the possibility of sighting the crescent on Sunday, March 10, seems unlikely based on various criteria for crescent visibility outlined in scientific research.

As per their opinion, the crescent moon will not be visible on that day across the Arab and Islamic world, whether with the naked eye or using a telescope but the western regions, including certain parts of the Americas, may be able to sight the Ramadan crescent on March 10 with the use of a telescope. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Pakistan, South Africa, Indonesia and Malaysia will most likely sight the Ramadan moon on March 11 hence, the first fasting day of Ramadan for them will be March 12 but if not sighted, then the first day of fasting will be from March 13 in India and other South Asian countries.

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