Ramadan moon sighting 2022: When Saudi Arabia predicts Ramadan will start and how date is calculated

The start and end of Ramadan is determined by sightings of the moon

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Ramadan is due to start later this month, with the exact date of the Islamic holy month determined by the sighting of a crescent moon.

So, when is the moon sighting expected and when is it believed that Ramadan will begin?

Here’s what you need to know.

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and one of the holiest of the year for Muslims.

During this month, the Islamic Holy Book, the Qur’an, was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad in a night called Laylat-ul-Qadr. This revelation is believed to fall within the last 10 nights of the month.

What is the Ramadan moon sighting?

The month of Ramadan begins with the sighting of the crescent moon, which usually appears one night after the new moon.

The Islamic calendar follows the phases of the moon. The months start with the first crescent of a new moon, and the new day after sunset.

This means the precise date that the holy month starts cannot be predicted and changes every year. This also means that the date of Ramadan will be different around the world.

Muslims will look for the moon in their own area, but this can be difficult to do depending on the weather conditions.

Because of this, many Muslims instead rely on sightings in Saudi Arabia or other regions.

Saudi Arabia has confirmed that the crescent moon had been spotted on the evening of Friday 1 April, meaning that Ramadan 2022 will begin in the early hours of Saturday 2 April.

Some people believe that technological advancements in astronomy mean that the rising of the new moon can now accurately be predicted in advance, and that means that a standardised start date for Ramadan could be used for all Muslims around the world.

How do Muslims observe Ramadan?

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world fast from sunrise to sunset.

That means that they do not eat or drink during sunlight hours.

They will also abstain from any habits, such as gossiping, swearing and smoking.

As Ramadan is a holy month, Muslims are expected to put more effort into the religious and spiritual aspects of Islam and refrain from violence, anger, and greed.

How long will Ramadan last?

Ramadan lasts either 29 or 30 days, and the end of the month is also signified by a moon sighting.

When Muslims see the next crescent moon, this marks the end of the holy month.

Muslims mark the end of Ramadan with a three-day celebration known as Eid al-Fitr, which translates to “feast of breaking fast”, where people come together with their loved ones to prepare and eat meals.

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