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02 October 2023

Ramadan begins in UAE, Saudi Arabia

The committees will meet around sunset time at 7pm and the announcement is expected around 9pm (File)

By Mohammad El Sadafy

The UAE Ramadan Moon Sighting Committee has announced that the Holy Month of Ramadan in UAE for the Hijri year 1437 begins on Monday, June 6, 2016.

Ramadan moon has been sighted in Saudi Arabia also, therefore Monday, June 6, will be the first day of the holy month.

Media reports said that the crescent has been sighted in Kuwait, Jordan, Yemen and other Arab countries also.

The announcement was made on Sunday after the sighting of the crescent moon.

Other Muslim countries in the Middle East and North Africa are also expected to begin observing Ramadan on Monday or on Tuesday.

The break the fast with a meal is known as iftar and before dawn they have a second opportunity to eat and drink during suhur.

Earlier Report: The moon-sighting committees of the UAE and Saudi Arabia are meeting in their respective countries to witness the crescent of the holy month of Ramadan.

Statements from the UAE and Saudi committees is expected to be released in a couple of hours time.

The UAE last week formed a moon-sighting committee under the chairmanship of Sultan bin Saeed Al Badi, Minister of Justice.

The Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia has called on all Muslims across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to sight the Crescent of the blessed month of Ramadan today, Sunday evening, Shaaban 29, 1437 AH, corresponding to June 05, 2016.

Saudi Press Agency, SPA, reported that in an announcement, the Supreme Court also called on whoever sees the Crescent of the blessed month of Ramadan by naked eyes or through binoculars to report to the nearest court and register his testimony, or report to the authority of the region's centre in his area where he sighted the Crescent in order to facilitate his reaching to the nearest court.

Meanwhile, Sultan Saeed Al Badi, Minister of Justice, in a resolution, said the committee to sight the Crescent will meet after Maghreb prayers today at the judicial Department in Abu Dhabi.

The resolution stipulates that all courts in the UAE have to mark the new moon of Ramadan and provide proof. 

Mohammad Shawkat Odeh, Director, International Astronomical Center, said Islamic countries would observe the Crescent on Sunday evening.

He said the moon would be out after sunset and it would be possible to sight the Crescent using a telescope. However, it would be possible to see the Crescent with naked eye only in parts of America, and parts of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, he added.

Odeh expected most Islamic countries to begin Ramadan on Monday. He added that in the Islamic countries that rely on sighting the moon with the naked eye, will begin fasting on Tuesday.

According to astronomical calculations, Monday is the first of Ramadan 1437 Hijri, and fasting will complete 30 days later on 1 Shawwal (Eid), Wednesday, July 6.

EARLIER REPORTS: Moon-sighting committees to meet

The moon sighting committees of the UAE and Saudi Arabia will meet on Sunday, June 5 (Shaban 29, Hijri calendar), to witness the Crescent for the month of Ramadan.

The committees will meet around sunset time at 7pm and the announcement is expected around 9pm after collecting all the evidences from different corners of the country.

The UAE on Wednesday formed a moon-sighting committee to determine the beginning of Ramadan. To be chaired by Sultan bin Saeed Al Badi, Minister of Justice, the committee will convene on June 5 (Shaban 29, Hijri calendar) after Maghrib prayer to witness the first sighting of the crescent moon.

The authorities urge residents to inform the moon-sighting committee officials about any evidence they have with regarding to witnessing Crescent on Sunday.

As reported by Emirates 24l7 last month, normal working hours for the public and private sectors during Ramadan this year in the UAE will be reduced by two hours.

This will cover all private sector institutions in the state during the month of Ramadan for the year 1437 Hijri, (2016), without the remuneration of workers being affected.

While temperatures during the fasting month of Ramadan will average as high as 45-50 Celsius in the Gulf, one of the highest temperate levels through the year.

“Maximum temperatures in Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf countries will average 45-50 degrees during Ramadan,” Khalid Al Zuak, an AUASS member said, quoted by the Saudi Arabic language daily ‘Ajel’.