Riyadh - Saudi Arabia, home of the holiest shrines in Islam in Mecca and Medina, has announced that the fasting month of Ramadaan will start on Thursday.

The kingdom's supreme court ruled on Tuesday evening that the Islamic calendar month of Shaʽban (the eighth month of the Islamic calendar), which precedes Ramadaan, will end on Wednesday, meaning Ramadaan will begin the following day, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

Earlier on Tuesday, the authorities called on residents to try to spot the crescent moon that marks the start of Ramadaan, but it was not visible, state media said.

The official Crescent Sighting Committee in neighbouring Qatar also announced that Thursday "is the first day of the blessed month of Ramadaan", the official Qatar News Agency said on Twitter.

The daytime fasting month of Ramadaan is one of the five pillars of Islam.

Observant Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk, and traditionally gather with family and friends to break their fast in the evening.

Fasting is strictly observed in Saudi Arabia, with restaurants closed until sunset iftar meals.

It is also a time of prayers, with the faithful converging in large numbers at mosques, especially at night.

The starting date of Ramadaan, the holiest Muslim month, is set by both lunar calculations and physical sightings to determine the beginning of a new month.


2023-03-21T17:02:33Z dg43tfdfdgfd