Kochi (Kerala): Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, begins in Kerala Monday as the new moon was sighted at Kappad in Kozhikode. This was confirmed by spiritual heads of the community Palayam Imam VP Suhail Maulavi and others.
Ramadan also begins across the Gulf region except Oman, from today. The Moon Sighting Committee in Oman said the moon was not sighted and therefore the fasting month will begin tomorrow.
The beginning of Ramadan has traditionally been based on “hilal” sightings, which is the traditional method mentioned in the Quran and followed by the Prophet Muhammad.
Muslims in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and other European countries rely on moon sighting announcements by Saudi Supreme Court, and begins Ramadan with Arab States.
On the other hand, Muslims in India, Pakistan, Bangaldesh and other South Eastern countries will sight the new moon today i.e. on Monday. If the new moon is sighted, Ramadan in these countries will begin from Tuesday.
In a statement issued Sunday late in the evening, the Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia declared Monday, June 6, 2016, as the first month of Ramadan. The highest court said it made the decision after validating reports of sightings of the Ramadan crescent moon.
Ramadan moon has been sighted in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait therefore Monday, June 6, will be the first day of the holy month in the Kingdom and other Arab States, Al Arabiya News Channel reported on Sunday.
The UAE, Jordan and the Palestinian territories have also confirmed seeing the Ramadan moon crescent and declared Monday as the first day of the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims, the report said.
A new month in Islamic Calendar begins with sighting of moon on 29th of the prevailing month. If the new moon, Crescent, is sighted, the next day is counted as first day of the next month. If not, the next day is counted as 30th day of the prevailing month and the new month begins thereafter.
Earlier, the Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia called on all Muslims across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to sight the Crescent of the blessed month of Ramadan today i.e. Sunday evening, Shaaban 29, 1437 AH, corresponding to June 05, 2016.
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, according to Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
The Supreme Court also urged all Muslims to sight the crescent by joining regional committees specialized in this regard, and to help Muslims around the world in righteousness and piety.
More than 1.5 billion Muslims around the world will mark the month, during which believers abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and having martial relations from dawn until sunset. They also try to avoid evil thoughts and deeds during the holy month.
Ramadan is sacred to Muslims because tradition says the Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) during that month. It is followed by the Eid al-Fitr festival.