[Ramadan is also known as the month of Quran and also as the month of charity. Hence, while observing dawn to dusk fast, Muslims all over the world recite Quran.]
Mumbai: Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, will start this year on Wednesday May 16, 2018 if the new moon is sighted on 29th of Shaban in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. In India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other South Asian countries the holy month will start a day later.
A new month in the Islamic Calendar is decided based on sighting of the crescent – the new moon, on the 29th day of an ongoing month. If the moon is sighted on 29th, the new month begins the next day. Otherwise, the next day is counted as the 30th and last day of the ongoing month and the next day is the first day of the new month.
The month of Sahaban began in Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries on Tuesday April 17, 2018. Accordingly, the crescent or the new moon of the Holy Month of Ramadan will be sighted on May 15, 2018 corresponding to 29th Shaban 1439. If the new moon is sighted then the Holy month of fasting will begin on Wednesday May 16, 2018. In case the new moon is not sighted then Ramadan in Saudi Arabia and other Arab states will begin on Thursday May 17, 2018.
In India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other South Asian countries, the new moon of the month of Ramadan, also called in the region as Ramzan, will be sighted on May 16, 2018 corresponding to 29th of Shaban in the region. If the new moon is sighted then the Holy month of fasting will begin on Thursday May 17, 2018. In case the new moon is not sighted then Ramadan in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other South Asian countries will begin on Friday May 18, 2018.
Most of the countries in other parts of the world including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and France rely on moon sighting reports of Saudi Arabia. Hence they start fasting along with the people in the Arab states. Muslims in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and other nearby countries sight the moon on 29th of Shaban and accordingly decide the first day of Ramadan.
It is consecutively for the 3rd successive year the Holy Month of fasting is falling in hot summer when temperature reaches a maximum of 40-45 degrees in the Indian subcontinent and a maximum of 48-52 degrees in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. This is also the period when the days are longest. Muslims around the world observe fast and refrain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk during the 30 days of Ramadan. Since the days are longest in this season, Muslims fast from 17 hours in some region to as many as 23 hours in some others.
Fasting during the month of Ramadan is one of the five tenants of Islam and is compulsory on every adult men and women. It is not mandatory on children. Yet a huge majority of children observe fast along with their parents and other family members despite scorching heat.
Ramadan is also known as the month of Quran and also as the month of charity. Hence, while observing dawn to dusk fast, Muslims all over the world recite Quran. Special prayers called as Taraweeh are also organized in mosques. Taraweeh is performed in addition to the daily prayers of five times. Millions of rupees are also donated during the month of Ramadan which is later used for different charity works and feeding poor.
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