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Ramadan 2019: Makkah gears up to host millions of Umrah Pilgrims

Ramadan here is likely to start either on May 06 or May 07, 2019 - based on the sighting of the new moon

Tuesday April 23, 2019 10:22 AM, ummid.com News Network

Ramadan 2019 Date

Makkah: The Makkah Municipality in Saudi Arabia is preparing for activation of its plans and programs ahead of the start of Ramadan due to begin in two weeks' time.

During Ramadan - as the Holy Month of fasting in the Muslim Calendar is called as, millions of pilgrims from within and outside Saudi Arabia arrive in Makkah to perform Umrah - lesser pilgrimage.

In 2018, more than 10 million pilgrims had performed Umrah during the month of Ramadan, according to a rough estimate. According to a report by Saudi Arabia’s General Statistics Authority, Al Ekhbariya news website, more than 19 million pilgrims hadperformed Umrah in whole of 2017.

Ahead of this years' Ramadan, the Makkah Municipality has mobilized all its potential to implement the plans during the coming season by providing the best municipal services for residents, pilgrims and visitors of Makkah. The efforts include maintaining public cleanliness, disposal of waste, pest control, and follow-up on shops related to public health, as well as inspecting food items to check their validity, Arab News reported.

"The municipality has adopted an implementation plan to intensify efforts to continue working in all the central departments and sub-municipalities according to the specific tasks and duties according to a detailed work plan for each sector", Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Quwaimi said.

A total number of 11,825 cleaning workers supplied with a number of different equipment will be present, and a number of special teams for pesticides control will also be provided.

Ramadan 2019 Date

Ramadan will begin with the end of the ongoing month of Sha'ban. As per the current date, today is 18th of Sha'ban in Saudi Arabia and most of the Gulf Nations. As the Islamic Calendar is based on lunar system and a month ends and new month begins with sighting of the crescent - the new moon, a month is of either 29 days of 30 days.

Hence if the new moon is sighted on 29th of Sha'ban corresponding to May 04, 2019 then the month of Ramadan in Saudi Arabia and other Arab states will start on Sunday May 05, 2019. If the new moon is not sighted on 29th of Sha'ban then the Ramadan 2019 will start in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states from May 06, 2019.

As for the likely date of Ramadan 2019 in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and other South Asian countries, Muslims here start fasting a day later than their counterparts in the Gulf. Hence Ramadan here is likely to start either on May 06 or May 07, 2019 - based on the sighting of the new moon.

Itikaf at Makkah Haram

Meanwhile, the Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has also started new registration for prospective worshipers intending to perform Itikaf (seclusion and staying in the mosque with the intention of worshipping) at the Grand Mosque in Makkah during the month of Ramadan.

Itikaf is an Islamic practice consisting of a period of spiritual retreat in a mosque especially during the last 10 days of Ramadan and it is a Sunnah (Tradition) of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

The presidency, said that all the arrangements have been made for those who want to perform Itikaf at the holy mosque. The pilgrims who want to avail the online facility should register online their name by visiting the link http://e-service.gph.gov.sa/ittikafDefault.aspx.

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