Ramadan 2020: Has the moon been sighted in Saudi Arabia? When does Ramadan start?

Muslims around the world are awaiting the start of the holy month of Ramadan, one of the most significant months in the Islamic calendar. Traditionally Ramadan begins upon the sighting of the new Moon or crescent Moon, and it is a time for reflection, fasting and charitable deeds.

Ramadan begins when the crescent Moon is sighted, meaning each year the date can vary.

The month is considered to be a time when observers are closer to God, and fasting is done to remember the sufferings of the underprivileged and less fortunate.

During the entire month, adult Muslims fast from dawn to sunset.

In the evening, the day’s fast is broken with a meal called iftar, and before the day’s fast begins, Muslims eat a pre-dawn meal called suhoor.

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Has the Moon been sighted in Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court has reportedly urged its citizens to look out for the crescent Moon on Thursday, April 23.

If the crescent Moon is spotted, anyone who sees it should then report it to moonsighting committees.

As of yet, no reports of Moon sightings have been made.

When Ramadan ends, Eid al Fitr is celebrated, including feasts of sweet and savoury foods.

Family and friends typically gather to celebrate and share gifts.

Homes are decorated with lights, and often observers dress up for the occasion.

However, this year celebrations will be different, as countries across the globe are on lockdown due to the spread of coronavirus.

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Any Muslims who are in at-risk groups for catching coronavirus, or who are working long hours as key workers have been urged by religious leaders to be sensible in terms of fasting.

Other exceptions for fasting include those who are ill, pregnant, breast feeding, or travelling, as well as for young children and the elderly.

Group gatherings have been banned, and prayers will not be taking place at mosques.

Instead, some live streaming events will be available, for prayers to be said at home.

When is the Crescent Moon visible?

London, UK

  • Thursday April 23 – Not Visible
  • Friday April 24 – Easily Visible – Sunset 8.13pm, Moonset 9.43pm
  • Saturday April 25 – Easily Visible – Sunset 8.25pm, Moonset 10.53pm

Birmingham, UK

  • Thursday April 23 – Not Visible
  • Friday April 24 – Easily Visible – Sunset 8.23pm, Moonset 9.54pm
  • Saturday April 25 – Easily Visible – Sunset 8.24pm, Moonset 11.04pm

Mecca, Saudi Arabia

  • Thursday April 23 – Not Visible
  • Friday April 24 – Easily Visible – Sunset 6.44pm, Moonset 7.57pm (2 hours ahead of BST)
  • Saturday April 25 – Easily Visible – Sunset 6.44pm, Moonset 8.50pm (2 hours ahead of BST)

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