The beginning of the holy month has been postponed by 24 hours, it will last until April 22nd
It was delayed by a day, compared to what was expected due to the failure to sight the first crescent of the crescent last night, but Ramadan, the sacred month of Islam for almost two billion Muslims in the world, officially kicks off tonight or tomorrow (23 percent of the world’s population). This was ruled by Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court, as well as the UAE’s moon sighting committee and Libya’s House of Fatwas.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, lasting 29 or 30 days, during which most Muslims around the world fast from sunrise to sunset. The last day of the holy month, Eid al-Fitr, is scheduled for April 21 or 22. It is verse 183 of the second Sura of the Koran which prescribes fasting for the faithful in this period: “Believers, fasting has been prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those who came before you”.
According to tradition, it was during Ramadan – one of the five ‘pillars’ of Islam – that the revelation of the Koran to Muhammad took place. Islamic precepts require the faithful in this period to abstain completely from food and water from sunrise to sunset, purification of body and spirit and prayer. According to sharia, Ramadan fasting is a basic act of worship, obligatory for all Muslims with the exception of the most ‘vulnerable’, such as the elderly, pregnant or breastfeeding women, the sick and even travellers. Before fasting, just before dawn, it is customary to have a light meal (suhur). The setting of the sun puts an end to fasting: tradition has it that we drink water and eat dates. The breaking of the fast (iftar) is preceded by a short prayer. The long night prayer is instead called Tarawih.