SAUDI ARABIA

Iran and Oman begin Ramadan fasting with Saudi Arabia for first time in many years

March 24, 2023

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — In a phenomenon that was absent in the Arab and Islamic world for several years, Muslims in most countries started observing the Ramadan fast on Thursday.

After a break of several years, Iran and Oman joined Saudi Arabia and most of the Arab and Muslim countries in starting the Ramadan fasting on the same day.

Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Yemen are among the Arab countries where Ramadan fasting began on Thursday after completing 30 days of Sha’ban on Wednesday in view of not sighting the crescent moon on Tuesday, Sha’ban 29.

In Iran, Hojjat al-Islam Ali Reza, member of the Moon-sighting Committee at the office of the Iranian leader, stated that Thursday will be the first day of the month of Ramadan. He saud the Ramadan crescent was sighted with the naked eye after sunset on Wednesday.

Likewise, the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs in the Sultanate of Oman announced that the sighting of the Ramadan crescent has been confirmed, so that Thursday will be the first day of the month of fasting.

The Saudi Supreme Court announced on Tuesday that it had received no reliable testimony from anyone with regard to sighting of the crescent moon on Tuesday, Sha’ban 29, and hence Wednesday will be the 30th day of Sha’ban in accordance with the Umm Al-Qura calendar and Thursday will be the first day of the month of Ramadan.

For its part, Qatar News Agency reported on its Twitter account that the committee for sighting the crescent at the Ministry of Endowment announced Wednesday the completion of the month of Sha’ban and Thursday as the first day of the month of Ramadan.

In Kuwait, the Moonsighting Committee announced that it was impossible to see the crescent of Ramadan on Tuesday evening and so Thursday would be the first day of the holy month. The UAE’s WAM news agency also reported that Wednesday is the completion of the month of Sha’ban and Thursday is the first day of Ramadan in the country.

Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories Muhammad Hussein announced that Thursday is the first day of the month of Ramadan due to the inability to sight the crescent on Tuesday, Sha’ban 29.

In Iraq, both the office of the Supreme Shiite Authority Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Al-Sistani and the Sunni Endowment Office announced that Thursday is the first day of Ramadan.

The Egyptian Dar Al-Ifta announced that Wednesday is the completion of the month of Sha’ban, and Thursday is the first day of Ramadan. The Syrian News Agency (SANA) quoted the Fiqh Academic Council at the Ministry of Endowment as saying that Thursday is the first day of the month in view of not sighting the crescent on Tuesday. The concerned moonsighting authorities in Lebanon, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco and Yemen also made similar announcements about the beginning of Ramadan fasting on Thursday.

The beginning and end of the month of Ramadan have always been an issue of of difference in the Islamic world, as the methods that each country followed in determining the sighting of the crescent varied from the other. Sometimes it is subject to the interpretation of the legal text, while some countries resort to relying on other countries as a religious reference for them in determining the beginning or ending of Ramadan fasting.

According to the Ramadan calendar in most Arab countries, the number of Ramadan days for the current year is 29 days. This is mainly attributed to the fact that Ramadan comes after completion of 30 days of Sha’ban, and hence, those countries where fasting began on Thursday are expected to celebrate the first day of Eid Al-Fitr on Friday, April 21.

The length of fasting was about 14 hours on the first day of the month in most Arab and Islamic countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, as well as in Turkey and Iran.

Likewise, the first day of Ramadan this year is the shortest in terms of fasting hours. The duration of fasting will gradually increase to reach 15 hours on the last day of Ramadan, with a few minutes' difference between one country to the other.


March 24, 2023
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