Saudi Arabia said the Ramadan fasting will begin on Thursday across the globe, the official Saudi news agency SPA reported yesterday.
The new moon of Ramadan was not spotted on Tuesday evening and Wednesday will mark the last day of the Islamic month of Shaaban, SPA said, citing religious authorities in the kingdom.
The beginning and end of Islamic months are determined by the sighting of the new moon.
Egypt’s Mufti, the country’s top religious authority, said in a televised speech that the holy month will start on Thursday in the most populous Arab country.
Also, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Iraq’s Sunni Muslim minority also announced that the holy month of Ramadan will start on Thursday.
During Ramadan, Muslims have to abstain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn to sunset.
Devout Muslims also mark the month by intense worship, performing special nightly prayers and reading Islam’s holy book, the Koran.
Fasting is one of Islam’s five pillars, alongside declaration of monotheism, prayer five times a day, alms-giving, and the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.