Start of Ramadan is determined by the lunar calendar

RIYADH (Dunya News) – The Ramadan moon could not be sighted in Saudi Arabia tonight (Tuesday), the holy month of Ramadan will begin on Thursday, May 17.

The holiest month of Islamic lunar calendar, will begin either from May 17 (Thursday) in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar, depending on the moon sighting.

The announcement was made after the Saudi moon-sighting committee met on Tuesday evening and was not able to sight the Ramadan crescent. The UAE government has reduced working hours for the public and private sector for the holy month of Ramadan.

The start of Ramadan is determined by the lunar calendar which, unlike the Gregorian calendar, follows a 29- or 30-day cycle determined by the cycle of the moon. Muslims around the world anticipate the end of Shaaban, the month preceding Ramadan, by watching for the presence or absence of the crescent moon, and whether it indicates the continuation of Shaban or beginning of Ramadan.