The Holy Month of Ramadan is right around the corner, and for most Islamic countries, predictions have been made for the day it starts. According to The International Astronomical Centre, Ramadan is likely to begin on May 6 this year.
During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset while refraining from negative thoughts like anger, donate to charities, and offer prayers religiously.
The beginning of the Holy Month depends on the moon-sighting, which means that Ramadan starts the morning after the new moon is seen. Although, astronomers always look to the skies to make their predictions for both, the beginning, and the end of Ramadan which is marked by Eid al-Fitr.
Sighting a new crescent moon is difficult because of its faint nature and this year, as per Mohammad Shawkat, the Centre Director, the eye sighting of the moon would be impossible for those in East and Southeast Asia, Southern Europe and most of the Arab nations on Sunday, May 5.
While each Islamic country has a dedicated committee to call the beginning and end of the month, Saudi Arabia leads the way followed by the UAE and Bahrain, with Oman‘s religious authority calling the beginning independently from the rest of the GCC.