Ramadan 2020: This is the Ramadan start date for Dubai, UAE
Ramadan is almost upon us and the start date for the Holy Month has been announced as Friday, April 24.
UAE announced the first day of the holy month of Ramadan after the crescent was sighted on Thursday evening, according to Wam.
An official statement from the International Astronomy Center (IAC) has said that it is expected to end a month later on either May 23 or May 24. However, Ramadan this year will be different to the previous years as people will be fasting while observing lockdown rules in the UAE and around the world.
Ramadan starts when the crescent moon (called hilal) coincides with the astronomical new moon. The exact date is decided by the UAE’s Moon Sighting Committee, agreed upon by the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department and announced through WAM, the UAE’s official news agency. The committee met partly through video conference to see the moon and deliberate the start of Ramadan.
The holy month of Ramadan will start on Friday, April 24 but different countries may have different start dates depending on when their moon committee spots the Ramadan moon.
Egypt has already declared the start date for Ramadan as April 24.
The Emirates Fatwa Council has issued five fatwas related to fasting, prayers and alms-giving during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Frontline medical workers are permitted to not fast while on duty if they believe fasting could lead to weak immune system or hinder their jobs as medical professionals.
Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, the other pillars are faith, prayer, charity and making the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai also announced the launch of a ’10 million meals campaign’ that will be implemented during the month of Ramadan.
He said: “Feeding food, especially when we are at the gates of the holy month, is a human and societal priority imposed by the circumstances of the biggest crisis the world is going through.”
Here are some of the most frequent questions around Ramadan:
What is Ramadan?
This is a good question to ask, especially if you’re new to the region. Ramadan is the holy month that falls on the ninth month of the Muslim calendar.
When is Ramadan?
This is where it gets a little complicated. The first day of Ramadan is traditionally marked by the sighting of the crescent moon with the naked eye, so, according to calculations, Ramadan in the UAE will probably fall on Thursday, April 23, 2020- but it all depends on the moon, so this might vary by a day or two. The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, so even though it has 12 months, there are only 354 days - which means it moves up by 11 days each year. A moon sighting in Makkah, Saudi Arabia - the holiest city in Islam and the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) - will mark the official beginning of Ramadan.
How long does Ramadan last?
Ramadan lasts for one moon cycle, which is usually 29 or 30 days. The holy month is expected to end on May 24, which will mark the beginning of Eid Al-Fitr - a celebration and religious holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.
What do Muslims do during Ramadan?
During Ramadan, adult muslims are expected to fast from dawn till dusk on a daily basis. This isn’t just limited to food. This includes smoking, swearing, insulting, lying and fighting. The final meal before dawn is called ‘Suhoor’, while ‘Iftar’ is a feast that signifies the end of the fast after sunset. Muslims pray every night for the 30 days of Ramadan, reciting different chapters each day until the Quran is completed. Good deeds - especially charitable deeds - are also encouraged during the month of Ramadan.
Why do Muslims fast?
Well, apart from the fact that it’s expected of able-bodied, adult Muslims worldwide, fasting is believed to cleanse the soul. It’s a time for Muslims to work on their self-discipline, sacrifice for their religion, and empathy for the less fortunate.
What happens if someone can’t fast?
People who are ill, elderly, diabetic, pregnant, menstruating, or breastfeeding aren’t expected to fast. If you’re travelling or feeling unwell during Ramadan, Mulsims can fast on different days at a later point.
Do non- Muslims have to fast during Ramadan?
Non-Muslims aren’t expected to fast during Ramadan. However, it’s important to always be mindful and respectful during Ramadan. Eating, drinking and smoking during fasting hours should be done at home or in designated areas if you’re in a public place. The simple rule of thumb is, if in doubt, it’s probably best to avoid doing it. Chewing gum is also considered to be disrespectful to those who are fasting, so it’s best to ditch them for the month. Public displays of affection should be kept to a minimum. It’s especially important to make sure you aren’t wearing inappropriate clothing during Ramadan. Shoulders and knees should be covered - so maybe it’d be best to save the tank tops for June.