Does Ramadan 2019 begin this Monday, May 6 in UAE?
- The UAE’s Moon Sighting Committee will be meeting later today to discuss the start of Ramadan
- Sightings for a new moon is a challenge, as it’s usually very faint and only visible for 20 minutes
- Traditionally, the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia observe the holy month on some dates
- During Ramadan, Muslims do not consume any food or drinks between dawn and sunset prayers
The holy month is almost upon us. Here’s what you need to know about when it starts.
This evening, the country’s Ramadan Moon Sighting Committee will be getting together under the chairmanship of Sultan Bin Saweed Al Badi Al Dhaheri, Minister of Justice. Their task will be to spot the room, or rather, to not spot it.
Ramadan officially kicks off on a new moon. Ramadan is determined by Moon phases, which are either 29 or 30-days long, and the appearance of a new moon signifies the start of the holy month.
The reason why an entire committee needs to be called with regards to spotting the moon, is that searching for a new moon's ever-so-slight crescent can be a little tricky. It’s usually very faint and only visible for 20-minutes each evening.
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, and the holy month for Muslims who believe it is when the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed.
Traditionally, the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia observe the holy month on the same dates – while Oman calls Ramadan independently of the rest of the Arabian Gulf. Saudi Arabia tends to lead the way in calling the start and the end of the holy month, but most countries – including the UAE – have their own committee to confirm the new moon.
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims do not consume any food or drinks between fajr (dawn) and maghrib (sunset) prayers. Non-Muslims are asked to behave respectfully during this time, remembering to dress conservatively and never eat or drink in public during daylight hours.
The Moon Sighting Committee will reconvene on the 29th day of Ramadan, to search for a glimpse of the new crescent moon. When spotted, the following morning is announced as Shawwal – the first day of the 10th month.