Ramadan 2023: March 22 Start Expected in Arab Countries

The International Astronomical Centre said the crescent of Ramadan will be visible on Wednesday, March 22, and hence Thursday, March 23, will be the first day of Ramadan in some Arab countries. Earlier, the Emirates Astronomical Society said that Ramadan 2023 is expected to begin on March 23, while the first day of Eid Al Fitr will be on Friday, April 21.
The sighting of the moon will determine when the Islamic month of Dhu Al Hijja begins.

Ramadan, the holy month of fasting and prayer for Muslims, is expected to begin on March 23 in Arab countries. The exact start date of Ramadan depends on the sighting of the new moon, which traditionally marks the beginning of the month in the Islamic lunar calendar.

In many Arab countries, the start of Ramadan is announced by the government or religious authorities based on the sighting of the new moon. This year, the Saudi Arabian moon-sighting committee is expected to convene on the evening of March 21 to look for the new crescent moon, with an official announcement expected shortly thereafter.

Ramadan is one of the most important times of the year for Muslims around the world, as it is a time of spiritual reflection, self-discipline, and charity. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, refraining from food, drink, and other physical needs during the daylight hours. The fast is broken at sunset with a meal known as iftar, and many Muslims also wake up before dawn to eat a meal known as suhoor.

In addition to fasting, Ramadan is also a time for increased prayer and devotion. Many Muslims attend extra prayers at the mosque, read the Quran more often, and engage in acts of charity and kindness. Ramadan is also a time for family gatherings and community events, with many Muslims coming together to share meals and celebrate the holy month.

While Ramadan may look different this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many Muslim communities are finding ways to celebrate and observe the holy month while adhering to safety guidelines. Virtual iftars and online prayer services have become more common, allowing Muslims to connect with one another even if they are unable to gather in person.

The start of Ramadan on March 23 is eagerly anticipated by Muslims around the world. As the holy month approaches, many Muslims are preparing themselves spiritually and physically for the month-long fast, and looking forward to the many blessings and opportunities for reflection that Ramadan brings.

The sighting of the new moon to mark the start of Ramadan is an important tradition in Islam, but it is also an opportunity for scientific observation and study. In recent years, astronomers and scientists have been working to better understand the timing of the Islamic lunar calendar and the sighting of the new moon.

One study published in the Journal of Islamic Astronomy in 2016 explored the relationship between the lunar phases and the Islamic calendar. The study found that the Islamic calendar, which is based on the lunar cycle, is different from the solar-based Gregorian calendar used in much of the world. As a result, the start of Ramadan can vary by several days from year to year, depending on the sighting of the new moon.

Other scientists have focused on the physical properties of the moon itself, and the role that the moon plays in Islamic religious practices. For example, one study published in the Journal of Astronomy and Space Science in 2013 explored the significance of the crescent moon in Islamic tradition, and the importance of accurate lunar observations in determining the start of Ramadan and other religious observances.

Beyond the scientific aspects of the new moon and the lunar calendar, Ramadan also has many cultural and social traditions that are celebrated by Muslims around the world. These may include special foods and meals that are prepared during Ramadan, as well as social gatherings and community events.

In many Muslim-majority countries, Ramadan is a public holiday, and businesses and schools may adjust their schedules to accommodate the month-long fast. During Ramadan, many Muslims also engage in acts of charity and kindness, giving to those in need and supporting their communities.

Overall, while the sighting of the new moon is an important aspect of Ramadan, the holy month is also a time for spiritual reflection, community, and celebration. As Ramadan begins on March 23, Muslims around the world will come together to observe the fast, connect with one another, and celebrate the many blessings of this special time.

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