April 13, 2024

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Ramadan: The month of fasting for Muslims begins after the sighting of the crescent moon

Ramadan: The month of fasting for Muslims begins after the sighting of the crescent moon

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Officials saw the crescent moon Sunday night in Saudi Arabia, home to the holiest sites in Islam, marking the start of the holy month. Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan For many of the world's 1.8 billion Muslims.

The sacred month, during which worshipers abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset, represents a period of religious contemplation. Family get-togethers And giving throughout the Islamic world. Seeing the moon on Sunday night means that Monday is the first day of fasting.

Official Saudi television reported that the authorities there saw the crescent moon. Shortly after, several Gulf Arab countries, in addition to Egypt, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, followed up on the announcement to confirm that they would begin fasting on Monday. North American Muslims will also begin their fast on Monday.

The leaders exchanged congratulatory messages on the beginning of the month.

However, there are some Asia-Pacific countries such as Australia, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, which will begin Ramadan on Tuesday after failing to sight the crescent moon. Oman, located in the far east of the Arabian Peninsula, announced that Ramadan will begin on Tuesday. Jordan will also begin Ramadan on Tuesday.

This year, Ramadan comes while the Middle East is still engulfed in crisis The war between Israel and Hamas In the Gaza Strip. This has raised concerns that the conflict could spark unrest beyond the current boundaries of the war.

Saudi King Salman specifically referred to the war between Israel and Hamas in statements released to the public after the Ramadan announcement.

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“As we are saddened by the advent of the month of Ramadan this year, and in light of the attacks suffered by our brothers in Palestine, we stress the need for the international community to assume its responsibilities, to stop these brutal crimes, and provide safe humanitarian aid and relief corridors.”

US President Joe Biden also acknowledged the beginning of the holy month, saying: “Jill and I extend our best wishes and prayers to Muslims across our country and around the world,” but he also turned to the conflict in Gaza.

“As Muslims around the world gather over the coming days and weeks to break their fast, the suffering of the Palestinian people will be at the forefront of the minds of many. It is at the forefront of my priorities,” Biden said.

Meanwhile, inflation and rising food prices around the world continue to decline.

In Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom urged the public to watch the sky starting Sunday night in preparation for sighting the crescent moon. The month of Ramadan depends on the lunar calendar, and moon sighting methodologies often differ between countries, which means that some countries announce the beginning of the month earlier or later.

However, many Sunni-majority countries in the Middle East are following in the footsteps of Saudi Arabia, home of Mecca and the cube-shaped Kaaba towards which Muslims pray five times a day.

In Iran, which considers itself the leader of the Shiite minority worldwide, the authorities usually begin the month of Ramadan one day after the beginning of Ramadan. Indeed, the office of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced that Ramadan will begin on Tuesday, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.

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“This year, Ramadan will coincide with Nowruz,” said Tehran resident Rubaba Khodkamah, referring to the Persian New Year that begins on March 20. “Since the old days, we have the custom of completely cleaning houses on the occasion of Nowruz, and making everything “It looks new.” . This year, since it is also Ramadan, we will also cleanse our hearts and use it as a fresh start to things.

Only Sunnis in Iraq and Lebanon will begin fasting on Monday, while Shiites will begin on Tuesday.

During Ramadan, fasting people usually break their fast with dates and water, following the tradition established by the Prophet Muhammad. Then they will enjoy “breakfast” or a large meal. They would have a pre-dawn meal, or “suhoor,” to sustain themselves during the daylight hours.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar; The month cycles through the seasons and months in the Gregorian calendar.

Muslims try to avoid conflict and focus on charitable works during the holy month. However, the war in the Gaza Strip looms large during Ramadan this year for many Muslims.

The war began on October 7 with a Hamas attack on Israel that killed about 1,200 people and took 250 hostage. Israel responded with a devastating war targeting the Gaza Strip, which has so far witnessed the killing of more than 30,000 Palestinians, an intense siege of the coastal strip, and the cutting of electricity, food, and water.

Scenes of Palestinians praying in front of bombed mosques and chasing food airdropped by foreign countries continue to anger people across the Middle East and the wider world. The United States is pressuring Israel, which depends on American military equipment and support, to allow more food supplies at the beginning of Ramadan. It also plans to establish a sea corridor with other partners.

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War, as well Israeli restrictions on Muslim prayer The attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, the third holiest Islamic site, could inflame the anger of extremists. The site is also known as the Temple Mount, which Jews consider their most sacred site. Ramadan is scheduled to begin in the Palestinian territories on Monday as well.

Islamic State groupThe caliphate, which once declared a caliphate across the lands of Iraq and Syria, launched attacks during Ramadan as well. Although now divided, the group has tried to take advantage of the war between Israel and Hamas to boost its image.

The war also continues throughout Sudan despite efforts to try to reach it Ramadan ceasefire.

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Associated Press religion coverage receives support through the AP cooperation With The Conversation US, funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., the AP is solely responsible for this content.