Millions of Muslims around the world will mark the start of the holy month of Ramadan on Monday, a time marked by intense prayer, dawn-to-dusk fasting and nightly feasts.
Saudi Arabia's state TV announced the new moon of Ramadan was spotted Sunday evening. Local media in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, also said Muslims there would begin fasting Monday, as will Muslims in Singapore, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories, among others.
Following these announcements, a mosque in Tampa, Florida announced to its followers that they too would celebrate the first day's fasting Monday.
Muslims follow a lunar calendar and a moon-sighting methodology that can lead to different countries declaring the start of Ramadan a day or two apart.
By Sunday evening, Pakistan and Iran had yet to officially announce Monday as the first day of Ramadan.
Traditionally, countries announce if their moon-sighting council spots the Ramadan crescent the evening before fasting begins.
The faithful spend the month of Ramadan in mosques for evening prayers known as "taraweeh," while free time during the day is often spent reading the Quran and listening to religious lectures.
The fast is intended to bring the faithful closer to God and to remind them of the suffering of those less fortunate. -
Source: National News Agency