Muslim countries announce start of Ramadan

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Muslim worshippers enter Abu Hanifa Mosque awaiting the announcement of the beginning of Ramadan, in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, March 10, 2024. Ramadan starts the day after moon sighting which marks the beginning of a new lunar month, most religious authorities in the Middle East declared Monday is the first day of the holy month of Ramadan, when observant Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. (AP Photo/ Hadi Mizban)© Provided by The Associated Press

Muslims spot Ramadan crescent moon in Saudi Arabia, meaning month of fasting starts Monday for many

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins on Monday, Middle Eastern nations have announced, with the king of Saudi Arabia using the occasion to call for an end to the “heinous crimes” taking place in war-torn Gaza.

Saudi Arabia said through its official SPA news agency on Sunday that the Supreme Court had announced “Monday, March 11, 2024, the beginning of the blessed month of Ramadan for this year”.

Speaking as custodian of Islam’s two holiest sites, King Salman gave thanks in his Ramadan message on Sunday evening for the “blessings bestowed upon the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”, but noted the war in Gaza would cast a shadow over the month of fasting and prayer.

“As we witness the arrival of Ramadan this year, our hearts are heavy with sorrow for the ongoing suffering of our Palestinian brothers facing relentless aggression,” he said.

A "Happy Ramadan" sign is illuminated on the occasion of the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan in Frankfurt, Germany. Photo: AP

A “Happy Ramadan” sign is illuminated on the occasion of the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan in Frankfurt, Germany. Photo: AP

“We call upon the international community to uphold its responsibilities to put an end to these heinous crimes and ensure the establishment of safe humanitarian and relief corridors.”

Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, for nearly two billion Muslims worldwide.

After the sighting of the crescent moon, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar also announced a Monday start for Ramadan through their own official news outlets.

Egypt’s Islamic advisory body the Dar al-Ifta likewise confirmed Ramadan was beginning on Monday, as it was in the Palestinian Territories including Gaza, and in Algeria and Tunisia.

Their neighbours Morocco and Libya said Ramadan would start on Tuesday.


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