The start of Ramadan 2022 announced as sighting of new moon confirmed in Saudi Arabia


The first full day of Ramadan, with fasting from dawn to sunset, will be tomorrow – Saturday, April 2

Saudis look at the sky to spot the first crescent of the moon

Ramadan 2022 has been announced as the sighting of a new moon was confirmed in Saudi Arabia.

Telescopes were lined up at observatories to scan the clear blue skies for the first hint of the crescent of the new moon before reports came in that it had been seen in Sudair, Saudi Arabia.

The first full day of Ramadan, with fasting from dawn to sunset, will be tomorrow – April 2.

Some Muslims follow the Saudi announcements but other Muslim communities wait for verified moon sightings from the UK, Morocco, or elsewhere, so Ramadan can vary by a day or so.

That means that for some it will instead start on Sunday.

In Australia, an early declaration of the date of Ramadan this year was made, Birmingham Live reports.







The sighting of the moon marks the start of Ramadan
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Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

The Australian Fatwa Council posted on March 24 that it had decided Ramadan 2022 would also begin on April 2, because it knew from astronomical data that it would be easy to see the moon on April 1.

Saudi Arabia’s Umm al-Qura Calendar had already predicted Ramadan to start on April 2, 2022.

It says the month will finish on May 1, with the next month (Shawwal) starting on May 2 with the three-day festivities of Eid al-Fitr.

The Umm al-Qura Calendar is used by the government of Saudi Arabia for civil purposes, with its dates determined at the Institute of Astronomical & Geophysical Research in Riyadh.







A member of the moon sighting committee uses a telescope to view the moon
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REUTERS)

Islamic Relief UK has a calendar predicting the same dates. This calculated lunar calendar is also followed by several neighboring states on the Arabian Peninsula such as Bahrain and Qatar.

However, the HM Nautical Almanac Office, a British Government agency that produces astronomical data for organizations including the armed forces, police, religious groups and diary/calendar manufacturers, predicted that it would only be possible to see the new moon on Friday in a few locations, including parts of South America, the USA and the Caribbean.







Saudi Arabia announced it will start the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on Saturday April 2
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Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

On Saturday, April 2, the agency says easy sightings of the crescent moon are likely across the world with the possible exceptions of southern and eastern Australia, New Zealand, and the north-eastern parts of Russia.

Muslims in the UK and the rest of Europe, and in Africa, the Middle East and most of Asia will easily be able to see the crescent with the naked eye on Saturday, it said.

Astronomers in Morocco have already said that they predict Ramadan will begin on Sunday, April 3.







Observations of the moon are not the same everywhere
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Image:

AFP via Getty Images)

They said they would not be able to observe the moon on Friday, so the current month (Shaban) would last one more day.

Observations of the moon are not the same everywhere, due to the way it orbits the Earth. It can mean Islamic dates vary by a day or two in different countries.

There can also be discrepancies within the same country or even the same city, if some Muslim communities fall in line with announcements from one overseas nation and some from another.

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www.mirror.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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