Kuwait’s moon-sighting committee has announced that Thursday, March 23, will be the start of the holy month of Ramadan. Chairman of the moon-sighting Committee, Justice Mohammad bin Naji, made the announcement after the committee meeting on Tuesday, March 21, evening.
Consequently, Ramadan of the Hiri or Islamic calendar of 1444, will commence on Thursday, March 23, he pointed out.
On the occasion, Minister of Justice and Minister of State for Endowments and Islamic Affairs Abdulaziz Al-Majed greeted His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s political leadership, citizens and residents as well as the Arab and Muslim nations.
As per astronomical calculations, the holy month will last for 29 days this year. The first day of Eid Al Fitr is likely to be on Friday, April 21, and residents will get a four-day weekend to mark the occasion.
Prayers and fasting
Ramadan is the month in which the Holy Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and the faithful observe the ninth month of the Islamic calendar with prayers and fasting.
During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise (Fajr) to sunset (Maghreb). Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, and it’s an obligatory practice for all Muslims who can carry out the fast. In addition to abstaining from food and drink during fasting, Ramadan is also a month of disciplining oneself, reflecting and creating positive spiritual habits.
The month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. The 12 months are: Muharram, Safar, Rabi’ al-Awwal, Rabi’ al Thani, Jumada al-Awwal, Juamda al-Thani, Rajab, Sha’aban, Ramadan (the month of fasting), Shawwal, Dhu al-Qadah and Dhu al-Hijjah (the month in which Muslims go for Haj – pilgrimage).
Even though the Islamic calendar has 12 months, being a lunar calendar, it is shorter than the Gregorian calendar – nearly ten days shorter, in fact. This is why Ramadan falls at a different time every year according to the Gregorian calendar.
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