Rabat – Through precise calculations, Moroccan astronomer Dr. Hicham El Issaoui has predicted that Morocco will observe the holy month of Ramadan beginning May 17, 2018.
El Issaoui, who graduated from Dar El-Hadith El-Hassania for Higher Islamic Studies in Rabat, has predicted that Ramadan will begin in Morocco on Thursday, May 17, 2018.
El Issaoui also predicted that Morocco will celebrate the end of Ramadan–Eid Al-Fitr–on Friday, June 15, while Eid al-Adha will be on Wednesday, August 22.
The same source added that the first day of the Islamic new year, Fatih-Muharram, 1440 will be on Tuesday, September 11, and that the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Mawlid al-Nabi al-Sharif, will be celebrated on Tuesday, November 20, 2018.
In addition to El Issaoui’s Ramadan prediction, some other Middle Eastern sources predict that Ramadan will start on Tuesday, May 15. However, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs will not confirm the official start day until astronomers first observe the crescent moon in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.
During the holy month, Muslims from all across the world fast from sunrise to sunset as a fulfilment of the second basic pillar of Islam after the profession of faith (shahadah), prayer (salah), charity (zakaat), and pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj).
Ramadan lasts from 29 to 30 days depending on the observance of the crescent moon or on relevant astronomical calculations, as quoted in Al-Hadith Nabawi:
“Fast when you see the crescent and break the fast when you see it; if it is not apparent, then make the month of sha’ban thirty days.”
Ramadan is not only a time for fasting; it is an opportunity for Muslims to open their hearts and engage in spiritual reflection.