Rabat- Muslim communities in North America will delay the first Ramadan fast, which was to begin on Wednesday, May 16, as the moon sighting was not confirmed on Tuesday night.
Muslims in the US and Canada are unsure of when to commence Ramadan fast, as the sighting of “Hilal” crescent or new moon indicating the start of the holy month was not confirmed with the naked eye on Tuesday night.
The Islamic Supreme Council of Canada has announced that the first day of the Ramadan fast, originally set for Wednesday, May 16, in Canada and Australia would be delayed.
According to Canadian Television Network CTV: “There was no vision of Hilal in Canada or North America, so we are announcing that the beginning of Ramadan will be Thursday, May 17.”
— CTV Calgary (@CTVCalgary) May 16, 2018
Meanwhile in the United States, though some mosques already announced the start of Ramadan on Wednesday, others delayed the fast until Thursday, in line with Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and other countries in the Middle East.
The Islamic Center of New England also announced that Ramadan will begin on Thursday in a recent statement, due to the fact that the “crescent was not sighted in the countries of the Muslim World who are using methodology of moon-sighting.”
The same source referenced Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): “Do not fast until you see the new moon, and do not break the fast until you see it, and if it is covered then complete the month.”
Saudi Arabia and several other Muslim countries, including Morocco, Oman, Indonesia, and Egypt will begin the Ramadan fast on Thursday, May 17.
Such confusions about the first day of Ramadan are quite common for Muslims living in foreign countries, like the US.
While some Muslims follow astronomical calculations to determine the first Ramadan, others choose to follow Saudi Arabia when determining the start of Ramadan, as the kingdom serves as the primary benchmark for fasting times across most non-Muslim majority countries.