The first sighting of the new moon marks the beginning of Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic calendar.
Rabat – Moroccan astronomer Hicham Elaissaoui has said that Morocco will celebrate the first day of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, on May 7.
The astronomer shared his Ramadan post on Facebook.
In March, the Moroccan Science Initiative also shared the same expectations, emphasizing that the North African country is expected to begin celebrating the holy month of Ramadan on May 7.
The initiative, quoted by ArabiaWeather said that Morocco and Saudi Arabia will begin their look out for the new moon on two different days this year.
The initiative said that Saudi Arabia would begin an observation of the crescent moon on Saturday, May 4, but does not expect to see the moon until May 5. Morocco will begin its observation of the new moon a day after Saudi Arabia, if Morocco and Saudi Arabia saw the new moon for the month of Sha’ban, the eighth in the Islamic calendar, on different days.
However, both Morocco and Saudi Arabia announced Sunday, April 7, as the first day of Sha’ban.
Before the Moroccan Ministry of Islamic Affairs announced Sunday to be the first day of Sha’ban, Elaissaoui had predicted the same day as the first day of the eighth month.
Months in the Islamic year, which follow the lunar calendar, last for 29 or 30 days. The month only begins with the sighting of the new moon.
In 2018, both Morocco and Saudi Arabia celebrated the first day of the holy month on May 17.
During Ramadan, Muslims fast from all food and water between dawn and sunset. In addition to fasting, Ramadan is also an opportunity for Muslims to open their hearts and engage in spiritual reflection.
After breaking the fast, men and women of all ages head to mosques across the country to perform taraweeh prayers, which are extra prayers performed by Sunni Muslims every night throughout the month of Ramadan.