The first day of the holy month will most likely be on Tuesday, May 7.
The astronomer told MWN that on May 5 (Sha’ban 29), seeing “the crescent will not be possible in the east, and it will be slightly possible in the west, which means that the vision of the crescent will be impossible in eastern countries and even in Morocco’s eastern cities.”
He added that astronomers will be able to see the crescent with difficulty “if the weather is appropriate in south-western cities.”
The astronomer concluded by emphasizing that it will be “necessary to wait as the calculations are not completely settled.”
A graduate of Madrasa Al-Atiqa in Morocco’s Souss region, Al Ifrani has made multiple predictions about when religious holidays will occur before that have come true.
With Morocco unlikely to see the new moon until Monday night, May 6, “the first day of the holy month of Ramadan will be either on Monday or most likely on Tuesday,” Al Ifrani told MWN.
Earlier this month, Moroccan astronomer Hicham Elaissaoui said that Morocco will celebrate the first day of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, on May 7.
The holy month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. All months in the Islamic calendar last from 29 to 30 days. A new month begins when scholars can see the new moon. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Do not fast until you see it [the crescent] and do not break the fast until you see it, and if it is covered then complete the month.”
Muslims all across the world fast from sunrise to sunset to fulfill the second essential pillar of Islam after the profession of faith (shahadah), prayer (salah), charity (zakaat), and pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj).
Some Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, might begin fasting a day earlier than Morocco, on May 6.
The Emirati National said that astronomers predict the first day of Ramadan to be on May 6 in the Gulf.
Quoting Hasan Al Hariri, the chief executive of Dubai Astronomy Group, the outlet said, “This year the [fasting period] will be shorter than last year, because of the starting date.”
In addition to fasting, Ramadan is also a month that brings Muslims closer to God.
After iftar (breaking fast), Muslims, men and women, of all ages head to mosques to perform night prayers (taraweeh), extra prayers performed only during Ramadan.