An astronomy expert told MWN earlier this month that Ramadan would begin on April 24 in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi news agency quoted the Supreme court which called on “whoever sights the crescent by naked eyes or through binoculars to report to the nearest court and register his testimony, or report to the authority of the region’s center in his area where he sighted the crescent to facilitate his reaching to the nearest court.”
Moroccan astronomy expert Abdelaziz Kharbouch Al Ifrani already made his forecast about the first day of Ramadan in the Saudi kingdom.
In Morocco, however, the first day of Ramadan will be on April 25, he told MWN.
Several neighboring countries in the Arabian Peninsula follow the same calendar as Saudi Arabia, along with as Muslim communities in non-Islamic countries, such as the Islamic Society of North America, the Fiqh Council of North America, and the European Council for Fatwa and Research.
The Ramadan 2020 atmosphere, however, is unprecedented thanks to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Moroccan Supreme Council of Ulema (scholars) have already advised people to perform Taraweeh prayers at home as safety of citizens comes first.
During Ramadan, citizens prefer to perform the Taraweeh prayers, extra prayers after the evening prayers in groups at mosques.
Morocco, however, closed mosques on March 16 amid fear of the pandemic.
On April 17,Saudi Arabia’s news agency quoted Saudi grand mufti sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Al-Sheikh, who explained that “if it is impossible to perform Taraweeh and Eid prayers in the mosques because of the precautionary measures taken by the competent authorities to combat the spread of the novel Coronavirus pandemic, then people pray at their homes.”
However, SPA said that King Salman of Saudi Arabia approved performing Taraweeh in the two holy mosques and reducing them with “the continued suspension of pilgrimages.”
Saudi Arabia has so far reported 11,631 COVID-19 cases, 109 deaths, and 1,640 recoveries.