Delegates and experts of the Islamic affairs ministry said it was impossible to observe the crescent moon of Ramadan on Thursday, April 23.
Rabat – The Ministry of Islamic Affairs announced Saturday, April 25 as the first day of Ramadan in Morocco.
The ministry’s experts observed the skies today, looking for the crescent moon that would signal the start of the holy month. Delegates of the ministry said that it was impossible to sight the moon today, announcing instead April 25 as the first day of Ramadan in the country.
While Moroccans are excited for the holy month and its rituals, the circumstances of this Ramadan are unprecedented, given the emergency of COVID-19 and its spread across the world.
Moroccans who prefer to perform taraweeh prayers during Ramadan will not be able to do so this year as Morocco indefinitely closed all mosques on March 16.
With the mosques closed, the Moroccan Supreme Council of Ulema (scholars) reiterated that citizens should be patient and understanding about the preventive measure.
The council called on Moroccans to perform taraweeh prayers at home as the safety of citizens comes first.
Moroccans will also have to restrict their movement and remain at home as much as possible for another month, until May 20, meaning they will be in lockdown during most of Ramadan.
The country extended its state of emergency on April 18. It remains to be seen whether the government will lift the lockdown or extend it to include additional weeks.
If Morocco does proceed with its April 18 decision to lift the lockdown on May 20, authorities will do so gradually, the head of government said.
Whether authorities will lift the lockdown will depend on specific regional circumstances regarding the development of the COVID-19 situation.