Islam’s lunar calendar, based on phases of moon, determines the Holy month of Ramadan. Here’s when Ramzan 2023 crescent will be sighted in India, Saudi Arabia
It is once again that time of the year when Muslims across the world are eagerly waiting for Ramadan or Ramzan/Ramzaan/Ramazan as it is the Holy month of blessing in which the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and month-long fasting in Ramzan is one of the five pillars of Islam. Many make Ramadan the turning point of their life where they break free from the deceptions of this world, break bad habits instead of putting them on pause, supplicate, heal, give charity, sleep less and pray more and indulge in the sweetness of imaan during this month of forgiveness.
Gearing up to strengthen their faith through prayer and increased recitation of the Quran, Muslims across the world are waiting on the edge to sight the crescent moon on Monday that will mark the onset of the Holy month of Ramadan. Islam follows the lunar or Hijri calendar which is based on the phases of the moon cycle and has 354 days unlike the solar or Georgian calendar that the rest of the world follows.
Hence, Ramadan is 10 or 11 days earlier every year and Ramadan fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam where observant Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk and traditionally gather to break their fast with a date or khajur at iftar in the evening. After the sun sets on the last date of Shabaan, moon sighters face West with a clear view of the horizon to spot the small slither of the new moon or crescent moon to determine the start of the month and upon being sighted, the testimonies of people who have spotted the moon are recorded and Saudi Arabia’s Judicial High Court that decides when Ramadan should begin.
In 2023, it may begin from March 22 if the crescent moon is sighted in Saudi Arabia, UAE and other Muslim-majority nations on the evening of March 21 that is the 29th day of Sha’ban 1444 Hijri. If unable to sight the Ramadan crescent on March 21 after after Salat al Maghrib, the moon sighting committee in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will announce on Tuesday evening that the first day of Ramadan may be on March 23, Thursday.
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Pakistan, South Africa, Indonesia and Malaysia will most likely sight the Ramadan moon on March 22 hence, the first fasting day of Ramadan for them will be March 23. If not sighted, then the first day of fasting will be from March 24 in India and other South Asian countries.
As per the Crescent Moon Watch, a moon tracker run by the United Kingdom’s Nautical Almanac Office, Ramadan 2023 crescent will be sighted on March 21 at 17:23 GMT (8:23pm Mecca time) while on the night of March 22, the Ramadan crescent moon should be easily visible to the naked eye across many parts of the Middle East, North Africa, Western Europe and the United States of America. Hence, the first fasting day is expected to be March 23 for those countries.