Ramadan to begin Thursday as Saudi moon observers say no sight of crescent

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Photo showing the Saudi Arabian moon sighting committee, Tuesday, May 15, Al-Baha. (Observatory of the University of Majmaa)
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Photo showing the Saudi Arabian moon sighting committee, Tuesday, May 15, Al-Baha. (Observatory of the University of Majmaa)
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Photo showing the Saudi Arabian moon sighting committee, Tuesday, May 15, Al-Baha. (Observatory of the University of Majmaa)
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Photo showing the Saudi Arabian moon sighting committee, Tuesday, May 15, Al-Baha. (Observatory of the University of Majmaa)
Updated 16 May 2018
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Ramadan to begin Thursday as Saudi moon observers say no sight of crescent

  • Saudi moon observers could not see the new moon on Tuesday evening
  • The Kingdom and other Muslim nations, like Indonesia, declared Ramadan would not begin on Wednesday based on the observations by moon-sighting committees

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabian moon observers said that there was no sight of the Ramadan crescent on Tuesday, meaning millions of Muslims around the world will begin the holy month on Thursday. 

According to reports on Saudi Arabian state TV, bad weather made observation of the crescent difficult. The Kingdom and other Muslim nations, like Indonesia, declared Ramadan would not begin on Wednesday based on the observations by moon-sighting committees.

Muslims around the world are set to mark the month, during which believers abstain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn until sunset.

Fasting is intended to bring Muslims closer to Allah and remind them of those less fortunate.

The Islamic world follows a lunar calendar, and the traditional moon-sighting methodology can lead to different countries declaring the start of Ramadan a day or two apart

This year, Ramadan falls on long summer days for Muslims in the Northern Hemisphere. For Muslims who live in regions where Islam is not the dominant religion, challenging fasts are believed to come with greater blessings.

Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five obligatory pillars of Islam, along with the Muslim declaration of faith, daily prayer, annual charity -- known as "zakat" -- and performing the Hajj pilgrimage in Makkah.

 


Saudi Ministry of Hajj calls on Qatar to allow its pilgrims to perform Hajj

Updated 28 min 29 sec ago
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Saudi Ministry of Hajj calls on Qatar to allow its pilgrims to perform Hajj

  • The ministry accused the Qatari government of blocking attempts by its citizens to perform the pilgrimage
  • Saudi Arabia is one of several Arab countries that launched a boycott of Qatar in 2017 over the country’s support for extremist groups

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has created a new webpage for Qataris who wish to perform the pilgrimage this year.
Qatari Hajj pilgrims can register their details, browse packages and pay for them at: https://qh1440.haj.gov.sa

The ministry called on Qatar not to block the webpage as it did previously and “cooperate in order to allow their citizens to perform Hajj easily.”

Saudi Arabia is one of several Arab countries that launched a boycott of Qatar in 2017 over the country’s support for extremist groups.

The embargo includes transport restrictions between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, but the Kingdom has taken measures to ensure pilgrims from Qatar can travel freely for Hajj and Umrah.

The ministry said on Saturday it had taken several steps to ensure pilgrims could enter Saudi Arabia for for Hajj, which starts next month. But the ministry accused the Qatari government of blocking attempts by its citizens to perform the pilgrimage.

Following a recent meeting with a Qatari delegation to discuss the logistics of pilgrims from the country arriving in the Kingdom, the delegation from Doha left without signing any agreements to enable access for it citizens, according to the ministry.

In response to Doha’s actions, the statement said that Qatari pilgrims could complete their applications upon arrival in Saudi Arabia.