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

Ramadan is considered an important religious month for Muslims worldwide. (SPA)
Updated 06 May 2019

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

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

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 will fall on long summer days for Muslims in the Northern Hemisphere.

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.

Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh, Saudi minister for Islamic affairs, said more than 4,000 clerics were being employed during Ramadan and 1,100 imams were being hired to lead Taraweeh prayers. He added that more than 2,400 mosques had been renovated and 221 mosques had been opened before Ramadan.

Al-Asheikh said that 100 male preachers and 50 female preachers had been assigned to Makkah and Madinah to raise awareness among those performing Umrah. He added that 70 imams have been appointed to lead prayers in 35 countries in response to requests of Islamic centers in those countries.

 


All-female Saudi tourist group explores wonders of Tabuk

Updated 21 October 2019

All-female Saudi tourist group explores wonders of Tabuk

  • About 20 women from different parts of the Kingdom took part in the sightseeing trip to the province bordering the Red Sea

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s first all-female tourist group has explored the environmental and archaeological wonders of Tabuk in the northwest of the Kingdom.

About 20 women from different parts of the Kingdom took part in the sightseeing trip to the province bordering the Red Sea.

“They were astonished to see such sights in their country, especially the area of Ras Al-Sheikh Humaid,” said Heba Al-Aidai, a tour guide in Tabuk who organized the trip.

“They did not expect to see such a place in Saudi Arabia. They looked speechless while standing close to the turquoise water of the sea. It is a truly breathtaking view.”

Al-Aidai and her colleague Nafla Al-Anazi promoted the trip on social media and attracted a group of homemakers, teachers and staff workers from all over the Kingdom, aged from 22 to over 50.

The tour was educational, too, and the women were told about the history of the places they visited. “They were taken to the Caves of Shuaib (Magha’er Shuaib), the place where Prophet Moses fled after leaving Egypt, and where he got married to one of the daughters of Prophet Shuaib, according to some historians. It was really a positive experience,” Al-Aidai said.

The visitors also explored Tayeb Ism, a small town in northwestern Tabuk, where there is a well-known gap in the towering mountains through which water runs throughout the year.

Al-Aidai said such trips aim to encourage tourism in Tabuk, and introduce Saudi tourists and other visitors to the landmarks of the region.