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Ramadan to begin on Saturday or Sunday

By JT - May 26,2017 - Last updated at May 26,2017

AMMAN — Ramadan is expected to start in Jordan on Saturday or Sunday, depending on the sight of the crescent moon.

Grand Mufti Mohammad Khalaileh on Sunday called on the public to look for the crescent moon (hilal) at sunset on Friday. 

In Islamic tradition, the majority of Islamic scholars agree that one witness to the sighting the moon is enough to declare the beginning of the fasting month. However, in modern times, the Islamic Justice Department handles the process and uses telescopes for this purpose before the chief Islamic justice announces the result of the watch, which takes place at dusk on the evening of the 29th of Shaban (the eighth month of the Islamic lunar calendar).

If the sighting is confirmed, Muslims in Jordan will start fasting on Saturday; otherwise, the holy month will begin on Sunday. 

In Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to sunset.

The same process of spotting the crescent is applied at the end of Ramadan, as scholars and experts meet on the 29th of the month to decide, upon sighting or lack of sighting of the hilal, whether to complete 30 days of fasting, or announce Eid Al Fitr, the holiday on the first of Shawwal.

Meanwhile, Ramadan is due to begin Saturday in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, religious authorities in both countries announced, Agence France-Presse reported.

The announcements came after religious authorities in the two Gulf Arab countries failed to sight the crescent moon on Thursday night, state media reported.

 

In preparation for the changed routine and rush hour during Ramadan, police has announced a special plan to maintain security and ensure smooth traffic. (see story on page 2) 

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