Ramadan 2023 begins on March 23; crescent moon not sighted in Saudi Arabia

Kingdom's Supreme Court had earlier called on Muslims to report the sighting of crescent either by the naked eye or through binoculars

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Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Published: Tue 21 Mar 2023, 7:17 PM

Last updated: Tue 21 Mar 2023, 9:38 PM

The crescent moon, which marks the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, has not been sighted on Tuesday evening in Saudi Arabia, according to the Kingdom's Supreme Court. Therefore, Wednesday, March 22, would be the last day of the month of Sha'ban, and the holy month would begin from Thursday, March 23.

The Islamic calendar is usually either 29 or 30 days and the beginning and end of the month depend on the crescent moon, which is why Ramadan is not set on any specific days annually.


The Kingdom's moon sighting committee will meet again on Wednesday evening to confirm the sighting of the moon.

Earlier, Saudi Arabia had called on Muslims to sight the crescent of the holy month of Ramadan. The Supreme Court called on whoever sights the crescent - either by the naked eye or through binoculars - to report to the nearest court and register their observation.


Ramadan is the month in which the Holy Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and the faithful observe the ninth month of the Islamic calendar with prayers and fasting.

During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise (Fajr) to sunset (Maghreb). Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, and it's an obligatory practice for all Muslims who can carry out the fast. In addition to abstaining from food and drink during fasting, Ramadan is also a month of disciplining oneself, reflecting and creating positive spiritual habits.

Islamic calendar

The month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. The 12 months are: Muharram, Safar, Rabi' al-Awwal, Rabi' al Thani, Jumada al-Awwal, Juamda al-Thani, Rajab, Sha'aban, Ramadan (the month of fasting), Shawwal, Dhu al-Qadah and Dhu al-Hijjah (the month in which Muslims go for Haj – pilgrimage).

Even though the Islamic calendar has 12 months, being a lunar calendar, it is shorter than the Gregorian calendar – nearly ten days shorter, in fact. This is why Ramadan falls at a different time every year according to the Gregorian calendar.

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