1 month to go for Ramadan 2023 in UAE: Most likely start date revealed as Sha'ban begins

Ramadan traditions in the Emirates begin from the middle of the Islamic month of Sha'ban

by

Sahim Salim

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Published: Tue 21 Feb 2023, 6:53 AM

Last updated: Tue 21 Feb 2023, 9:43 PM

It’s official: Just 30 days now separate the UAE from the holy month of Ramadan. As per astronomical calculations, Sha'ban - the month that precedes Ramadan in the Islamic Hijri calendar - was to begin today, February 21.

The website of the UAE's General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments specifies February 21 as Sha'ban 1.

An official announcement on whether the crescent moon was spotted on Monday evening is yet to be made. The crescent moon signals the start of an Islamic calendar month.

Islamic calendar months last either 29 or 30 days, depending on when the crescent moon is sighted. As per astronomical calculations, Sha’ban is expected to last 30 days, with the holy month of Ramadan likely to begin on March 23. Residents are likely to get 29 days of fast, with the first day of Eid Al Fitr likely to be on Friday, April 21.

Residents typically use the month of Sha’ban to prepare their bodies for the dawn-to-dusk Ramadan fasting.

Ramadan traditions in the UAE begin in mid-Sha’aban. During a local Emirati festival called Haq Al Layla, children dress in their best clothes and go around houses in the neighbourhood, reciting songs and poems. The neighbours welcome them with sweets and other delicacies. The festival aims to teach children the act of giving and being a part of a community.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is the holiest in the year for Muslims. This was the month when the holy Quran was first revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

The Islamic Hijri calendar has 354 days. Hence, the holy month arrives 11 days earlier every year as per the Gregorian calendar. This year, residents will fast during the spring season in the UAE. Muslims in the country will abstain from food and drink for around 14 hours daily.

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