Ramadan 2023 in UAE: When will moon-sighting committee meet?

The beginning and end of the month depend on the crescent moon

By Web Desk

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Published: Sun 19 Mar 2023, 2:13 PM

Last updated: Sun 19 Mar 2023, 10:23 PM

With Ramadan just around the corner, millions of Muslims around the world are preparing for the holy month. Ramadan is the month in which the Holy Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him), and the faithful observe the ninth month of the Islamic calendar with prayers and fasting.

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


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.

Start of the holy month

Saudi Arabia on Sunday called on Muslims to sight the crescent of the holy month of Ramadan on Tuesday evening, March 21, the 29th of Sha'ban (8/29/1444 AH). 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.


The sighting of the crescent marks the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan. The religious authorities in the region will soon set up moon-sighting committees to monitor the sky for the first glimpse of the crescent. In the UAE, the committees will meet on the 29th of Sha'ban after the Maghreb prayer.

If spotted on the 29th Sha'ban, which falls on March 21 this year, the crescent would mark the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan from Wednesday, March 22. If the crescent is not sighted, then Ramadan will begin on Thursday, March 23 (30th Sha'ban).

The Shariah courts nationwide will follow up and inform the committee of any sightings, while the Lunar Calendar Committee at the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department will continue collecting evidence and reporting to the moon-sighting committee findings.

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.

ajanta@khaleejtimes.com

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