Saudi Arabia’s High Judicial Court announced that the moon was not sighted on Thursday evening, and that it will convene on Friday evening for moon sighting again, Al Jazeera reported.
Saudi astronomer Doctor Khalid Al-Zaaq said the holy month of Ramadan will begin on Saturday and end on a Saturday, adding that Ramadan will last for 29 days and include 4 Fridays.
Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE made similar announcements, and will make the call on Friday evening, Alarabiya reported.
Turkey – along with Muslim communities in Europe, the US, Canada and Australia – previously declared that Saturday will be the first day of Ramadan, based on astronomical calculations of the new moon birth.
This is unprecedented, as a lunar month can only be 29 or 30 days, and according to the Saudi Umm al-Qura calendar cited by the court, Thursday was the 29th of Shaban, the last lunar month before Ramadan.
ِAs per the Umm al-Qura calendar, and Turkey, Shaban started on April 27, but as the Saudi court explains moon sighting then was not confirmed, and so there is uncertainty over Shaban’s actual start.
Egypt, Malaysia and other countries started Shaban on April 28, and will be sighting Ramadan’s moon on Friday evening. For them, Friday, not Thursday, is the 29th of Shaban.
According to astronomers, the new Ramadan moon will be visible on Friday around the world, either directly with the naked eye or with a telescope. (T/RE1/P2)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)