Mark your calendars: just one month remains for the holy month of Ramadan. This comes as authorities in the UAE announced the crescent moon signalling the start of a new month in the Islamic calendar had been spotted in the country’s skies on Saturday, February 10.
The UAE’s International Astronomy Center announced the sighting of the Sha’ban crescent moon in a series of social media posts on Saturday. The photos of the faint crescent were shot by the Al Khatim Astronomical Observatory in Abu Dhabi: The first at 11am, and the second around sunset (see below).
Saturday, February 10, therefore, marks the last day of the month of Rajab, while Sunday, February 11, will be observed as Sha’ban 1 in the UAE.
Sha’ban is the eighth month of the Hijri calendar and one that is used by Muslims the world over to prepare for the holiest month Ramadan, during which Muslims fast from dawn to dusk.
Most Arab and Islamic countries are expected to observe the month of Sha’ban from tomorrow (Sunday). Other countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are expected to mark the beginning of this month on Monday, February 12.
Islamic months last either 29 or 30 days, depending on the sighting of the crescent. As per the lunar calendar published on the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD) website, the month of Sha’ban is expected to last 30 days and the holy month of Ramadan will begin on Tuesday, March 12.
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