The holy month of Ramadan brings with it a sense of spirituality across the UAE. School and office timings are relaxed as Muslims abstain from food and water during the day. Mosques host extended late evening and post-midnight prayers.

Residents plan how to spend the holy month weeks in advance. And astronomical calculations help them do just that.

According to an astronomer, April 2 will mark the first day of the holy month of Ramadan in 2022. This is as per astronomical calculation, and the actual date will be determined by the sighting of the crescent moon, on which the Islamic calendar is based.

Islamic months last either 29 or 30 days, depending on the sighting of the crescent. This year, Ramadan is expected to last 30 days till May 1. This means that May 2 is likely to be the first day of the Islamic festival of Eid Al Fitr.

Ibrahim Al Jarwan, member of the Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences, also revealed the fasting hours during the holy month. Muslims fast from dawn to dusk – from the call for the Fajr prayer till that of Maghrib. These timings vary during the course of the month.

Emarat Al Youm quoted Al Jarwan as saying that fasting hours would be 13 hours and 40 minutes at the start of the month. By the time the month ends, the hours would have increased to 14 hours and 20 minutes.

The Islamic festival of Eid Al Fitr will mark the end of the holy month. Residents are likely to get a five-day break for the festival.

Ramadan is the holiest in the 12-month Islamic Hijri calendar. Eid Al Fitr is marked on the first day of Shawwal – the month that comes after. It is celebrated with an act of charity called Zakat Al Fitr, a special prayer in the morning, a feast and sweets.

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