Crescent Moon Sighted: Ramadan on 22 March Declared
A crescent moon sight commenced the sacred period of Ramadan on Thursday, shipping many of the world’s nearly 1.9 billion Muslims into a month-long fast from dawn to twilight.
Ramadan, the ninth and most spiritual month of the Islamic timetable, is when Muslims consider the first verses of the Quran to have been disclosed to Prophet Muhammad.
The commencement date of Ramadan varies each year and may differ in Muslim communities.
Ramadan doesn’t always occur on the same day yearly. And that is the case simply because the date is based on two different things: the Hijri calendar and crescent moon sightings.
The Hijri calendar is based on the moon’s phases and relies on the same. The new moon signals the beginning of a new month, but people usually await the arrival of the crescent moon to begin their fast.
Although the Islamic calendar is also 12 months long, it is only 354 days long, 11 days shorter than the standard Gregorian calendar, with Ramadan moving forward around 11 days yearly. This means that Muslims are often aware of the exact start date of Ramadan just a few days in advance.
While some Muslims depend significantly on technology and rough calculations of when the crescent moon will be visible, others wait until they or scholars view it at their location.
Like other religious communities within diverse societies, Muslims are not a monolithic group, particularly when interpreting Islamic law based on its two primary sources: the Hadith and the Quran, which convey the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad.
As a result, various perspectives and convictions can be found within the Islamic faith, reflecting the diverse array of thoughts and beliefs.
Irrespective of the date Ramadan begins, all Muslims conclude their fasting with a major holiday, a three days long one called Eid al-Fitr, the feast of the conclusion of the fast.
In the same way, Christmas is important and joyful for Christians to Muslims; Eid al-Fitr is traditionally associated with prayers on the first morning, new clothes, quality time with near and dear ones, gifts for children, etc.
The ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, the month of Ramadan, is celebrated with great enthusiasm by Muslims worldwide.
What is the meaning of the month of Ramadan?
This day carries immense meaning for Muslims, marking the belief that the Quran was disclosed to the Prophet Muhammad in the holy month of Ramadan. This time promotes introspection, self-improvement, and steadfast commitment to Allah. Muslims worldwide honor Ramadan by fasting, worshiping, and extending aid to needy people. Fasting involves the physical aspect and embodies a spiritual component, cultivating a sense of togetherness among individuals.
Dates of Ramadan 2023
Ramadan begins around the world with the sighting of the moon in Mecca. This year, Ramadan in India started on Wednesday, March 22nd, and will end on April 21st, after the moon appears in Mecca. Then Eid al-Fitr is celebrated on Saturday, April 22nd. This data varies for countries.
How Does Fasting Work?
Fasting during the month of Ramadan, or Rosa, is one of the five pillars of Islam, and the month itself is considered the most critical time in Islamic culture. The month of Ramadan is also considered a test of self-control and self-control to develop taqwa (good consciousness).
Sehri, or suhoor, is a Muslim breakfast eaten before dawn.
After sunset, they consume water to break their fast for the second and last meal of the day, iftar or fitur.
And as the sun sets, delicious big meals are cooked and enjoyed by families that may include stew, rice, dates, lentils, and more.
Healthy people should only do fasting. Some Muslims are exempted from fasting.
The purpose of the Ramadan fast is not to starve oneself but to enhance one’s spiritual connection with God. Therefore, although socializing with Muslim acquaintances during the month of Ramadan may be affected by the fast, there is no need to be concerned about their health as fasting is not intended to be a form of punishment or suffering for those who practice it.
To achieve a closer connection with God and maintain discipline, Muslims abstain from consuming food and drink during daylight hours and refrain from engaging in activities such as gossiping, swearing, lying, sexual behavior, and arguing. Additionally, they must donate to the poor as a form of zakat. The ultimate goal is to eliminate distractions and create room for spiritual growth by making conscious and positive decisions.
Individuals partaking in the fast are urged to introspect profoundly and evaluate whether they fulfill their roles as their best versions, whether as individuals, friends, partners, offspring, or siblings. It is important to note that those unable to participate in the fast securely and healthily are excused from it. This includes individuals who are suffering from any illness, whether short-term or long-term, the elderly, pre-pubertal children, individuals taking medication, pregnant or nursing women, and even those who are traveling.
How do we determine the exact dates of Ramadan and Eid?
The 12-month-long moon calendar is followed in Islam. The ninth month of the year is Ramadan, and the celebration of Eid is carried out at the beginning of the tenth month.
Every month starts with a new crescent observation and continues for 29-30 days.
It used to be done with the eye alone, but in recent years technology of telescopes and others are being used. Muslim countries cover a vast geographical area, from east to west. This means that some would see the new moon before others.
Traditionally, Mecca was the center of lunar observations
Even neighbouring countries in the Middle East sometimes say they saw the moon on special days.