Excitement filled the air as officials in Saudi Arabia spotted the crescent moon on Sunday night, signalling the start of Ramadan today, Monday 11 March 2024.

This sighting marks the beginning of a month-long period of fasting, reflection, and communal gatherings for the 1.8 billion Muslims around the world 

The announcement of the crescent moon’s sighting in the Islam’s holiest site, Saudi Arabia was quickly followed by similar conformations from several Gulf Arab nations, Egypt, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. 


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However, not all countries were able to spot the crescent moon on Sunday night. Some Asia-Pacific nations, including Australia, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, will begin observing Ramadan on Tuesday. Oman and Jordan also announced the start of Ramadan on Tuesday, aligning with their moon-sighting results.

This year’s Ramadan comes at a time of heightened tension in the Middle East, particularly due to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. 

Leaders around the world have acknowledged the significance of Ramadan while also expressing solidarity with those affected by the conflict. 

Saudi King Salman emphasized the need for international intervention to address the humanitarian crisis in Palestine, while U.S. President Joe Biden extended his best wishes to Muslims worldwide while addressing the conflict in Gaza.

In addition to geopolitical tensions, economic challenges, such as inflation and rising food prices, continue to impact communities globally. 

The month of Ramadan, which follows the Islamic lunar calendar, holds spiritual significance as Muslims strive to deepen their connection with Allah through fasting, Quranic recitations, self-reflection, self-discipline, and acts of kindness.

During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, meaning they don’t eat or drink during the day. They break their fast with a special meal in the evening, usually starting with dates and water. This follows the tradition established by Prophet Muhammad.


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Ramadan is a time for people to come together, help each other, and remember what’s important. Amidst the challenges of the modern world, the timeless traditions of Ramadan offer solace, strength and illuminate the path toward unity, and peace.

By: Precious Ndukwe

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