Ramadan 2017: First day of fasting expected May 27

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan will begin either on the eve of Saturday May 27 or on Sunday May 28, depending on moon sighting on Friday.

Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, and Turkey have already confirmed Saturday as the first day of Ramadan.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE had called for moon sighting on Thursday evening, May 25, but unable to sight the moon they will reconvene on Friday to announce Ramadan’s start date.

Egypt Jordan, Oman, South Africa Nigeria, Pakistan expect Ramadan on the eve of Saturday May 27 or Sunday May 28, depending on moon sighting on Friday.

The beginning of Shaban, the last lunar month before Ramadan, differed by country. For some the first day was April 27, for others it was April 28.

For Muslims, Ramadan is the month in which the first verses of the Quran, Islam’s holy book, were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad more than 1,400 years ago.

During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex from dawn to sunset. This fasting is intended to bring the faithful closer to God and to remind them of the suffering of those less fortunate.

Ramadan fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with the Muslim declaration of faith, daily prayer, charity and performing the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

In Muslim-majority countries, offices are required by law to reduce working hours, and many restaurants are closed during daylight hours.

“Ramadan Mubarak” and “Ramadan Kareem” are common greetings exchanged in this period, wishing the recipient a “blessed” and generous Ramadan.

In Nigeria

The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, has declared Saturday, May 27, as 1st Ramadan, 1438 AH, signifying the commencement of the annual long-month fast by Muslim

Sultan Abubakar, President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council For Islamic Affairs, announced the sighting of the new moon in Sokoto, on Friday, in a broadcast.

Mr. Abubakar said that the new moon was sighted in various states of the country including Kebbi, Lagos, Adamawa, Bauchi, Delta, Cross River and Benue.

The Sultan stated that the reports of the sighting of the new moon were received from Muslim leaders and organizations across the nation.

Mr. Abubakar further said that the reports were duly verified and authenticated by the National Moon Sighting Committee.

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