Ramadan 2021 to start on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia says

Saudi King Salman urged Muslims to unite and comply with coronavirus preventive measures

An official is silhouetted as he uses a telescope to scan the horizon for a crescent moon that will determine the beginning of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, April 12, 2021.(AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)
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Saudi Arabia will observe Ramadan from Tuesday, state media in the kingdom reported.

King Salman urged people in the country to follow coronavirus preventive measures.

Observers spotted the new moon on Monday evening and reported the sighting to religious authorities, the state broadcaster Al Ekhbariya TV said.

After approving the sighting, the Saudi Supreme Court said that Tuesday would be the first day of the holy month.

“Ramadan comes this year as the world reels under coronavirus pandemic. We ask everyone to adhere to the preventive measures and take the initiative to receive the vaccines,” Saudi King Salman was quoted as saying by Al Ekhbariya.

He urged all Muslims to unite and hailed measures taken to ensure the safety of people performing Umrah.

King Salman earlier approved that tarawih prayers be shortened from 20 rakaat (salutations) to 10, limiting the Ramadan prayers to 30 minutes, in addition to maintaining restrictions on the number of worshippers in the holy mosques in Makkah and Madinah.

Social distancing and wearing of masks will be mandatory for all visitors.

Saudi Arabia has suspended iftar, suhoor and I’tikaf at mosques across the kingdom during Ramadan in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19.