UAE's Moon-sighting committee to meet tonight to determine start of Ramadan 2024

If a new crescent Moon is seen, the Holy Month is declared to begin the following day

An astronomer looks out for the Ramadan crescent moon in Mushrif Park in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National
Powered by automated translation

BREAKING: Ramadan 2024 to start on Monday

The UAE's Moon-sighting committee will begin searching for the new moon tonight to determine if the first day of Ramadan 1445 is Monday.

Chaired by Abdullah bin Sultan bin Awad Al Nuaimi, the minister of Justice, the committee will meet after Maghrib prayers at Abu Dhabi Judicial Department to witness the first sighting of the crescent Moon.

If a new crescent Moon is seen, Ramadan is declared to begin the following day. If a new Moon is not seen, Ramadan will be, by default, declared on Tuesday.

The Muslim calendar is determined by Moon phases making each month last either 29 or 30 days. Islamic years span on average between 354 and 355 days.

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic – or Hijri – lunar calendar because it is believed to be the month in which the Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed.

Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset every day of the holy month, which typically lasts 29 or 30 days depending on the moon phase.

As well as abstaining from food and drink, Ramadan is also a time when Muslims strengthen their faith through prayer and increased recitation of the Quran.

Piety increases further during the final 10 days when Laylat Al Qadr is thought to fall. That night is believed to be when the Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed.

It is traditionally celebrated on the 27th night of Ramadan but its exact date is unknown. The rewards for acts of faith carried out on this night are said to be more than those for 1,000 months of worship.

Ramadan in the UAE during the 1970s: in pictures

Updated: March 10, 2024, 3:46 PM