The UAE Moon-sighting committee will meet online on Monday, April 12, after the maghrib prayer to indicate the start of the holy month.
Sharia courts nationwide will follow up and inform the committee of any sightings, while the Lunar Calendar Committee at the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department will look for evidence and inform the Moon-sighting committee of the findings.
The Moon-sighting committee – a group of astronomers, court officials and advisers from the country’s Islamic authority – typically convenes after maghrib, or sunset, prayers on the 29th day of Sha’ban to look for the new crescent moon.
If they see it, Ramadan begins the following day. If not, Sha'ban will last 30 days and Ramadan will begin thereafter.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the ninth and holiest month of the Islamic – or Hijri – calendar. It is also believed to be the month the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed.
Muslims fast from sunrise until sunset every day of the month, which is typically either 29 and 30 days.
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 during the final 10 days, when Laylat Al Qadr is believed to fall. That night is believed to be when the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed.
It is traditionally celebrated on the 27th night of Ramadan but its exact date is unknown.
The rewards for acts of worship carried out on this night are said to be more than the rewards of 1,000 months of worship.