Ramadan to begin on Thursday

Ramadan 2018 At sunset families gather to break the fast with a meal known as Iftar

Ramadan 2018 At sunset families gather to break the fast with a meal known as Iftar

The reason being that unlike the Gregorian calendar where days of a month are fixed, the Hijri calendar depends on the sighting of the moon.

Earlier in the evening, the department urged the public to wait for an official announcement from the UAE's Moon-sighting committee before spreading rumours.

During the month of Ramadan, adherents avoid water and food from dawn to sunset.

During Ramadan, Muslims wake up well before dawn to eat the pre-dawn meal or sehri.

Those that do not sight it are to complete the thirtieth day of Sha'baan and automatically start Ramadan the next day - in this case on Thursday May 17, 2018. But to depict Ramadan Saudi style is to depict what is more than likely a Sunni Ramadan.

Fasting is meant to bring the faithful closer to God and remind them of those less fortunate.

Growing up in a multi-faith, Roman Catholic and Muslim home, Soltani didn't start fasting for Ramadan until he was 17.

"Much like the rest of the Muslim world, even in Saudi Arabia, it is a month of pondering, of thinking, of fasting, and understanding what God's will is".

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Some Muslim Americans say their work day seems longer because they have to carry out their religious duties during Ramadan.

Fasting is compulsory for grownup Muslims, besides those that are affected by an sickness, travelling, are aged, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic, chronically ailing or menstruating. The fasting begins at the fajr call to prayer, just before sunrise, and is broken at sundown.

"With the rising of tonight's moon, I send my greetings and best wishes to all Muslims observing Ramadan in the United States and around the world", Trump said.

Tradition holds that it was during Ramadan that the Prophet Mohammed started receiving revelations of the Muslim holy book, the Koran. Other than fasting they also engage in charitable activities.

In conflict-affected areas like Palestine and Marawi City, the lone Islamic community in the Philippines, Ramadan fasting would be more hard for Muslim constituents to observe, but their sacrifices are bound to earn more Divine rewards, according to Islamic scholars.

Also on Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte greeted his Muslim constituents on the advent of Ramadan, expressing hope they would intensify "resolve to achieve spiritual cleansing and growth".

Muslims during Ramadan generally greet each other saying, "Ramadan mubarak!" and Sunni Muslims go to the mosque at night to offer prayers, the practice is known as "taraweeh".

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