The astrological calculations conducted by specialists in the Qatar Calendar House (QCH) showed that Ramadan crescent will appear at 1:45am Doha local time on Sunday, May 5, which means that it is impossible to see it in the evening.
The crescent this year will remain in the skies of Qatar after sunset on Sunday for 31 minutes, while the duration will increase as we go west.
The Crescent Sighting Committee at the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs is the responsible institution to declare the start of the holy month of Ramadan.
Dr Bashir Marzouk, astronomer at the QCH, said that the number of fasting hours in Qatar will change during the holy month: the minimum duration of fasting hours will be 14 hours and 38 minutes on the first day of Ramadan, and gradually increase until the maximum at the end of the holy month to reach 15 hours and 9 minutes.
Dr Marzouk further added that the Muslims of Europe will have the biggest number of fasting hours in the world this year, where they will fast for about 20 hours in Norway and Sweden, 19 hours in Denmark and Germany, 18 hours in France, while Argentina will have the lowest number of fasting hours in the world this year, about 11 hours.
Ramadan (Arabic: رمضان) or Ramadhan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and the month in which the Quran was revealed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
Fasting during the month of Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month is spent by Muslims fasting during the daylight hours from dawn to sunset.
According to Islam, the Quran was sent down to the lowest heaven during this month, thus being prepared for gradual revelation by Jibreel (Gabriel) to Muhammad. Therefore, Muhammad told his followers that the gates of Heaven would be open for the entire month and the gates of Hell (Jahannam) would be closed. The first day of the next month, Shawwal, is spent in celebration and is observed as the “Festival of Breaking Fast” or Eid al-Fitr.
Timing The calendar is a lunar calendar, and months begin when the first crescent of a new moon is sighted. Since the Islamic lunar calendar year is 10 to 11 days shorter than the solar year and contains no intercalation, Ramadan migrates throughout the seasons. The Islamic day starts after sunset.
Many Muslims insist on the local physical sighting of the moon to mark the beginning of Ramadan, but others use the calculated time of the new moon or the Saudi Arabian declaration to determine the start of the month. Since the new moon is not in the same state at the same time globally, the beginning and ending dates of Ramadan depend on what lunar sightings are received in each respective location.
As a result, Ramadan dates vary in different countries, but usually only by a day. This is due to the cycle of the moon. The moon travels the same path all year round and when the moon is seen in the east, it is then seen traveling towards the west. All the countries around the world see the moon within a 24-hour period once spotted by one country in the east.
Each year, Ramadan begins about eleven days earlier than in the previous year. Astronomical projections that approximate the start of Ramadan are available. 33 Islamic years are approximately equal to 32 tropical years, with six days over.