x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 13 December 2017

Ramadan to begin on July 21

The date has been confirmed by the Islamic Crescent Observation Project (ICOP), which monitors the crescent moon at the start of every Islamic lunar month.

Ramadan is expected to begin on Saturday, July 21 for most Islamic countries, astronomers have said.

The date was confirmed by the Islamic Crescent Observation Project (ICOP), which monitors the crescent moon at the start of every Islamic lunar month, echoing predictions made earlier this year by leading astronomers, reported Wam, the state news agency.

In May, Ibrahim Al Jarwan, an astronomer and supervisor at Sharjah Planetarium, predicted that the new moon would be visible from Thursday, July 19, but that the first full day of Ramadan would not occur until the following Saturday.

Some nations will be able to see the crescent on the 19th, Engineer Mohammad Showkat Awda, chairman of ICOP, told Wam.

But, as the moon is predicted to set alongside the sun, or several minutes after, many countries will not be able to observe the crescent on the same day, he said.

Once the new moon is spotted, Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr can begin.

ZAlhassani@thenational.ae