24 April 2020 - 23:14
News ID: 450026
A
The office of the Supreme Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Sayyed Ali ‎Khamenei, has declared Saturday, April 25, as the first day of the Muslim holy month of ‎Ramadan.‎

RNA – In a statement on Friday, the Supreme Leader’s office announced that the new crescent moon ‎of Ramadan could not be sighted on Thursday night in Iran.‎

Therefore, the statement said, the new lunar month of Ramadan will begin on Saturday, ‎when Muslim people start fasting.‎

While Iran, Iraq and Oman, among others, have declared Saturday as the first day of ‎Ramadan, countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE, Malaysia, Egypt, Singapore, ‎the Philippines, and Indonesia have announced Friday the first day of the holy month of ‎Ramadan.‎

This year, Muslims around the world are starting to mark Ramadan under the coronavirus ‎lockdown with unprecedented bans on family gatherings and mass prayers.‎

The holy daytime fasting month will be a somber affair for many across Asia, the Middle ‎East and North Africa.‎

Widespread rules have been imposed banning praying in mosques or meeting relatives and ‎friends for large "iftar" meals at dusk.‎

In addition to the COVID-19 outbreak, several countries in the Middle East are grappling with ‎war and occupation.‎

Muslim people in Gaza Strip, the occupied Palestinian territories, have to fast the holy month ‎under a long-time siege imposed by Israeli occupiers.‎

People across Yemen are also marking the holy month this year amid the Saudi war, ‎seasonal diseases, floods and rising prices, in a country where the economic situation ‎doesn’t allow two thirds of the population to access or afford enough food.‎

Saudi Arabia and its allies started the devastating war on Yemen in 2015, and have since ‎killed thousands of civilians and put millions of lives at risk of death from cholera and famine.‎

The threat of foreign-backed terrorism is still endangering Muslim people in Syria and Iraq, ‎where the governments are trying to rebuild their war-torn countries.‎

Each year, many practicing Muslims fast from dawn to dusk for the whole of the lunar ‎month, either 29 or 30 days depending on the moonsighting, as part of the ritual of ‎dedicating oneself to contemplation and prayer.‎

Fasting is obligatory for all adult followers of the faith who are able to safely go without ‎food and drink.‎

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