RIYADH: The annual fasting month of Ramazan is due to begin Monday in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, religious authorities in the four countries said.
The announcement was made on Sunday after the sighting of the crescent moon. Saudi Arabia’s state TV announced the new moon of Ramazan was spotted Sunday evening.
Other Muslim countries in the Middle East and North Africa are also expected to begin observing Ramadan on Monday or on Tuesday.
Local media in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, also said the faithful there would begin fasting Monday as will Muslims in Singapore, Lebanon, Syria, Kuwait, Jordan, Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories, among others.
Following these announcements, a mosque in Tampa, Florida announced to its followers that they too would celebrate the first day’s fasting Monday.
Traditionally, countries announce if their moon-sighting council spots the Ramazan crescent the evening before fasting begins
Each day for the month of Ramazan, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset. Even a sip of water, coffee or a cigarette can invalidate one’s fast.
Muslims celebrate the end of Ramazan with a three-day holiday called Eid ul-Fitr.