The chand raat is here and Muslims in Saudi Arabia will mark the onset of fasting during the Holy month of Ramadan 2020 from April 24. Announcements about the moon sighting by the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Supreme Court are usually made after Isha prayer (8:45 pm UAE time, 4:45 pm GMT) after receiving and confirming evidences of moon sighting from different parts of the countries. The Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia called for the sighting of the moon on Thursday, April 23. Also Read - Hajj Pilgrimage This Year To Be Limited To 60,000 People, Saudi Issues Fresh Order

Unlike the Gregorian calendar followed by the West, the Islamic calendar is lunar that is, based on the moon. Since lunar months are shorter than solar months, Muslims holy month of Ramadan, which takes place in the ninth month of the Islamic year, occurs approximately 11 days earlier every year depending on when the moon is sighted and hence, varying from country to country by about a day. Also Read - Eid-ul-Fitr: Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan And Other Wish Eid Mubarak as Holy Month of Ramadan Ends

This year, there will be no Taraweeh or the special Ramadan prayers in any part of the world in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Taraweeh is offered in mass congregation post the Isha namaz and this will be the first time in years when Muslims will be offering it at home instead of the mosques. Also Read - Eid-Ul-Fitr 2021: Know When Will India, Saudi Arabia And UAE Celebrate The Festival

The exact date of the moon sighting and time is decided by UAE’s Moon Sighting Committee and later approved by the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department because of the coronavirus outbreak, the Taraweeh prayers during Ramzan will only be performed at home, informed the kingdom earlier this week.

According to a report in Al Riyadh, Dr Abdul Latif Al Sheikh, Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs, was quoted saying, “The suspension of performing the five daily prayers at mosques is more important than the suspension of Taraweeh prayers.”

“We ask Allah the Almighty to accept Taraweeh prayers whether held at mosques, or homes, which we think is better for people’s health. We ask Allah the Almighty to accept prayers from all of us and protect humanity from this epidemic that hit the entire world,” he added.

Live Updates

  • 9:50 PM IST

    Ramadan 2020 LIVE: Crescent moon sighted in UAE, KSA gives confirmation. Fasting for the Holy month of Ramadan to begin from Friday, April 24.

  • 9:12 PM IST

    Ramadan 2020 LIVE: Saudi Press Agency and Haramain authorities to make the announcement soon.

  • 9:11 PM IST

    Ramadan 2020 LIVE: Sighting for the crescent moon is currently underway.

  • 8:34 PM IST

    Ramadan 2020 LIVE: The court has rectified the Shaban 29th date as the Umm al-Qura calendar was updated last night.The court has rectified the Shaban 29th date as the Umm al-Qura calendar was updated last night.

  • 8:32 PM IST

    Ramadan 2020 LIVE: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) will make announcements through the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Saudi Press Agency if the Ramadan hilal crescent is sighted today.

  • 8:26 PM IST

    Ramadan 2020 LIVE: Making last minute changes despite it being the 30th day of Shabaan as per the Islamic lunar calendar, Saudi regime decided to turn Thursday into the 29th of Shaban. Friday would have been the first day of Ramadan in the Kingdom but KSA reportedly changed Umm al-Qura calendar.

  • 8:21 PM IST

    Ramadan 2020 LIVE: As per a report in Reuters, “Some 320 million Muslims in countries like Iran and Tunisia will face enforced separation at a time when socializing is almost sacred. Restrictions on gatherings have forced those organising community iftars – the evening meal in which Muslims break their fast – to find new ways to reach those in need from Syrian refugees to laid-off migrant workers in Gulf Arab states. In the United Arab Emirates where summer temperatures climb above 50 degrees, Ramadan fridges stocked by residents are normally placed in car parks and shopping malls allowing labourers to grab food and drinks as needed.”

  • 8:20 PM IST

    Ramadan 2020 LIVE: Muslim communities in the United States and Europe are likely to observe Ramadan from Thursday evening with Friday being the first day of fasting.