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.