Dubai: The month of Sha’ban will start on March 15, according to Islamic scholars, and serves as a reminder that Ramadan is just around the corner – 30 days, to be exact.
Astronomy experts said they expect the month of Sha’ban to be 29 days long, and through their calculations, Ramadan is then due to fall on April 13, 2021.
Ibrahim Al Jarwan, member of the Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences, said that the Ramadan crescent is expected to form on April 12, 2021, at 6.31 pm UAE time.
On Sunday, the International Astronomy Centre (IAC) posted a photo of the crescent moon, which was spotted in Abu Dhabi at 9 am on Sunday.
On its social media accounts, the astronomy centre said: “This is the crescent of the month of Sha’ban of Sunday March 14 at 9 am, and was photographed in Abu Dhabi by the International Astronomy Centre. The monitoring process was automatically captured via internet through the astronomy centre’s observatory.”
“There was no possibility to see the crescent on Saturday, whether with a telescope or the naked eye. But on Sunday today, the crescent will be visible to all countries in the Islamic world,” said Mohammad Shawkat Odeh, director of the IAC in Abu Dhabi, who was quoted in local Arab media.
Odeh’s comments were made after authorities in Saudi Arabia announced that Sunday will be the last day of the Hijri month Rajab and Monday will mark the first day of Sha'ban.
Saudi authorities were unable to witness the crescent because of the heavy dust and the sandstorm that has been sweeping across the country these past few days.
Like other Islamic months, Ramadan begins at the first sighting of the new crescent and lasts 29 or 30 days depending on the sighting of the crescent moon, which indicates Eid Al Fitr and the first day of Shawwal.
During this month, Muslims across the globe fast from dawn until sunset and abstain from food and drink and smoking, while dedicating their time in prayers and reading the Quran.