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Manama: A Kuwaiti astronomer has said that Ramadan is expected to start on May 27.

Adel Al Saadoon said that the crescent announcing the start of the month of fasting would be possible on May 26 following sunset.

“The sun will set down at 6:40pm on May 26 and the crescent will be visible for some time, and therefore May 27 will be the first day of the holy month,” he said, quoted by Kuwait News Agency (Kuna).

Al Saadoon said that the longest days of fasting in Kuwait would be from June 21 to 24 during which Muslims would fast for 15 hours and 47 minutes.

Al Saadoon’s calculations concur with those of Bahraini astronomer Waheeb Al Nasser who last week said that Ramadan would start on May 27.

Muslims in Bahrain will fast for up to 15 hours and 17 minutes during Ramadan expected to last 29 days. Eid Al Fitr, the feast celebrating the end of the holy month, will be on June 25, he said.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the 12-month lunar-based Islamic calendar followed by Muslims.

The sighting of Ramadan crescent has often been a point of debate among Muslims that how various countries announce crescent sighting and start of Ramadan on different days.

The clash is mainly between conservatives who insist on seeing the moon with the naked eye, in line with a literal interpretation of Islamic principles.

Such a view is in contrast with that held by those who call for the use of astronomical calculations to predict the start of the month.

For the naked-eye sightings, varying geographical and weather conditions meant that people in different locations cannot see the appearance of the moon, making Muslims around the world fast on different days.

However, the strict interpretation of the visibility stipulation is increasingly becoming a source of national and social divisions, defeating the call for unity preached by Islam during the sacred month.

Throughout Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and engaging in sensual pleasures from sunrise to sunset and should focus on their relationship with God.