Gulf Cooperation Council countries follow the moon-sighting method to declare the start of Ramadan. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: The moon sighting committee in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the State of Qatar will meet tonight to sight the crescent for the holy month of Ramadan.

Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court has called on all Muslims throughout the Kingdom to sight the crescent of the holy month of Ramadan on Sunday evening, Sha’ban 29, 1442 AH, corresponding to April 11, 2021.

The Supreme Court called on whoever sights the crescent moon either by the naked eyes or through binoculars to report to the nearest court and register his testimony.

The Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs (Awqaf) in Qatar has also called on the public to participate in the sighting of the moon on April 11. In a tweet, the Awqaf department issued a statement, and said: “The Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs in Qatar calls on Muslims to sight the crescent for Ramadan on Sunday, the 29th day of Sha’ban 1442”.

The committee said those who witness the crescent should report the information immediately to Awqaf, which is set to meet right after sunset prayers.

If the moon is sighted on the 29th day of Sha’ban, then Ramadan will start on Monday. Otherwise, Monday will be declared as the 30th day of Sha’ban and Ramadan will start on Tuesday April 13.

Ramadan is observed by more than 1.8 billion Muslims around the world, or more than 24 per cent of the world population, and is believed to be the month when the Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. During this month, Muslims are required to offer charity, and also abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and having marital relations, from sunrise to sunset.