crescent moon
The sighting of the moon will determine when the holy month of Ramadan begins. Image Credit: Pixabay

Dubai: The observatory of Al Majmaah University at Hawtat Sudair, near Riyadh, has released a statement on the scientific conditions for observing the crescent moon for the month of Ramadan 1442.

Astronomers at the observatory said that after carrying out their scientific calculations to determine the sighting of the moon for next Sunday April 11, 2021, which corresponds to Shaban 29, “the moon will set before the sun,” and so will not be able to be seen by the naked eye.


The observatory’s statement explained that the moon sighting is expected to be clearer the following evening on April 12, which corresponds to the Islamic date of Shaban 30.

The sun will set in Makkah at 6.38 pm and the crescent will rise at 7.01pm, “which means that the crescent will be formed 22 minutes after sunset, at an altitude of 4.75 degrees.”

Ramadan precautions

During a recent media briefing, officials from the UAE National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) urged residents to take the following preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19 during Ramadan:

  • Avoid large gatherings during Ramadan, as well as family visits and the distribution of meals between families. Only one family living in the same house can have iftar and suhoor meals together.
  • Private or commercial iftar tents in public spaces will not be allowed, and the distribution of iftar meals in front of houses and mosques is also prohibited. Those who want to distribute iftar meals may coordinate with charity associations, while other donations may be carried out online.
  • The distribution of meals and in-kind donations will be limited to official and registered national charity organisations according to approved protocols. Restaurants will be prohibited from distributing iftar meals inside or in front of their premises, and meals can only be distributed to workers’ accommodation through direct coordination between restaurants and the management of workers’ housing units in every area while respecting social distancing rules.
  • Tarawih prayers can take place according to current, such as a 30-minute limit, while mosques will be closed immediately after prayers. Women’s prayer areas and outdoor prayer areas in mosques will be closed.
  • Regarding night prayers during the last ten days of the Holy Month, NCEMA officials said that the situation will be assessed at that time and current procedures will be updated accordingly. Although religious sessions in mosques shall be suspended, people may participate in lectures and religious sessions virtually via smartphones.