Ramadan 2018 to begin on Thursday, moon sighted in India

Desiree Steele
May 17, 2018

And it is important to do not forget to be patient and respectful towards those who are fasting as tempers might fray as the challenges of the next 30 days take their toll.

The crescent moon of Ramadan-ul-Kareem, also referred to as Ramzan, was not sighted in Saudi Arabia and other parts of Middle East on Tuesday.

This week marks the beginning of the Ramadan for more than a billion Muslims across the world. But Ramazan is more than that.

It is meant to bring Muslims closer to God and teach them about patience, spirituality, and humility.

"Tonight is the 29 of Shaban", said Atthar Mahmood, vice-president of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada.

Just as the sun begins to set, Muslims traditionally break their fast as the Prophet Muhammad did some 1,400 years ago, by eating sweet dates and drinking water, followed by a sunset prayer.

Others who may not fast include pregnant or lactating women whose babies may be harmed, women in their menstrual period or having postpartum bleeding and others in situations that require them to be in their best physical condition (i.e. soldiers on guard duty).

So the end of Ramadan, known as the 'Eid, ' is a reason to give thanks and praise as Muslims celebrate the personal and collective reward that comes from Allah (God) for all who have fasted in His name and for His pleasure.

The emphasis on charity and selflessness is not merely the province of those who are fasting: there are numerous opportunities to volunteer across the UAE, whether that involves packing Ramadan parcels for the needy, serving meals to workers at an iftar or doing a kindly deed for a neighbour. For the rest of the day until sunset he/she does not partake of any food or drink or sexual contact with his or her spouse. Hungry people may start the evening with a light snack. It has often been compared to the run up to the western world's Christmas, which also fosters a time of worship, spiritual reflection and of course gift giving and receiving. Be patient with the hungry Turks you encounter - fasters can be a bit on the grumpy side.

So what is acceptable to say in greeting to someone in full flow of Ramadan?

Various events take place during Ramazan so keep your eyes (and ears) open when you're out and about in the evenings. In the United Kingdom three million Muslims will celebrate the end of Holy month with a three day celebration called Eid, a highly anticipated time of big business for retailers and supermarkets.

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