It is the sighting of a new crescent moon that marks the beginning of Ramadan, a time of fasting and abstinence for Muslims.
Astronomical calculations have predicted that in the UAE, Ramadan will fall on Saturday, May 27 reports Gulf News.
In a statement, Mohammad Shawkat, director of the International Astronomical Center in Abu Dhabi, said it will be almost impossible to observe the crescent moon on Thursday, May 25, due to the absence of the moon’s visibility in all Muslim countries.
Shawkat explained that the moon would be out after sunset, and it would be possible to sight the crescent with the naked eye in the Americas, as well as South and West Africa, including Sudan, Somalia, Mauritania, Morocco and parts of Algeria.
Shawkat also said that most Islamic countries will be carrying out the moon sighting Friday night, marking the first of Ramadan 1438 Hijri year.
He added that Islamic countries who rely on sighting the moon without a telescope will also begin fasting on Saturday.