The Islamic holy month of Ramadan or Ramzan will begin on Thursday in India after the moon was sighted in New Delhi and Lucknow. The start date is set by both physical sightings and lunar calculations which determines when the last day of one lunar month ends and a new one begins. Ramadan is a holy month for the Muslims many of whom practise the ritual of dawn-to-dusk fasting and prayers. The Ramadan fast, in which even water is obstructed, falls on especially long summer days this year for Muslims in the Northern Hemisphere.
Fasting is meant to bring the firm closer to God and remind them of those less fortunate. It is also a chance to stop using addictions like caffeine and cigarettes. During the Ramzan, Muslims must avoid from eating, drinking, sex, gossip and cursing, and are encouraged to focus on meditative acts like prayer, reading the Quran and charity. Tradition holds that during Ramadan, the Prophet Mohammed started receiving signs from the Muslim holy book, the Koran. Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam.
In Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries in the Middle East, there was no sight of the Ramadan crescent on Tuesday. Hence, the United Kingdom and other Muslim nations in the Middle East declared Ramadan would not begin on Wednesday but on Thursday. Australia, South Korea, Japan and Singapore also declared Ramadan on Thursday. Fasting from dawn until sunset in Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, and it is intended to help and teach Muslims self-discipline, generosity and self-restraint. Check out Ramadan 2018 timetable for Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Srinagar and other metro cities here.
All those who are fasting during day-time in Ramzan, are allowed to eat only after sunset. However, there are some parameters, and some are given the relaxation of not keeping the fast the entire day. People who suffer from any illness, pregnant women, or those who are travelling, elder people, and those going through their menstrual cycle are prohibited from keeping fast. Thus, people celebrate the festival lavishly by offering Namaz, wearing new clothes, eating together after sunset and greeting ‘Ramazan Mubarak‘ which completes on the day of Eid.