Saudi Arabia has announced that Ramadan will start on Thursday after the moon was not sighted on Tuesday.
In Pakistan, the Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee will meet today (Wednesday) for the sighting of the Ramadan moon.
Saudi Arabia’s supreme court ruled on Tuesday evening that Shaban will end on Wednesday, meaning Ramadan will begin the following day, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.
The official Crescent Sighting Committee in neighbouring Qatar also announced Thursday as the first day of Ramadan, the official Qatar News Agency said on Twitter.
The meeting of the apex body tasked with sighting moons for Islamic months will take place in the building of Auqaf Department in Peshawar, according to APP.
The meetings of zonal and district Ruet-i-Hilal committees will be held at their respective headquarters, said an official notification issued by the religious affairs ministry.
The meeting of the central committee will be chaired by Maulana Abdul Khabir Azad. It will be attended by religious scholars, representatives of the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission, Met Department and science and technology, and religious affairs ministries.
The Met Department has forecast the possibility of moon sighting on Wednesday.
According to a report, Saudi Arabia, home of the holiest shrines in Islam in Mecca and Medina, has announced that the fasting month of Ramadan will start on Thursday.
The kingdom’s supreme court ruled on Tuesday evening that the Islamic calendar month of Shaban, which precedes Ramadan, will end on Wednesday, meaning Ramadan will begin the following day, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.
Authorities earlier on Tuesday called on residents to try to spot the crescent moon that marks the start of Ramadan, but it was not visible, state media said.
Other Sunni-majority countries including Egypt and Qatar also announced that Ramadan would begin on Thursday, as did officials in the Palestinian territories.
Authorities in Jordan, Algeria and Morocco meanwhile said a decision would be taken on Wednesday as to whether Ramadan would start on Thursday or Friday.
The daytime fasting month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam.
Observant Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk, and traditionally gather with family and friends to break their fast in the evening.
Fasting is strictly observed in Saudi Arabia, with restaurants closed until sunset iftar meals.
It is also a time of prayers, with the faithful converging in large numbers at mosques, especially at night.
The starting date of Ramadan, the holiest Muslim month, is set by both lunar calculations and physical sightings to determine the beginning of a new month.