It looks like Ramadan will begin on May 17

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But we’re still waiting on official communication from the UAE’s moon-sighting committee…

The Sharjah Centre for Astronomy and Space Sciences has advised that Ramadan in the UAE looks set to begin on Thursday May 17.

Now, it’s looking more and more likely, as Oman’s Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs today confirmed that May 17 would mark the beginning of the holy month in the Gulf country.

The first day of Eid Al Fitr – which marks the end of the Holy Month – is expected to fall on Friday June 15.

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The official dates for the UAE are yet to be confirmed by the UAE’s moon-sighting committee.

The fasting period is expected to last 13 hours and 25 minutes at the beginning of the month, said Ibrahim Al Jarwan, deputy director general of the Sharjah Centre for Astronomy and Space Sciences. By the end of Ramadan, this will reach 15 hours.

Remember, during the month of Ramadan, normal working hours are reduced by two hours a day (so if your working day is 9am to 6pm, you’ll only have to work until 4pm).

Last year, Ramadan started a little later, beginning on May 27.

WHAT IS RAMADAN?

The ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Ramadan is a time when Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking or smoking between sunrise and sunset.

Lasting about a month, it marks the time when the Qur’an was first revealed to the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). Extra tarawih prayers are performed at the mosque throughout Ramadan and each evening 1/30th of the holy book is recited. By the end of Ramadan, many observers have read the entire Qur’an.

Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, which are the foundation of the religion. The pillars are the framework by which Muslims everywhere live, and Ramadan is considered the holiest time in the Islamic calendar. It is a time for prayer, reflection and religious devotion, to cleanse past sins and to focus on Allah through good deeds.

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