Mumbai, 30 June-2014(ANI): Muslims all over the country started the holy month of Ramzan by offering prayers at mosques on Monday.
In a statement issued in New Delhi, the Shahi Imam of the Fatehpuri Mosque, Maulana Mufti Mukarram Ahmed on Sunday had said that since the new moon was not sighted on Saturday, the month of Ramzan will start on Monday.
He said that had the moon been sighted on Saturday, the fasting month of Ramzan would have commenced from Sunday.
Ramzan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, is observed as a fasting period by Muslims, who abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset.
During Ramzan, Muslims wake up early morning for the pre-dawn ‘sehri’ meal renouncing food and water during the day before breaking their fasts in the evening. The sumptuous evening meals are known as ‘iftaars’.
The month-long fasting will culminate in the Id-ul-Fitr celebrations next month.
As Islam follows a lunar calendar, the holy month begins every year about 11 days earlier and its commencement is traditionally determined by the appearance of the new moon.
Hindus and Muslims will celebrate Ramzan together, say devotes
An imam in Mumbai has said that the Muslim fasting month of Ramzan is a time for penitence and to seek forgiveness for sins committed in the past from Almighty Allah. Other devotes said that it should be seen as celebratory event for both Muslims and Hindus.
Imam Sunni Raza Masjid told ANI here, “It (Ramzan) is a holy month for us. We pray to Allah. All our sins are forgiven.”
Aashiq Sheikh, a devote, said, “We (Hindu’s and Muslims) celebrate Ramzan together.
Chand Mohammed, another devote, said, “We celebrate it for one month. We keep Roza (dawn to dusk fast). We pray five times a day. We all sit together for an Iftar (meal) in the evening.”
Ramzan is being observed across most parts of India on Monday, as per the directions of moon sighting committees in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Lucknow.
The sighting of new crescent moon is compulsory for the commencement of any Islamic month in accordance to lunar calendar, while many Islamic countries still prefer observing the new moon through the naked eye. Others allow for astronomical calculations to start observing Ramzan.
The Islamic calendar is based on the lunar system, and beginning of the new month is decided by sighting of the new moon on the 29th of the ongoing month. If the new moon is sighted on 29th, the next day is counted as first day of the new month; otherwise it is treated as 30th day of the ongoing month.
In almost every part of the world, Muslims make special arrangements for sighting of new moon. Moon sighting committees are also functional in Muslim and non-Muslim countries to verify moon sighting reports and decide the beginning of the new moon.(ANI)