Ramadan 2018: Moon sighted in Chennai, Surat; holy month of Ramzan to begin from May 17

Ramzan or Ramadan falls on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and holds a great significance for the Muslims across the globe.

Ramadan 2018: Moon sighted in Chennai, Surat; holy month of Ramzan to begin from May 17
Pic Courtesy: Pixabay (representational image)

New Delhi: The Islamic holy month of Ramzan or Ramadan will begin from May 17, 2018, as the moon has been sighted in various cities of the country. It was first seen in Chennai and now reports suggest that the moon has been sighted in Surat as well. 

The sighting of moon ushers the holy month of Ramzan. Meanwhile, the Shahi Imam from Saudi Arabia has officially announced the commencement of the holy month, several reports suggest. The Rozas (fasts) will be observed for a 30-day period which begins from Thursday, May 17, 2018.

Depending on the weather conditions, there might be a delay in moon sighting in other states, reportedly.

Ramzan or Ramadan falls on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and holds a great significance for the Muslim community across the globe. During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims observe fast marking it as a gesture to revere the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief.

According to many beliefs, this annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month lasts for about 29–30 days (usually a month) based on the visual sighting of the crescent moon, according to numerous biographical accounts compiled in the hadiths.

Ramadan word has Arabic root ramiḍa or ar-ramaḍ, which means scorching heat or dryness. It is believed that the holy book of Quran was written during this month. Thus, the people practise fasting in this month to purify their souls and seek forgiveness from the Almighty Allah.

All those who are fasting during daytime and are allowed to eat only after sunset. However, there are certain parameters and some are given the relaxation of not keeping the fast the entire day. People who suffer from any illness, or those who are travelling, elderly people, pregnant women and those going through their menstrual cycle are barred from keeping a fast.

Thus, people celebrate the festival lavishly by wearing new clothes, offering Namaz, eating together after sunset and greeting 'Ramazan Mubarak' which completes on the day of Eid!