In Egypt, Nigeria and Lebanon, the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan will begin on Tuesday, April 13th, according to religious authorities in both countries.
“The first day of Ramadan will be April 13,” said Egypt’s Dar al-Ifta, a religious fatwa-issuing institution in the Arab world’s most populated region.
Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdellatif Deryan, a top Sunni Muslim cleric in Lebanon, also announced that the holy month will begin on Tuesday.
Ramadan starts as lunar measurements and physical sightings decide the close of one month and the beginning of the next.
The crescent moon, which is used to determine the beginning of the month, was not apparent Sunday, according to Saudi Arabia, which said observation committees would meet again Monday night.
Fasting during Ramadan is one of Islam’s five pillars. Observant Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, and usually break their fast with family and friends in the evening.
It is also a time of prayer, when Muslims gather in large numbers at mosques, especially late at night.
However, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Muslim-majority countries have placed limits on worshippers, such as nighttime curfews and the requirement that prayers be held at home.