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- Written by Eman Jueid
- Category: In Other News
This article appeared on Al Jazeera on July 20,2012
The Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a period devoted to dawn-to-dusk fasting, prayers and good deeds, has begun for most of the world's 1.2 billion Muslims.
Religious authorities in most Middle Eastern countries declared Friday the start of the holy month of Ramadan.
Official statements issued on Thursday in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Qatar, Libya and Yemen said the holy month would start Friday. In other states, Ramadan will be on Saturday.
The sighting of the new moon marks the beginning of the Muslim lunar month that varies between 29 and 30 days. Some countries use astronomical calculations and observatories, while others rely on the naked eye alone, leading sometimes to different starting times in the Middle East.
Ramadan begins around 11 days earlier each year.
Political differences and religious disputes between Sunni- and Shia-majority countries have often played a role in different starting dates for the holy month, which is usually calculated based on the sighting of a new moon.
READ MORE AT Al Jazeera
*Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
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