No sight of Ramazan moon in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday

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Ramazan 2018: Holy month of fasting starts in Gulf and far East countries from May 17

The holiday will begin this Thursday and run through June 15, which will be a day without fasting, marked by prayers and charitable donations to those in need. The beginning of Ramadan 2018 depends on moon sighting. While Ramadan is a boon for retailers in the Middle East and South Asia, critics say the holy month is increasingly becoming commercialised. Each Islamic month is either twenty-nine or maximum thirty days. Salisu Shehu in which he quoted the Sultan as rejoicing with Muslims on the occasion of this year's Ramadan fasting, while also praying for Allah's blessings of the Holy Month.

The announcement was made after the Saudi moon-sighting committee met on Tuesday evening and were not able to sight the Ramadan crescent, Al Arabiya reported. The moon which was expected to be sighted on Tuesday night was not seen. Reports in Ghana indicate that the national chief Imam, Sheikh Usman Nuhu Sharubutu, has asked the faithful to commence fasting on Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia and other large Muslim nations, including Indonesia, declared Ramadan would not begin on Wednesday based on a customary moon-sighting methodology.

Dr Ahdal said the UAE uses a mixture of traditional and modern methods by first using telescopes to try to spot the new moon and then, should a new moon be seen, increasing their efforts to sight the crescent with the naked eye. It takes a great commitment to observe this holy month, while working and raising a family.

Meanwhile, prices of some food items like tomatoes, beans and onions have increased in Lagos markets ahead of the annual Ramadan by Muslims. Before the daily fast spanning the entire month, Muslims have a pre-dawn meal called suhoor and also come together at dusk to break the fast with the meal called iftaar. A year ago more accidents happened in the late morning rush hour between 10am and 11am than any other time.

Fasting is meant to bring the faithful closer to God and remind them of those less fortunate.

A typical greeting is Ramadan Mubarak, which implies "have a blessed Ramadan".

The end of Ramadan is marked by intense worship as Muslims seek to have their prayers answered during "Laylat al-Qadr" or "the Night of Destiny".

After that, the standard follow is to adjourn for prayer after which the primary meal is served.

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