Ramadan Begins Amid Gaza Conflict: Saudi Officials Sight Crescent Moon

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Written By Vikas Jangid

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Crescent Moon Sighted, Marking the Commencement of Ramadan

Saudi Arabian officials have sighted the crescent moon, signaling the beginning of the sacred fasting month of Ramazan for many of the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims.

According to reports from Saudi state television on Sunday night, officials observed the moon, officially designating Monday as the first day of Ramadan.

Source: Twitter/cgtnamerica

Global Observance of Ramadan Amidst Concerns over Gaza Conflict

During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from consuming food and water from sunrise to sunset as they engage in deeper reflection on their faith and gather with family. However, this year's observance is overshadowed by the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza.

Following the sighting of the moon in Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia, several Gulf Arab nations, along with Iraq, Syria, and Egypt, announced they would commence fasting on Monday. However, certain Asia-Pacific countries, including Australia, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, stated that they would begin Ramazan on Tuesday due to their inability to spot the crescent moon.

Varied Observance Dates Reflect Lunar Calendar Traditions

Ramadan operates based on a lunar calendar, leading to variations in when some nations officially declare the start of the month. Saudi Arabia had encouraged its citizens to observe the skies from Sunday night in anticipation of sighting the crescent moon.

Saudi King Salman’s Remarks on Gaza Conflict

Saudi King Salman specifically addressed the conflict in Gaza in his remarks following the announcement of Ramazan. Expressing concern over the attacks on Palestinians, the king emphasized the international community's responsibility to intervene and halt these violent acts. He called for the provision of safe humanitarian and relief channels.

Displacement and Tensions Highlighted by Displaced Gaza Resident

Hassuna Tabib Hassnan, a displaced dentist from Gaza City, expressed disappointment over spending Ramadan in displacement, saying, "We had hoped to spend Ramadan in our homes, but unfortunately, it seems we'll be living in displacement, pain, and oppression."

Regional Variations and Shia Observance in Iran

In Iran, which considers itself the global leader of Shia Muslims, authorities typically begin Ramadan a day after Sunni Muslims. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's office announced that Ramadan would commence on Tuesday there.


As Muslims around the world observe Ramadan, the conflict in Gaza serves as a stark reminder of the challenges and tensions facing many communities during this sacred month. Despite the differences in observance dates and traditions, the spirit of charity and reflection remains central to Ramadan's observance worldwide.

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