The first day of Ramadan — the ninth month of the Islamic calendar — is expected to fall on March 23 in Saudi Arabia.
According to the report from an Arab media outlet, Dr Abdullah Al-Massand, a former professor of astronomy at Al-Qassim University in Saudi Arabia and deputy chairman of the Meteorological Society, the first day of Ramadan is expected to be on March 23, Thursday.
Dr Massand was of the view that the holy month of Shaban will have 30 days because on 29 Shaban the crescent will be lightening just before 9 minutes after the sunset.
He also told that the convergence of the sun and the moon will be taking place on 29 Shaban which means on the evening of March 21 at 8:23 pm. Therefore, he added, the first day of Ramadan will be observed on March 23.
Prior to this, Ibrahim Al-Jarwan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Astronomy Society, had also forecast that the first day of the holy month would likely be observed on March 23 with Eid ul Fitr likely taking place on April 21.
According to the Saudi government, after the sunset of March 21, the sighting of the moon for the holy month will begin.
It should be noted that on February 21, the crescent of Shaban was sighted in Pakistan, marking the beginning of the eighth month of the Islamic calendar.