Ramazan likely to begin on March 12 in most Islamic countries

ISLAMABAD: The holy month of Ramazan is anticipated to commence on March 12 in many Islamic countries, as per a statement issued by the International Astronomy Centre.

The pivotal conjunction between the sun and moon is slated for March 10 at 9am GMT.

Nevertheless, the sighting of the crescent on March 10 appears implausible from any vantage point across the Arab and Islamic world, whether through direct observation or via telescope, the statement added.

On March 10, the moon is projected to dip below the horizon shortly after sunset in various cities throughout the Islamic world.

In Makkah, the moon is predicted to set 13 minutes after sunset, being 6 hours and 22 minutes old. Similarly, in Cairo, it is expected to set 14 minutes after sunset, having aged 7 hours and 2 minutes.

Engineer Muhammad Shawkat Odeh, Director of the International Astronomy Centre, elucidated that for a crescent moon to be discernible, it must endure for at least 29 minutes, be over 15 hours and 33 minutes old, and be positioned more than 7.6 degrees away from the sun. On March 10, the moon will not meet these prerequisites.

Hence, it is anticipated that most countries will sight the new crescent moon on March 11, with Ramazan set to commence on March 12.

Odeh advised that the crescent could be relatively easily observed on March 11, approximately 15-25 minutes after sunset near the western horizon, using the unaided eye.

According to scholars including Ibn Tariq, Wutheringham, Maunder, Parwin, Elias and astronomical observatories like SAAO, along with researchers Yallop and Odeh, the possibility of sighting the crescent on Sunday, March 10, seems unlikely based on various criteria for crescent visibility outlined in scientific research.

As per their opinion, the crescent moon will not be visible on that day across the Arab and Islamic world, whether with the naked eye or using a telescope but the western regions, including certain parts of the Americas, may be able to sight the Ramazan crescent on March 10 with the use of a telescope.

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Pakistan, South Africa, Indonesia and Malaysia will most likely sight the Ramazan moon on March 11 hence, the first fasting day of Ramazan for them will be March 12 but if not sighted, then the first day of fasting will be from March 13 in Pakistan and other South Asian countries.

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