Ramadan 2024: Anticipating the Sighting of the Crescent Moon for Ramzan in India and Saudi Arabia

Ramadan 2024: Anticipating the Sighting of the Crescent Moon for Ramzan in India and Saudi Arabia

The anticipation of Ramadan 2024 brings with it the age-old tradition of moon sighting, a crucial event that marks the beginning of the Holy Month in the Islamic lunar calendar. Grounded in the phases of the crescent  moon, Islam’s Hijri calendar plays a pivotal role in determining the commencement of Ramadan. This article explores the significance of crescent moon sightings in India and Saudi Arabia, shedding light on the intricacies of this annual event.

The Lunar Basis of Islam’s Calendar:

Islam follows the lunar or Hijri calendar, consisting of 354 days, in contrast to the solar or Georgian calendar used by the rest of the world. This lunar calendar results in Ramadan occurring 10 to 11 days earlier each year. The crescent moon sighting holds paramount importance as it signals the start of the Holy Month, a time when Muslims around the globe observe fasting from dawn to dusk.

Crescent Moon-The Moon Sighting Ritual:

As the sun sets on the final day of Shabaan, individuals designated as moon sighters turn their gaze westward, seeking a clear view of the horizon. Their mission is to spot the slender crescent moon, a celestial marker that determines the commencement of Ramadan. The testimonies of those who witness the moon are recorded, with Saudi Arabia’s Judicial High Court playing a crucial role in officially declaring the beginning of Ramadan.

Global Synchronization and Regional Variances:

The crescent of Ramadan is typically first sighted in Saudi Arabia, followed by some parts of India and Western countries. Subsequently, the sighting extends to other regions, with a customary delay of a day in countries like India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. This global synchronization adds a sense of unity to the commencement of Ramadan, despite regional variances in the actual sighting.

Ramadan Fasting and Traditions:

Ramadan fasting, one of the five pillars of Islam, involves abstaining from food and drink during daylight hours. The fast is traditionally broken with a date or khajur at iftar in the evening, a communal gathering that brings families and communities together.

Significance of Ramadan:

Beyond its ritualistic aspects, Ramadan holds profound significance in the Islamic faith. It commemorates the month in which the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Many Muslims view Ramadan as a transformative period, an opportunity to break free from worldly deceptions, discard negative habits, engage in supplication, practice charity, reduce sleep, increase prayer, and embrace the spiritual essence of imaan.

Anticipating Ramadan 2024:

The upcoming Ramadan in 2024 is slated to potentially begin on March 11, contingent upon the sighting of the crescent moon in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and other Muslim-majority nations on the evening of March 10. The intricate calculations involve the central conjunction, set to occur on March 10 at 9 am GMT. While some scientific perspectives cast doubt on the visibility of the crescent on March 10 in the Arab and Islamic world, the anticipation remains high in regions like Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Pakistan, South Africa, Indonesia, and Malaysia.


As Muslims worldwide await the sacred month of Ramadan, the crescent moon sighting ritual serves as a unifying tradition that transcends geographical boundaries. The delicate balance between scientific calculations and religious observations underscores the beauty of this annual event, symbolizing a shared beginning for millions around the world. Ramadan, with its spiritual depth and communal traditions, continues to be a time of reflection, renewal, and celebration for the global Muslim community.

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