According to Aletihad, the crescent Moon could not be sighted in several regions in the kingdom, including Sudair and Shukra, meaning Wednesday will be the 30th day of Shaaban and the first day of Ramadan will fall on Thursday.
The UAE has yet to make a formal announcement and the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department urged the public to wait for an official announcement from the UAE’s Moon-sighting committee before spreading rumours. As of 9.30pm, the Moon-sighting committee was still in discussions.
The moon-sighting committee met at Abu Dhabi Judicial Department after Maghrib prayers on Wednesday to look for the new crescent Moon and determine when the holy month would begin.
Dr Ahmad Al Ahdal, senior preacher at Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai, explained the process of Moon-sighting in an interview with Abu Dhabi TV.
He said that there are some Islamic countries that prefer to use telescopes to sight the Moon while other countries will only call Ramadan if the new Moon is spotted with the naked eye.
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.
To mark the start of the Ramadan, UAE President Sheikh Khalifa sent cables to leaders of Arab and Muslim countries, reported state news agency Wam.
In the cables, he wished for continued good health and well-being for the leaders and for further progress and prosperity for their nations.
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic (Hijri) calendar. It is the most holy month in the calendar for Muslims as it is believed the Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed during Ramadan.
Thousands of school pupils will be sitting examinations during Ramadan this year. School hours will be shorter though.
The public and private sector will work reduced hours.
Drivers have been urged not to rush to and from work and to allow extra time for their journey. Last year more accidents happened in the late morning rush hour between 10am and 11am than any other time.
Via The National