Ramadan to begin Thursday as Saudi moon observers say no sight of crescent

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Photo showing the Saudi Arabian moon sighting committee, Tuesday, May 15, Al-Baha. (Observatory of the University of Majmaa)
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Photo showing the Saudi Arabian moon sighting committee, Tuesday, May 15, Al-Baha. (Observatory of the University of Majmaa)
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Photo showing the Saudi Arabian moon sighting committee, Tuesday, May 15, Al-Baha. (Observatory of the University of Majmaa)
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Photo showing the Saudi Arabian moon sighting committee, Tuesday, May 15, Al-Baha. (Observatory of the University of Majmaa)
Updated 16 May 2018
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Ramadan to begin Thursday as Saudi moon observers say no sight of crescent

  • Saudi moon observers could not see the new moon on Tuesday evening
  • The Kingdom and other Muslim nations, like Indonesia, declared Ramadan would not begin on Wednesday based on the observations by moon-sighting committees

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabian moon observers said that there was no sight of the Ramadan crescent on Tuesday, meaning millions of Muslims around the world will begin the holy month on Thursday. 

According to reports on Saudi Arabian state TV, bad weather made observation of the crescent difficult. The Kingdom and other Muslim nations, like Indonesia, declared Ramadan would not begin on Wednesday based on the observations by moon-sighting committees.

Muslims around the world are set to mark the month, during which believers abstain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn until sunset.

Fasting is intended to bring Muslims closer to Allah and remind them of those less fortunate.

The Islamic world follows a lunar calendar, and the traditional moon-sighting methodology can lead to different countries declaring the start of Ramadan a day or two apart

This year, Ramadan falls on long summer days for Muslims in the Northern Hemisphere. For Muslims who live in regions where Islam is not the dominant religion, challenging fasts are believed to come with greater blessings.

Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five obligatory pillars of Islam, along with the Muslim declaration of faith, daily prayer, annual charity -- known as "zakat" -- and performing the Hajj pilgrimage in Makkah.

 


US’s Mnuchin talks about sanctions premature, will visit Riyadh for talks with counterpart

Updated 11 min 1 sec ago
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US’s Mnuchin talks about sanctions premature, will visit Riyadh for talks with counterpart

JERUSALEM, Oct 21 : US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday it was premature to comment on possible US sanctions against Saudi Arabia for the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi until an investigation had been completed.
Mnuchin said information so far on the investigation was “a good first step but not enough” as Riyadh faced increasing international pressure over what happened to Khashoggi, who disappeared after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
US President Donald Trump, who has said the United States would consider sanctions against Saudi Arabia, emphasized on Saturday that he was not satisfied with the Saudis’ handling of the case.
“It would be premature to comment on sanctions and premature to comment on really any issues until we get further down the investigation and get to the bottom of what occurred,” Mnuchin told reporters in Jerusalem.
Mnuchin confirmed that he would not attend a Saudi investment conference on Tuesday. However, he said he would visit Riyadh as planned for talks with his counterpart on joint efforts to counter terrorist financing and plans by Washington to reimpose sanctions against Iran in November.
“I did not think it was appropriate to go and speak at this conference but we continue to have important issues with Saudi and that is why I am going there,” Mnuchin said.
The visit, he said, was necessary as Washington prepares to reimpose sanctions against Iran.
He said he had no reason to believe that Saudi Arabia would renege on commitments to make up for any shortfall in global oil supplies as Iranian oil exports are curbed under the sanctions.
“I have no reason to believe that they are not going to honor those commitments,” said Mnuchin, who will meet Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih while in Riyadh.