Ramadan 2017 likely to start on May 27, says experts


The Holy month of Ramdan is set to begin from May 27, 2017 and is expected to end on June 24, based on moon sighting reports.

A number of scholars and astronomers from the region have predicted the date based on scientific calculations. However the confirmation will be announced only on Friday May 26.

Astronomically the birth of a new moon can be calculated, but the actual visibility of the crescent depends on factors such as atmospheric conditions, cloudiness, and the distance between the sun and the moon on the horizon.

Saudi scholar predicts May 27

Sheikh Abdullah Bin Sulaiman Al-Manie, member of Saudi’s Council of Senior Scholars had earlier said that month of Shaaban, which precedes Ramadan in the Islamic calendar, would have 30 days which means Ramadan will begin on May 27.

The Eid Al-Fitr will fall on Sunday, June 25, with the fasting month ending on Saturday, June 24, he said.

The scholar’s statement was based on astronomical calculations for the beginning and end of Islamic months for Makkah.

UAE, Qatar experts predict May 27

The Islamic month of Sha’baan will end on Friday, May 26, and the first of Ramadan 1438 will be on Saturday, May 27, Qatar Calendar House has said citing astronomical calculations.

This was informed through a press statement from noted astronomer Dr Beshir Marzouk and Qatar Calendar House director Dr Mohamed al-Ansari yesterday.

In UAE, officials at the Sharjah Planetarium has also predicted the date to be May 27.

In the United States, the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) announced that Ramadan would be observed from May 27, based on astronomical predictions.

Muslim communities in Europe will also observe Ramadan starting from May 27, as per the European Council of Fatwa and Research and the Islamic Relief UK charity.

The difference between Islamic calendar and Gregorian calendar

Muslim lunar months last between 29 and 30 days, depending on sighting of the moon on the 29th night of each month. If the moon is not visible, the month will last 30 days.

By the Gregorian solar calendar, Ramadan comes 10 to 12 days earlier each year. Last year, the first day of Ramadan was on June 6, 2016.

Ramadan ends when the first crescent of the new moon is sighted again. Eid Al Fitr is the Islamic holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.

Although Ramadan is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year, since the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar and the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar.

This difference means Ramadan moves ahead in the Gregorian calendar by approximately 11 days every year.

The date of Ramadan may also vary from country to country depending on whether the moon has been sighted or not.

Published on 22 May 201

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