Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court has called on all Muslims throughout the Kingdom to sight the crescent of the holy month of Ramadan on Sunday evening.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the Supreme Court called on whoever sights the crescent by naked eyes or through binoculars to report to the nearest court and register their testimony, or report to the authority of the region’s center in their area where they sighted the crescent.
Muslims follow a lunar calendar consisting of 12 months in a year of 354 or 355 days. Sighting a crescent moon heralds the start of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.
More than 1.5 billion Muslims around the world will mark the month, during which believers abstain from eating, drinking, smoking, and having marital relations from dawn until sunset. They also try to avoid evil thoughts and deeds.
Ramadan is sacred to Muslims because tradition says the Quran was revealed to their Prophet Mohammed during that month. Fasting during the month of Ramadan is also one of the five pillars of Islam.
The holy month of Ramadan is followed by the Eid al-Fitr holiday.