UPDATE: The crescent moon was not sighted in India on Wednesday, which means that Ramzan fasting will begin from Friday.
"The first Ramzan roza (fast) will begin on Friday. However, after the moon is sighted on Thursday, the Taraweeh prayers will begin from Thursday night," Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, chief imam of the All India Imam Organisation told IBTimes India.
ORIGINAL STORY: Muslims in India are waiting to sight the crescent moon on Wednesday night, which would mark the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, also more commonly referred to as Ramzan.
If the moon is sighted on Wednesday night, Ramzan will begin on Thursday in India, along with other countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
However, if the moon is not sighted on Wednesday, Ramzan will then begin on Friday in India.
"The Hilal committee will announce on Wednesday night if the moon is sighted or not," Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, chief imam of the All India Imam Organisation told IBTimes India.
Ramzan is the holiest month of the year for Muslims, wherein they observe a strict fast from dawn to dusk, going without food and water.
FACTS ABOUT RAMADAN
- Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar.
- Observance of fasting and prayers during Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.
- Ramadan is meant to commemorate the time that the Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed on the night of 'Laylat Al Qadr'.
- All adult, healthy Muslims observe fasting during the month of Ramadan. Women who are pregnant or menstruating, the sick and the elderly, and children who have not hit puberty, are exempt.
- People usually wish each other during the month of Ramadan with greetings such as 'Ramadan Mubarak' or 'Ramadan Kareem'.
- Ramadan ends after a period of 30 days of fasting, which is marked with Eid ul Fitr.