Saudi Arabia said that the Ramadan fasting will begin on Thursday across the globe, the official Saudi news agency SPA reported on Tuesday .
The new moon of Ramadan was not spotted on Tuesday evening and Wednesday will mark the last day of the Islamic month of Shaaban , SPA said, citing religious authorities in the kingdom.
The beginning and end of Islamic months are determined by the sighting of the new moon.
Egypt’ s Mufti , the country ’ s top religious authority, said in a televised speech that the holy month will start on Thursday in the most populous Arab country .
Also , the United Arab Emirates , Jordan and Iraq’s Sunni Muslim minority also announced that the holy month of Ramadan will start on Thursday.
During Ramadan , Muslims have to abstain from eating , drinking and smoking from dawn to sunset .
Devout Muslims also mark the month by intense worship , performing special nightly prayers and reading Islam ’ s holy book, the Koran.
Fasting is one of Islam ’ s five pillars , alongside declaration of monotheism , prayer five times a day , alms – giving , and the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia .
(dpa / NAN)