Ramadan Starts April 24 in North America, Europe

Muslims in North America will welcome the holy fasting month of Ramadan on Friday, April 24, according to astronomical calculations.

“The first day of Ramadan 1441 is on Friday, April 24, 2020, insha’Allah. Taraweeh prayer will start on Thursday night,” reads a statement from the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) obtained by AboutIslam.net.

The Muslim body said the Ramadan moon would be born on April 23.

“The Astronomical New Moon is on Thursday, April 23, 2020, at 2:27 Universal Time. On that day, everywhere in North and South America at sunset, the elongation is at least 8 degrees and the moon is at least 5 degrees above the sun,” FCNA statement added.

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FCNA uses the criteria of the European Council of Fatwa and Research (ECFR), which are that somewhere on the globe, at the sunset, the elongation should be at least 8 degrees and moon should be at least 5 degrees above the horizon.

If these conditions are met, the new crescent will be visible somewhere on earth. Hence the new lunar month will start the next day, otherwise, it will start on the day following the next day.

Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.

In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.

Muslims dedicate their time during the holy month to be closer to Allah through prayers, self-restraint, and good deeds.

It is customary for Muslims to spend part of the days during Ramadan studying the Noble Qur’an.

Many men perform i`tikaf (spiritual retreat), spending the last 10 days of the month exclusively in the mosque.