After more observations were carried out on Monday, the date for Ramadan in South Africa has been confirmed. The United Ulama Council of SA has been studying the skies this week – and we finally have an answer.
When does Ramadan start in South Africa?
The starting date of Ramadan, the holiest Muslim month, is set by both lunar calculations and physical sightings to determine the beginning of a new month. Most Muslim countries, including Sunni-majority Egypt and Lebanon, have announced that Tuesday 13 April marks the start of Ramadan.
However, Shiite-majority countries like Iran are expected to start a day later on Wednesday. Once the Moon has been observed later this evening, the first day of Ramadan is expected to begin tomorrow – on 14 April – for South Africa. The crescent moon, which is used to establish the beginning of the month, was not visible overnight.
- – The religious event lasts for 30 days in total.
The United Ulama Council of South Africa has announced that the Ramadan moon has not been sighted. Tomorrow night will be the 1st taraweeh and 01 Ramadan will correspond to Wednesday 14 April inshaAllah. pic.twitter.com/kK8BmbxwDN
— Voice of the Cape (@VOCfm) April 12, 2021
How long will it last for?
The daytime fasting month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. Observant Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk, and traditionally gather with family and friends to break their fast in the evening. In South Africa, the sun will rise between 6:00 – 7:00, before setting between 18:00 – 19:00 on Wednesday.
It is also a time of prayers, during which Muslims typically converge in large numbers at mosques, especially at night. But due to Covid-19 pandemic, many Muslim-majority countries have imposed restrictions on worshippers, including night-time curfews, and called for prayers to be performed at home. Saudi King Salman stated on Monday:
“The month of Ramadan is upon us and the world is suffering from the coronavirus pandemic. We thank God for the scientific efforts in developing vaccines to curb the pandemic.”