Moon sighted: Ramadan begins on Thursday in Kerala

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Kozhikode: Thursday (March 23) will mark the beginning of Ramadan, the holiest month for Muslims, in Kerala, said Sunni clerics as the moon was sighted on Wednesday evening.

Muslims in the state will observe dawn to dusk fasting throughout the month, Kazis Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulama president Sayyid Jiffri Muthukoya Thangal, Prof K Alikutty Musaliyar and others informed.

Earlier, some factions had declared that Ramadan month would begin on Thursday irrespective of whether the moon was sighted with naked eyes or not. The majority of community members, however, rely on Sunni clerics' declarations.

The Gulf countries have also declared that Ramadan will begin on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Lucknow's Markazi Chand Committee on Wednesday announced that the month of Ramadan will begin on Friday as the crescent moon was not sighted anywhere in the country, reported ANI.

The purpose of fasting in Islam is to foster a closer connection with God and to prompt contemplation of the plight of the impoverished. During the holy month, Muslims are obliged to observe daily prayers and engage in spiritual introspection, while also refraining from engaging in negative behaviour such as gossip, fighting or cursing.

Fasting is an obligatory act for all healthy Muslims and is considered one of the five pillars of Islam, however, there are exceptions for individuals who are ill, as well as pregnant or breastfeeding women. Children who are young are not expected to participate in the fast.

The conclusion of Ramadan is marked by the festive Eid al-Fitr holiday, where children typically receive new clothing and presents.

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