Saudi Arabian will start fasting on the month of Ramadan from Monday as the country’s moon observers said the crescent of Ramadan was not sighted Saturday, the Arab News reports.
According to the Islamic lunar calendar, moon-sighting methodology can lead to different countries declaring the start of Ramadan a day or two apart.
Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five obligatory pillars of Islam, along with the Muslim declaration of faith, daily prayer, annual charity -- known as "zakat" -- and performing the Hajj pilgrimage.
Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh, Saudi minister for Islamic affairs, said more than 4,000 clerics were being employed during Ramadan and 1,100 imams were being hired to lead Taraweeh prayers in Saudi Arabia, the Arab News reports.
He added that more than 2,400 mosques had been renovated and 221 mosques had been opened before Ramadan.
Muslims in the Northern Hemisphere will be fasting during the long summer days this year.