The holy month of fasting will officially begin in Saudi Arabia on Thursday, March 23, as the Ramazan crescent moon was not sighted on Tuesday evening, Al Arabiya reported.
Muslims follow a lunar calendar consisting of 12 months in a year of 354 or 355 days, and sighting a crescent moon marks the start of Ramazan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.
The starting date of the dawn-dusk fasting month is determined by both lunar calculations and physical sightings of a new moon. Ramazan, which is observed by more than 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide, is considered a month of fasting and spirituality.
Read more: Ramazan likely to begin on March 24
It is believed to be the month when the Holy Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
Fasting during Ramazan is one of the five pillars of Islam and is mandatory for all healthy Muslims, although young children, sick individuals, travellers, and women who are pregnant, nursing, or menstruating are exempted.
For thousands of years, Muslims have followed the tradition of looking for the crescent moon to determine the start of Ramazan as well as the two major holidays in Islam, Eidul Fitr and Eidul Azha.
In Pakistan, a meeting of the central and zonal Ruet-e-Hilal committees for sighting of the crescent of Islamic month of Ramazan will be held in Peshawar on Wednesday, Express News reported.
The meeting of the central Ruet-e-Hilal committee will be chaired by Maulana Abdul Khabir Azad at the Auqaf Hall, Peshawar, while the zonal moon-sighting committee will also meet at the same venue.
Meanwhile, the Qasim Ali Khan mosque in the provincial capital has also summoned a meeting of the unofficial moon-sighting committee.