Muslims the world over should/would begin the observance for the fast of Ramadan on Wednesday (June 17, 2015) but that would be subject to the sighting of the Ramadan moon (i.e. Hilal) tonight.
Today (June 16) per the Islamic (Hijri) calendar is the 29th day of Sha'ban (the month that precedes Ramadan). According to Islamic tradition, Muslims are supposed to look out for the new moon on the night of the 29th. If it is sighted, the next day marks the first of Ramadan.
In case the moon is not seen on 29th, Muslims are to complete the month of Sha'ban with the 30th day (i.e. tomorrow June 17) in which case Ramadan automatically kicks in the next day; Thursday June 18, 2015
The 29 or 30 days calculation of Islamic dates is as a result of the calendar being lunar, as compared to the Gregorian which is solar and with fixed days. The start and completion of an Islamic month is dependent on the sighting of a new moon.
In the past, the Office of the National Chief Imam (ONCI) constituted a body of scholars (the Hilal Committee) to give directions on when Muslims in Ghana should commence their fast; their communiqué in some part, helped to project when Ramadan ends because of the statutory holiday that follows the period (Eidul Fitr)
Unfortunately for this year, nothing has been heard of the Committee being instituted or any such communication from the Chief Imam's office. What most Muslims can bet on, is to monitor the news and expect a communication from the Chief Imam as has usually been the case over the past years.
What is Ramadan?
It is the ninth month of the Hijri calendar, during which period Muslims are expected to abstain from food, drink, marital relations and any act that could vitiate the validity of their fast.
Fasting is also the fourth pillar of the religion, coming behind the testimony of faith, the establishment of prayer and the giving of poor due. The fifth pillar is the pilgrimage to Makkah which is observed in the eleventh and twelfth months of the hijri calendar.
The typical Ramadan day starts with Muslims waking up early to take their pre-dawn meal (suhoor), they go the whole day observing all rules of the period and increasing in acts of worship and prayer till sunset when they break their fasts with the iftaar.
At the end of 29 or 30 days of fasting, the period is crowned with the 'Eid ul Fitr' or Fast Breaking Feast, during which times prayers are said and a lot of merry is made to commemorate the completion of the fast.
Source: Malik Abubakar | GhanaWeb