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Ramzan fasting from today

New Delhi: Ramzan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims, began from Thursday with the new moon sighted yesterday evening in many parts of the country.

After a meeting of the new moon sighting committee here, Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Fatehpuri mosque, Maulana Mufti Mukkaram Ahmed, announced that Ramzan will begin today.

The Imarat-e-Sharaiyah Hind, in its announcement, said that though the moon was not sighted in Delhi, which was overcast, but it has been sighted in other places, including Chennai, Bhopal, Surat and in places in states of Assam and Orissa.

Ramzan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, is observed as a fasting period by Muslims, who abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset.

Muslims wake up early morning for the pre-dawn ‘sehri’ meal renouncing food and water during the day before breaking their fasts in the evening.

The sumptuous evening meals are known as ‘iftaars’. The month-long fasting will culminate in the Idd-ul-Fitr celebrations next month.

As Islam follows a lunar calendar, the holy month begins every year about 11 days earlier and its commencement is traditionally determined by the appearance of the new moon.

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