The holy month of Ramadan will begin Thursday, it was announced on Tuesday.
The Crescent Sighting Committee at the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs (Awqaf) said March 22 is the final day of Sha'ban and that March 23 (Thursday) will be the first day of Ramadan.
This came in the committee's statement after its meeting at the headquarters of the Awqaf ministry yesterday evening under the chairmanship of Sheikh Dr Thuqail al-Shammari, the official Qatar News Agency reported.
The committee said the Ramadan crescent was not sighted yesterday and, as a result, announced that Thursday would be the first day of the holy month.
The committee extended greetings to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, His Highness the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, and His Highness the Deputy Amir Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad al-Thani, as well as the esteemed government and people of Qatar and all Muslims, on the advent of Ramadan.
Preparations have been finalised for the holy month, with the Awqaf ministry readying some 2,150 mosques across Qatar. The ministry has also made separate arrangements for women in 120 mosques. Arrangements are in place for Itikaf, the practice of secluding oneself during the final 10 days of Ramadan.
Besides, the ministry has announced various Ramadan activities while Iftar meals will be distributed for fasting people and food kits will be given to the needy. Awqaf has also lined up religious lectures and cultural and educational competitions across Qatar.
Speaking to Qatar TV, al-Shammari urged believers to seek repentance from God and do more good deeds and charitable acts. “It’s the season of worship and discipline,” he said.
Al-Shammari advised people to take advantage of the holy month by doing good for all, reading the Holy Qur'an, doing charity and strengthening family relations.
Sheikh Mohamed al-Mahmoud, a member of the Crescent Sighting Committee, noted that the believers must take advantage of the holy month as it is a "virtuous and great" occasion.
Fareed al-Hindawi, preacher and imam at Awqaf, also told Qatar TV that Ramadan is the season of goodness and discipline, and urged believers to invest in goodness during the holy month.