UPDATES WITH FASTING TIMINGS IN ANKARA, ISTANBUL, AFRICAN COUNTRIES, EDITS THROUGHOUT
ANKARA – Muslims in Turkey will begin fasting on Monday during the holy month of Ramadan.
In Ankara, Muslims will fast for 17 hours and three minutes, starting at 3.19 a.m. local time (0019GMT) and ending it at 8.22 p.m. local time (0522GMT).
In Istanbul, the fast will begin at 3.26 a.m. local time (0026GMT) and will end at 8.41 p.m. local time (0541GMT).
The holy month, which this year lasts from Monday to July 4, will see many of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims commit to a strict daytime fast, often taking the opportunity to make promises to improve their lives.
Millions of Muslims will also say their first special evening Ramadan prayer called taraweeh Sunday, which will then continue throughout the holy month.
The first pre-dawn suhoor meal in northeastern Ardahan province will end at 2.31 a.m. local time (1131GMT) and the first iftar, which is the evening fast-breaking meal during Ramadan, will first take place at 7.32 p.m. (0432GMT) in southeastern Hakkari province, according to Turkey's Religious Directorate.
Ramadan moon was also sighted in the African countries Mozambique and Angola Sunday evening.
“Thanks to Allah, we have sighted the moon and will commence our fast tomorrow,” Mozambique’s Muslim leader Sheikh Ameen Uddin told Anadolu Agency by telephone from the capital Maputo.
Sheikh Uthman Ibn Zaid, an imam at Masjid Nur al-Islam in the Angolan capital of Luanda, also confirmed to Anadolu Agency they will start fasting on Monday.
During Ramadan adult Muslims except the sick and those travelling are required to fast from dawn to dusk.
Meanwhile, most southern African countries will start Ramadan on Tuesday after failing to sight the moon.
Sighting the new crescent moon is essential for the start of any month in the Islamic lunar calendar.
The United Ulama Council of South Africa, a theologian Muslim body, said in a statement Sunday they had not yet sighted the moon and fasting could only begin Tuesday.
Sheikh Dinala Chabulika of the Islamic information center of Malawi also confirmed to Anadolu Agency that they had not sighted the moon.