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Religion of Friday, 18 May 2018


Saudi Arabia can’t dictate to us when to begin Ramadan – Ashanti Regional Chief Imam

The Ashanti Regional Chief Imam, Sheik Abdul Mumin Harun has said Saudi Arabia cannot dictate to Muslims in Ghana when to begin Ramadan because the religious tradition is based on moon-sighting.

“The fact that Kaaba is in Saudi Arabia doesn’t mean it can regulate us on how the religion is practiced or make laws for Ghanaians. It doesn’t mean if they don’t sight the moon there we can’t begin the fasting here in Ghana”. He indicated

He noted in an interview with Kumasi based Hello Fm monitored by’s Ashanti Regional Correspondent, Syxtus Eshun that both areas are far apart and sighting the moon could also not be on the same day.

Reports indicate that the Brong Ahafo region was the first in Ghana to sight the thin crescent moon on Wednesday marking the beginning of a new month in the Islamic calendar called the Hilal and used to predict the start of Ramadan.

“The Brong Ahafo Region won in this year’s beginning of Ramadan. But other sat without beginning because their masters (Saudi Arabia) didn’t sight the moon”. He said

“That is how they (Saudi Arabia) are. When one community sights the moon and the other does not, it can’t begin. It doesn’t work because it’s based on the sighting of the moon” He explained

When asked whether the differences could bring misunderstanding between the Saudi Community and Ghana, Sheik Mumin Harun indicated “this is about religion, not state-related issues”.

“This is religious, not a state-related issue. It is Allah who commanded us to face the Kaaba in Saudi Arabia but Saudi Arabia is not responsible for making regulations for on as to how we practice the religion in Ghana. It doesn’t mean if they do not sight the moon there we must follow the same here. Therefore we do not agree to what Saudi is saying”, he emphasized.

Ramadan was scheduled to begin on Tuesday, May 15th in Saudi but quickly tradition of not sighting made them begin on Thursday. It was announced by Saudi Supreme Court.

This is because Ramadan can only officially begin when the Ramadan crescent has been observed by the Saudi moon-sighting committee in Saudi Arabia.

Each year, Ramadan begins 10 to 12 days earlier as it is based on the lunar calendar.