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Ramadan starts Thursday, official plans set for smooth fasting month

By JT - May 16,2018 - Last updated at May 16,2018

People crowd at a shop in Amman on Tuesday to shop their Ramadan needs (Photo by Khalid Oudat)

AMMAN — Ramadan will start in Jordan on Thursday after religious authorities announced that they did not sight the crescent moon of the fasting lunar month.

Grand Mufti Mohammad Khalaileh made the announcement following a customary ceremony at King Hussein Mosque in Amman when scholars watch for the new moon (hilal) to decide which day the fasting begins according to Islamic traditions, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The majority of Islamic scholars agree that one witness to the sighting the moon is enough to declare the beginning of the fasting month. However, in modern times, local religious leaders handle the process and use telescopes for this purpose before the mufti announces the result of the watch, which takes place at dusk on the evening of the 29th of Shaban (the eighth month of the Islamic lunar calendar).

In Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to sunset.

The same process of spotting the crescent is applied at the end of Ramadan, as scholars and experts meet on the 29th of the month to decide, upon sighting or lack of sighting of the hilal, whether to complete 30 days of fasting, or announce Eid Al Fitr, the holiday on the first of Shawwal.

In a related development, the Public Security Department (PSD) announced on Tuesday its security and traffic safety plan for Ramadan, Petra reported.

 

The traffic plan, to be implemented by the Central Traffic Department, entails dealing with the increase of traffic congestions on main roads, shopping areas and places of worship, to ensure a smooth flow of traffic.

The number of traffic police personnel will be increased across the Kingdom, the department said. 

The PSD called upon residents to avoid traffic violations that cause traffic delays, to abide by rules and to comply with the instructions of traffic police.

Regarding security, the department announced measures to counter the rise in theft cases as people leave their homes for worshipping, travelling or shopping purposes.

The PSD will increase the number of police officers and patrols in residential areas and marketplaces. The officers will closely monitor shopping facilities that are expected to be crowded during the holy month.

The department warned residents against leaving home for extended periods of time, asking them to take necessary measures to ensure the safety of their houses and to make sure their valuable items are secured. The PSD also advised people not to carry valuable belongings in public places and to report any suspicious individuals to 911.

Meanwhile, the Civil Defence Department (CDD) urged the public to take necessary safety precautions and avoid hazardous behaviours during the fasting month.

The CDD highlighted the importance of being careful while cooking and checking gas cylinders to avoid fires, in addition to preserving food properly to prevent poisoning.

The department warned against speeding or driving when feeling tired, and to avoid staying in the sun for too long.

The CDD urged those supervising construction projects to follow up with their workers and give them enough rest during work, stressing on patients of chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart diseases to comply with their specialised doctors’ advice. 

The CDD also urged citizens to call 911 in case of an emergency.

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