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A Month of Fasting and Reflection is Coming

In a significant announcement for the Muslim community in Japan, the Ruyatl-e-Hilal Committee-Japan has confirmed that the first day of Ramadan for the Hijri year 1445 will fall on Tuesday, March 12, 2024. This declaration marks the commencement of the holy month of fasting, a period of reflection, prayer, and community for Muslims around the world.

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The Ruyatl-e-Hilal Committee-Japan, responsible for moon sighting in Japan, made this announcement after the new moon, which signifies the beginning of Ramadan, was not observed in Japan or Malaysia on the expected date of March 10, 2024.

According to the Islamic lunar calendar, this observation was supposed to occur on the 29th of Sha’ban, the month preceding Ramadan, in the Hijri year 1445. However, the absence of moon sighting on this day led to the decision that Ramadan would officially start two days later, on March 12.

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Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and is considered one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Muslims fast from dawn until sunset, refraining from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sinful behavior. The fast is an exercise in self-discipline and spiritual growth, encouraging Muslims to focus on prayer, purification, and charitable acts.

The commencement of Ramadan is eagerly anticipated by the Muslim community in Japan, which includes both local and expatriate Muslims. During this month, Muslims in Japan, like their brethren around the globe, engage in additional prayers, particularly the Tarawih prayers held in the evenings, and make a concerted effort to read and reflect upon the Quran.

The announcement also comes with a reminder of the joy and community spirit that Ramadan brings. Despite the challenges of fasting, especially in countries where Muslims are a minority, the month is a time of great happiness and spiritual fulfillment for Muslims. The sense of camaraderie and the shared experience of fasting, together with the nightly iftar gatherings where the fast is broken with family and friends, are central to the Ramadan experience.

As Ramadan 2024 approaches, Muslims in Japan and around the world prepare for a month of fasting, reflection, and renewal. It’s a time for spiritual growth, enhancing one’s faith, and giving back to the community, embodying the true spirit of Ramadan.

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