If Ramadan starts Thursday, when is Eid Al Fitr?

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While Ramadan is a boon for retailers in the Middle East and South Asia, critics say the holy month is increasingly becoming commercialised.

Saudi Arabia and other Muslim nations, like Indonesia, declared Ramadan would not begin Wednesday based on a moon-sighting methodology.

Meanwhile, special preparations are also on in the Muslim world for Salate Taraveeh - the special night prayers offered in the month of Ramadan besides daily prayers five times in a day.

The UAE has yet to make a formal announcement and the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department urged the public to wait for an official announcement from the UAE's Moon-sighting committee before spreading rumours.

Danial said the date for the beginning of the fast nationwide was set in accordance with a decree by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong after acquiring the consent of the country's rulers.

Tradition holds that it was during Ramadan that the Prophet Mohammed started receiving revelations of the Muslim holy book, the Koran. With the moon being sighted, fasting for an entire month, between dawn to dusk, would be obligatory for the believing Muslims from tomorrow. "We wish our Muslim friends and supporters a blessed month", concluded Hamad.

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Fasting is one of the five fundamental principles of Islam.

Deputy Premier Hakan Cavusoglu on Tuesday said Turkey aimed to feed 100,000 Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip during the holy month of Ramadan. Many donate their annual charity, known as "zakat", during Ramadan.

So Muslims fast as an act of worship, a chance to get closer to God and a way to become more compassionate to those in need.

All Muslims who have reached puberty and are in good health are required to fast.

The vacation of Eid al-Fitr marks the top of Ramadan and the start of the following lunar month.

The common greetings during the month is "Ramadan Mubarak" and "Ramadan Kareem", wishing the recipient a "blessed" and generous Ramadan.

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