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The committee for moon-sighting of UAE met after the Maghrib prayers yesterday to announce the date of start of Ramadan. Muslims will begin fasting Thursday at 3:30 AM and break their fast at 9:29 PM.

The holy month of Ramadan will commence from Tomorrow May 17th 2018, after the moon was spotted in Delhi, Lukhnow today.

In general, Muslims are expected to abstain from sexual activity, smoking, jealousy, anger, other negative thoughts as they practice self-control, purification, in order to get closer to Allah. It is also a chance to kick addictions like caffeine and cigarettes. Muslims are encouraged to spend time in contemplation, prayer, reading the Qur'an and charity during the day.

Traditionally, many Muslim-majority countries have followed the dates set by Saudi religious authorities, but in recent years many have used their own astronomical calculations.

Moon sighting is a tradition observed by Muslims in declaring the start of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Muslim year) where strict fasting is observed from predawn to dusk.

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Muslims wake up before dawn, which is known as Sehri, to eat their first meal of the day.

In many Middle Eastern countries, the wealthy help distribute free meals for the poor, with mosques and volunteers passing out juice and food to pedestrians and anyone, Muslim or non-Muslim, in need of the aid or simply breaking their fast. Travellers, sick persons and women having their monthly periods are permitted to skip fasting, provided they fast later for a period equivalent to the number of obligatory days that they missed.

Ramadan is an opportunity to strengthen empathy and unity among Muslim nations and end disagreements, Larijani said in a message to his counterparts in Islamic countries on Wednesday.

It is also believed that the gates of hell are closed and gates of heaven are open during this month.