By Ritah Kemigisa
The Acting Director of Sharia who doubles as the Deputy Mufti of Uganda Muslim Supreme council, Sheikh Muhammed Ali Waiswa has confirmed that the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan will begin on Tuesday April 13th.
Waiswa on Sunday evening said that since the crescent moon was not sighted on Sunday evening, Ramadan will automatically start on Tuesday.
He has meanwhile said that due to covid-19 pandemic, there will be no Taraweeh prayers at the national mosque unless the President comes out to relax the curfew hours.
He has now called upon the Muslim community to have the prayers from home as they await a decision from government.
The fasting period will be unlike the others due to the pandemic with the faithful asked to carry their own water for ablution ( water for washing hands, feet, arms and legs) since toilets are prohibited during this period for fear of spreading the pandemic.
The Muslims have also been encouraged to carry their own prayer mats and avoid touching surfaces and strictly wear masks while at the mosque.
The start of Ramadan is set by both lunar calculations and physical sightings that determine when one month ends and another begins.
Ramadan fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam.
Observant Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk, and traditionally gather with family and friends to break their fast in the evening.
It is also a time of prayers and alms giving. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Muslim-majority countries have imposed restrictions on worshippers including night-time curfews, and called for prayers to be performed at home.