Indonesian, Malaysian Muslims start Ramadan fast hinh anh 1Minister of Religious Affairs of Indonesia Yaqut Cholil Qoumas delivers his remarks at a press conference in Jakarta on March 22. (Photo: ANTARA)

Jakarta (VNA) – The Ramadan fasting month 2023 in Indonesia and Malaysia started on March 23 based on the emergence of the new moon.

In Indonesia, Minister of Religious Affairs Yaqut Cholil Qoumas announced the decision in a press conference following a meeting on March 22 attended by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the House of Representatives Commission VIII overseeing religious affairs, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), the Geospatial Information Agency, astronomy experts, and several Islamic organizations.

This meant that hundreds of millions of Indonesian Muslims can perform the Tarawih prayers on March 22 evening, marking the beginning of the Ramadan month. After the regulations against the COVID-19 pandemic are lifted, there will not be any restrictions on this year's prayers at mosques.

In Malaysia, the date of the Ramadan fast was set by Malaysian King Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah after being consented to by the rulers, according to the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal of Malaysia Tan Sri Syed Danial Syed Ahmad. 

The national broadcaster RTM said the sighting of the new moon for the commencement of the Ramadan fast for Muslims in Malaysia takes place at 29 locations nationwide. 

Ramadan is one of the five obligatory beliefs for Muslims. During this month, Muslims observe a strict daily fast from dawn until sunset. They are not allowed to eat or drink, not even water, during these daylight hours. During Ramadan many Muslims go to the mosque and spend several hours praying. In addition to the five daily prayers that are part of the core of Islam, Muslims recite a special prayer called the Tarawih prayer (night prayer)./.