How many days does Ramadan fasting last? Why does the number of days in Ramadan change as twenty-nine and thirty?

The Details of the Question

- Some people start fasting one day earlier when the month of Ramadan has twenty-nine days in order to fast thirty days. What is it like in Makkah?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

It was decided in the “Ruyatul-Hilal” Conference held in Istanbul in 1978 with the participation of forty “religious scholars and astronomers” from nineteen Muslim countries that it was essential to see the crescent with the naked eye or through observation methods of modern science to determine the beginning of lunar months but that the beginning day of Ramadan and eid days determined by astronomers through calculations would be accepted. Therefore, it is groundless to doubt the beginning day of Ramadan and eid days included in calendars.  

- How many days does Ramadan fasting last?

The month of Ramadan lasts twenty-nine days in some years and thirty days in others. Fasting is complete in the years when Ramadan lasts twenty-nine days too because what is fard is to fast during the whole month of Ramadan. Therefore, fasting performed in the years when Ramadan lasts twenty-nine days is not incomplete. As a matter of fact, the Prophet fasted in nine Ramadan months. Four of them lasted twenty-nine days and five of them lasted thirty days.

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