India May 16(IM): Last minute preparations are underway as Muslims around the world stock up on groceries and dates for evening meals to break dawn-to-dusk fasting during the month of Ramzan.
Saudi Arabia and other Muslim-majority nations, like Egypt and Indonesia, declared Ramzan would begin Thursday based on a moon-sighting methodology. Muslims follow a lunar calendar, and a moon-sighting methodology can lead to different countries declaring the start of Ramzan a day or two apart.
Some mosques in the US have already declared the start of fasting Wednesday while others will begin Thursday.
The Ramzan fast, in which food and even water is prohibited, is intended to bring the faithful closer to God and remind them of those less fortunate. It is also a chance to kick addictions like caffeine and cigarettes.