Saudi Arabia and several other Arab countries have announced the start of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
The Saudi royal court and the higher court decided that July 31 would be the final day of the lunar month of Shaaban and that August 1 would be the first day of Ramadan because the crescent moon could not be sighted overnight on July 30-31.
Similar announcements were also made by the legal moon sighting panels in Jordan, Egypt, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Syria, Bahrain, Qatar, Yemen, and the Palestinian territories.
In Mecca, the Ramadan clock announced the start of the holy period of fasting through daylight hours.
Muslims throughout the world traditionally follow the steps of Saudi Arabia in starting and ending the fasting, while Muslim Shi'ites usually adhere to Iran's calculations.
compiled from agency reports