Article: When is Eid? Debate is on

When is Eid? Debate is on – Arab News
http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article494126.ece

When is Eid? Debate is on

By MD HUMAIDAN | ARAB NEWS

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court has called on Muslims in the Kingdom to look for the new moon of Shawwal on the evening of Monday, which is the 29th day of Ramadan (Aug. 29) and report the matter to the nearest court if any one sights the new moon either by the naked eye or with help of lenses.

The court directed that the lookers for moon join the committee for the purpose in each region.

The end of fasting and the day of Eid Al-Fitr are decided by the sighting of the Shawwal moon.

But astronomers, who differed on the start of the holy month of Ramadan based on astronomical calculations, are at it again. They are now debating whether Eid Al-Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting month, will fall on Tuesday or Wednesday. The controversy over the start of Ramadan is also driving the debate.

The Saudi Astronomical Society expects Ramadan to be 30 days this year and, if that is the case, it will end on Tuesday, Aug. 30, with the Eid falling on Wednesday, Aug. 31.

The society said the moon would not be sighted on the night of Monday, Ramadan 29 (Aug. 29) thus Eid would not be on Tuesday.

Chairman of the society Majed Abu Zahra said the moon, on Monday, Aug. 29, will set before sunset so no one would be able to sight the crescent. He explained that on that day, the moon would eclipse in all parts of the Kingdom before sunset by at least three to six minutes thus making it impossible to sight the crescent.

He said on the night of Tuesday, Aug. 30, the moon would be clearly seen without the help of telescopes thus indicating that the Eid would be next day, Wednesday Aug. 31.

Abu Zahra said there were two options before the Saudi authorities:

l To make Tuesday (Aug. 30) the first day of Eid with people fasting for 29 days according to astronomical calculations.

l To make Wednesday (Aug. 31) the first day of Eid as the moon would be seen by the naked eye on the night of Tuesday.

KHALID

Report abuse This article is confusing, on one hand it says “Saudi Astronomical Society expects Ramadan to be 30 days this year” and then it in the end it concludes in the first option “To make Tuesday (Aug. 30) the first day of Eid with people fasting for 29 days according to astronomical calculations”. It is contradicting itself.

SULAIMAN

Report abuse It’s good to see that this issue is finally being openly discussed in Saudia. Anyone with any interest in the subject knows that Saudia have for years been declaring the first of Ramadhaan and Eid and the start of Dhul Hijjah from calculation of the first possible sighting anywhere in the world – at least a day before any sighting in Saudia is possible.
Allahu ta’aalaa tells us that the sun and moon run on fixed courses, so as the Saudi Astronomical Society correctly states, it’s possible to calculate when it’s first possible to see the moon there, so any claims of sighting before that time should be dismissed out of hand. On days when the moon can be sighted however, it should still be actually seen before declaring it, to conform with the sunnah – unless 30 days have already passed.
I hope the will is there to finally get to grips with this and enforce what is right.

SULAIMAN

Report abuse As a follow-up to my last post, here are 2 sites to show what I mean;
http://astro.ukho.gov.uk/moonwatch/nextnewmoon.html
http://astro.ukho.gov.uk/download/AIS101.pdf

AL MURAQIB

Report abuse Astronomers! Please do not bring another Fitnah into this nation of ours. As the Mufthi of the Kingdom (May Allah preserve him) stated: “Hadith of “Fast at its sighting” and the one of “Do not fast until you sight it” were clear and decisive.”

We as Muslim who adhere to the teachings of Al Quran and the Sunnah in accordance with the methodology of our pious companions would reiterate what the noble Musthi (Hafidhahullah) said, “Hadith of “Fast at its sighting” and the one of “Do not fast until you sight it” were clear and decisive.”

We do not think there is a debate in this issue among Ahlus Sunnah. Alhamdulillah Ahlus Sunnah is upon clarity. They are fully aware of this astronomy and astrology. May Allah guide the one who calls the nation to man made astronomy.

AL MURAQIB

Report abuse As Shaikh Abdul Azeez Aalush Shaikh stated:

“If anyone doubts our moon-sighting, fasting and feasting, it betrays his weak faith and defective perception,” the grand mufti, who is head of the Administration of Research in Religious Sciences and Fatwa said. He cited a Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) which says, “You start fasting when you see (the moon) and stop it when you sight (the next moon) and when it is hidden by clouds, complete (30 days of) fasting.”

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