Eid Ul Fitr to be observed on Saturday, April 22


The Eid Ul Fitr or Eid Al Fitr (the festival of breakfast) this year shall be observed on April 22, Saturday in Bangladesh, Middle Eastern countries and majority of the Muslim world as 25 regional astronomers said in a joint statement which is published by the International Astronomical Center (IAC) that the Shawwal crescent cannot be seen in the Arab and Muslim countries with naked eye on Thursday, April 20.

The International Astronomical Center’s statement which is signed by different astronomers including Khaled Abdullah Turki Al-Subaie, the former director of the Qatar Energy and Environment Institute and the discoverer of Qatar’s constellations comes as countries prepare to convene across the region to observe the Shawwal crescent on April 20, 2023 evening in order to declare whether Eid Ul Fitr will fall on April 21, 2023 or 22.

However, the IAC noted that the statement does not aim to specify the day of Eid Ul Fitr “as it is linked to various factors, both jurisprudential and scientific”.

“Rather, the purpose of this statement is to clarify some scientific facts related to the issue of sighting the crescent”, the IAC said.

The experts cited several scientific researches that help determine the accuracy of the moon sighting, including the distance between the sun and moon. The scientists pointed to findings by French astronomer Andre-Louis Danjon, who said that the crescent cannot be seen if it is less than six degrees away from the sun.

“This limit, which is accepted and adopted by all specialists around the world, Muslims and others, is considered one of the most important factors to start considering the possibility of seeing the crescent”, the experts said.

Using Indonesia as an example, the experts said that the moon in Jakarta city in Indonesia is 2.7 degrees away from the sun, which is less than the specified limit. In Abu Dhabi city in the United Arab Emirates, the experts said the moon and sun are 4.7 degrees away, while the figure in city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia is 5.1 degrees.

“Seeing the crescent is not possible with the naked eye in the Arab or Islamic world, and is not even possible using telescopes in most of them, and most of them are less than the ‘Danjon’ limit”, the experts said.

However, countries that decide on the start of Eid based on the setting of the moon and do not require for the crescent to be observed, can celebrate the holiday starting from Friday 21 April.

Meanwhile, according to information, Muslims in the United Kingdom, the United States, Russia and the European Union as well as in Canada and Australia may celebrate Eid Ul Fitr of April 21, 2023 as Shawwal crescent may be visible in those countries through naked eye or telescope.

According to the United Kingdom’s HM Nautical Almanac Office, the birth of the new Moon will be visible at 04:13 GMT on Thursday, April 20, but will only be visible under certain conditions across North America.

However, the overwhelming majority of the world should be able to easily see the new Moon with the naked eye the following night, Friday, April 21, meaning the first day of Eid will be Saturday, April 22.

Only a handful of countries in the southern hemisphere, including parts of South America, Australia and New Zealand, might not see the moon on Friday night unless conditions are ideal or if they use an optical aid. For those countries, Eid will start on Sunday, April 23.


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