The crescent moon for Ramadan has not been sighted in Saudi Arabia. The country’s Supreme Court has asked Muslims to look for the moon and report their findings. Muslims who fail to sight the crescent will have to pay kaffarah, donations to make up for breaking a fast.
Muslims around the world are waiting for a clear sky to see the new crescent moon. This month is one of the most important for Muslims, and it begins on a night called Laylat al-Qadr.
Observations of the moon are not the same everywhere
The Islamic calendar relies on moon sightings, and the sighting of a new crescent moon is a key element in the determination of the start date for Ramadan. However, the sightings are not the same everywhere. The sightings are dependent on several factors, including weather conditions. The moon can also appear in different shapes and sizes, depending on the angle of observation and whether it is seen from high or low latitudes.
Moreover, the new crescent moon can be difficult to see when it is close to the Earth’s horizon, especially when it is seen from the tropics. The moon is also invisible when it is behind the Sun. Therefore, the sightings are not the same for all Muslims worldwide. Muslims in different countries follow different rules and guidelines for the sighting of the moon. For example, some Muslims rely on the sightings in Saudi Arabia, while others follow their own local sightings.
The Islamic astronomy agency has said that the moon is likely to be easily visible with the naked eye on the night of Saturday 2 April. The UK, Europe, Africa and much of Asia should be able to see it, the agency says. However, Indonesia and Malaysia will need optical aid to find it. Those who cannot see the moon should observe the month of Shawwal one day longer, the agency advises.
Saudi Arabia relies on Moon sightings
The Islamic calendar is based on the moon, so it’s important for Muslims to know when the crescent of a new moon can be seen. It is usually visible as a thin crescent on the western horizon after sunset. Unlike the Gregorian calendar, which is fixed, the Muslim calendar moves from year to year – depending on whether the crescent can be sighted. For this reason, many Muslims rely on Moon sightings from Saudi Arabia and other regions to decide when they should begin their fasting or celebrate Eid. This can lead to disagreements between different communities and even within families if they follow differing reports.
The confusion over when to fast and celebrate Eid is caused by a lack of astronomical knowledge and a traditional interpretation of Islam that should be adapted to modern technological realities. The fact that the crescent has to be spotted by naked eye should not stand in the way of modern scientific methods, which take into account the location on Earth and how close the moon is to the sun.
Despite the controversy, it is crucial that people are aware of what to look out for when spotting the new crescent moon, and that they are encouraged to do so. This will help avoid conflict between different religious communities and eliminate any differences and confusions within a country.
Optical aids are allowed
As Muslims across the world prepare for Ramadan, observers are scanning the night sky in search of a crescent moon. Once sighted, the month of fasting and spirituality begins, followed by the feast of Eid al-Fitr. But how do they know if the crescent is actually the moon? This is a challenge that has led to a number of false sightings in the past. The most famous example involved Venus being mistaken for the moon.
Optical aids are allowed in Saudi Arabia, but they are not mandatory. Any Muslim can report a Moon sighting to the authorities, and the Supreme Court decides which ones are valid. There are also several Moon-sighting committees made up of Islamic scholars and astronomers. These teams will be responsible for determining the start date of Ramadan this year.
While it would be ideal if all Muslims could see the Moon with their own eyes, that is not realistic in today’s world. This is why many Muslims rely on astronomical calculations rather than sightings. This method provides a more precise and reliable answer. Moreover, it allows Muslims to focus on worshiping Allah and lessens the tension caused by the issue of Moon sighting. Nevertheless, some Muslims believe that using optical aids is against the teachings of Islam and are not prepared to accept them.
The Islamic calendar is based on the moon
Unlike the Gregorian calendar, Islamic holidays, such as Ramadan and Eid al Fitr, depend on the moon for their start dates. This is because the Islamic calendar has a lunar cycle and must wait for the crescent moon to appear each month before determining the start of a new year, month, or Ramadan. As such, the Muslim world traditionally looks to Saudi Arabia for guidance on the sighting of the moon. However, this has been changing with modern science and technology, such as telescopes and radio telescopes, which are used in many places to help determine the sighting date.
As such, there are some Muslims who have begun to rely on calculations instead of the traditional sighting. This method uses the recorded history of the earliest moonsightings and astronomical data to predict when a new moon is likely to be visible with the naked eye. While this may be more convenient, it is controversial. Some Muslims believe that it is a sin to switch from the traditional sightings, which dates back to the time of the Prophet Mohammed.
According to the HM Nautical Almanac Office, there is a high probability of the crescent moon being sighted in most parts of the world this evening. Muslims in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand are expected to have easy sightings.