Moon sighting for Shawwal: When will 2019 Eid al-Fitr start?
CAIRO – 3 June 2019: The International Astronomical Center (IAC) based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) stated that there is a difficulty in sighting the crescent of Shawwal, which will signal the end of the holy month of Ramadan on Tuesday.
Conflicted statements from different Arab and Muslim countries have been issued regarding the sighting of the crescent, with some stating that Monday will be the last day of Ramadan, and Tuesday will be the first day of Eid al-Fitr (The Feast of Breaking the Fast).
Egypt has assigned 10 moon sighting committees to observe Shawwal crescent on Monday from different parts across the country including Cairo, Helwan, 6 of October city, Fayoum, Sohag, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Matrouh, Hurghada, Ismailia and Tor.
Saudi Arabia also announced an official moon sighting of Shawwal on Monday to determine the start of Eid al-Fitr. The kingdom called on citizens who see the crescent by naked eyes or through binoculars to report their testimony to the nearest court.
Muslim lunar months last between 29 and 30 days depending on the sighting of the new moon on the 29th night of each month which, if visible, declares the month is 29 days only, while if not, it completes 30 days. Most Muslim-majority countries started the holy month of Ramadan this year on May 6.
Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries depend on citizens and experts’ moon sighting, and binoculars sighting.
Many astronomical institutions around the world stated that it is “impossible” to sight the Shawwal moon on Monday using all methods, suggesting the Eid al-Fitr will start on Wednesday, said Mohamed Ouda, the head of the International Astronomical Center (IAC).
The IAC is not authorized to announce the beginning of Eid al-Fitr, but its mission is only to explain the astronomical side of the event, and to clarify scientific facts behind moon sighting.
Western North America is where the Shawwal moon was officially sighted, which indicates the end of Ramadan, and the beginning of Eid al-Fitr Tuesday.