MAKKAH – `Eid Al-Adha is expected to start on Tuesday, August 21, after Saudi officials have confirmed that the moon of Dhul-Hijjah was sighted on Saturday, August 11.
“The Supreme Court declared here tonight, following holding a hearing session, that today Saturday, the 29th day of the month of Dhu-AlQa’dah, is the last and sealing day of the month and, consequently, Sunday shall be the first day of Dhul al-Hijjah, for this year 1439 AH,” Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.
“Accordingly, Youm e Arafat 2018 (Youme Arafah) which falls on 9th of Dhul Hijjah will be on August 20, 2018,” it said.
`Eid Al-Adha will also start Tuesday, August 21, in Egypt, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Jordan which follow the country of the ritual, i.e. Saudi Arabia.
However, Indonesia officials have declared that the first day of `Eid Al-Adha will be celebrated on Wednesday, August 22, after failing to see the new moon.
“From the observers of rukyatul hilal [moon sighting] in 33 provinces minus NTB [West Nusa Tenggara], it was reported that up to this ongoing trial, out of 29 points there were none witnessing the new moon,” Director General of Islamic Community Guidance of the Ministry of Religion Muhammadiyah Amin said.
The Sultan of Sokoto and president general of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, has declared Sunday, August 12 as the first day of the Islamic month of Dhul-Hijjah.
This was contained in a statement released on Sunday, August 12, by the deputy secretary general of the NSCIA, Prof Salisu Shehu.
Australia, India, Pakistan, The Philippines, Sri Lanka, and New Zealand have also declared the Dhul Hijjah new moon was sighted on Sunday. Accordingly, they will celebrate `Eid Al-Adha on Wednesday, August 22.
`Eid Al-Adha, or “Feast of Sacrifice”, is one of the two most important Islamic celebrations, together with `Eid Al-Fitr.
It begins with special prayers to mark the day, Muslims then offer udhiyah, a ritual that commemorates the great act of sacrifice Prophet Ibrahim and his son Isma`eel were willing to make for the sake of Allah.
Festivities and merriment then start with visits to friends and relatives.
Traditionally, everyone wears new clothes for `Eid, and the children look forward to gifts and the traditional `ediya (cash).
`Eid Al-Adha marks the end of annual hajj.
One of the five pillars of Islam, hajj consists of several ceremonies, which are meant to symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith, and to commemorate the trials of Prophet Abraham and his family.
Every able-bodied adult Muslim — who can financially afford the trip — must perform hajj once in their lifetime.