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`Eid Al-Fitr Expected on July 5-6: ECFR

CAIRO – `Eid Al-Fitr is expected to start on Tuesday, July 5, the European Council For Fatwa and Research (ECFR) has announced, citing astronomical calculations.

“The moon of Shawwal will be born on Monday, July 4, 2016 at 11:01 GMT (13:01 am Makkah time),” the Dublin-based council said in an Arabic statement obtained by

Accordingly, it would be impossible to see the moon before sundown on Monday, July 4, either with naked eye or modern sets in Makkah.

However, the council announced that the moon would be sighted in Western and Southern South America.

Therefore, “Tuesday, July 5, will be the first day of `Eid Al-Fitr,” ECFR announced

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On the other hand, the Fiqh Council of North America announced earlier that `Eid Al-Fitr would be marked on Wednesday, July 6.

“The Astronomical New Moon is on Monday, July 4, 2016, at 11:01 Universal Time (2:01 p.m. on July 4, Makkah time). On July 4, sunset at Makkah is 7:07 p.m. and moonset is at 7:04 pm,” FQNA said in a statement on its website.

“Moon is born before sunset in Makkah and moonset is before sunset. Therefore, first day of Shawwal 1437 is not on July 5, but is on Wednesday, July 6, 2016, insha’Allah,” it added.

The assistant director of Sharjah Centre for Astronomy and Space Sciences, Dr Ibrahim Al Jarwan, said that the crescent moon will emerge on July 4 at 3:13 pm UAE local time and set seven minutes before sunset, hence the moon will not be visible during the night, The National reported.

“Most predictions are suggesting that Eid ul-Fitr will be celebrated on July 6 in most countries and on July 7 in India after completing 30 days of fasting,” Al Jarwan said.

Marking the end of Ramadan fasting, `Eid Al-Fitr is one the two main Islamic religious festivals along with `Eid Al-Adha.

During `Eid days, families and friends exchange visits to express well wishes and children, wearing new clothes bought especially for `Eid, enjoy going out in parks and open fields.

Moon sighting have always been a controversial issue among Muslim countries, and even scholars seem at odds over the issue.

While one group of scholars sees that Muslims in other regions and countries are to follow the same moon sighting as long as these countries share one part of the night, another states that Muslims everywhere should abide by the lunar calendar of Saudi Arabia.

A third, however, disputes both views, arguing that the authority in charge of ascertaining the sighting of the moon in a given country announces the sighting of the new moon, then Muslims in the country should all abide by this.