Saudi to Look for `Eid Moon Monday

CAIRO – The Supreme Court has called on all Muslims in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to sight the crescent of Shawwal on Monday evening, 29 Ramadan, corresponding to July 4, to determine the start of `Eid Al-Fitr.

Making its annual announcement, the Supreme Court urged citizens to look for the new crescent of the fasting month by the naked eyes or binoculars, Saudi Press Agency statement was cited by Gulf Busines.

In an announcement carried by the Saudi Press Agency, the Supreme Court called on “whoever sights the crescent to report to the nearest court and register his testimony or report to the authority of the region’s center in his area.”

Those who see it were urged to report to the nearest court and register his testimony, or report to the nearest center to facilitate his reaching to the court.

The Supreme Court also urged all Muslims to sight the crescent for the cooperation of all in righteousness and piety.

The first day of `Eid Al-Fitr is expected to begin on Wednesday.

While American Muslim bodies have already announced the beginning of `Eid according to calculations next July 6, others are awaiting the moon sighting.

Meanwhile, the European Council for Fatwa and Research announced the beginning of `Eid according to calculations next July 5.

The three-day festival is one of the two main religious celebrations in Islam, together with `Eid Al-Adha.

After special prayers to mark the day, festivities and merriment start with visits to the homes of friends and relatives.

And while traditionally everyone wears new clothes for `Eid, children look forward to gifts and traditional `ediya (cash).

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.

The first day of Ramadan, `Eid Al-Fitr and 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.