`Eid Al-Fitr is expected to start on Tuesday, June 4, the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) has announced, citing astronomical calculations.
The Council stated that “The Astronomical New Moon is on Monday, June 3, 2019 at 10:03 Universal Time. On that day, near Miami, Florida at sunset the elongation is 8 degrees and moon is 5 degrees above the sun.”
“Therefore the first day of Shawwal 1440 is Tuesday, June 4, 2019, insha’Allah,” the Council added.
Saudi Arabia and many Muslim-majority countries depend on the information given by moon sighters and the ensuing decision of the Judicial High Court.
Therefore, `Eid al-Fitr is expected to begin on either June 4 or 5.
Marking the end of Ramadan fasting, `Eid Al-Fitr is one of 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 has 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.