Millions of Muslims worldwide will celebrate the beginning of the holy fasting month of Ramadan on Tuesday, April 13, following the announcement that the new moon of the Hijri year was not sighted on Sunday, 29th of Shaaban.
“New moon for the month of #Ramadan is not visible from Saudi Arabia’s Hawtah Observatory – Al-Ekhbariya,” Arab News tweeted.
The kingdom’s moon sighting committee had met earlier today to spot the crescent with the naked eye.
The Egypt’s Dar Al-Ifta said on Sunday that the committee for moonsighting did not sight the new moon. Therefore, Ramadan would start on Tuesday, Al-Ahram newspaper reported.
In United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Iraq, the moon was not also sighted. Therefore, Ramadan will start on Tuesday as well.
In Nigeria, Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, advised Nigerian Muslims to look out for the crescent (moon) of Ramadan 1442AH from Monday, Premium Times reported.
On the other hand, Muslims in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and other South Asian countries will sight the moon on Monday April 12.
If the new moon is sighted on Monday, Ramadan in these countries will start from Tuesday April 13, 2021. Otherwise, the holy month in the South Asian countries will start from Wednesday April 14, 2021.
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A Holy Month
Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.
Abdullah Bin Umar (RA) stated that: I heard Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) saying:
“Fast when you see the moon (Ramadan), and cease fasting when you see it (Shawwal) but if it is cloudy for you then count the month (as thirty days).” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
In another narration, the Prophet (pbuh) said:
“If it is cloudy for you, count out thirty days.” [Muslim]
The first day of Ramadan and moon sighting have always been a controversial issue among Muslim countries. Even scholars seem at odds over the issue.
While one group of scholars maintains 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 group of scholars says 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.
AboutIslam.net wishes you all a happy, blessed Ramadan.