The majority of Muslims worldwide will celebrate `Eid Al-Fitr, which crowns the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, on Sunday, May 24.
Religious authorities in Saudi Arabia have announced that the new moon of Shawwal, the 10th month of Islamic calendar, was not sighted on Friday, May 22.
“Therefore, Sunday, May 24, will be the first day of Shawwal.”
`Eid Al-Fitr will also start Sunday, May 24, in UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar.
In Egypt, Dar Al-Iftaa or fatwa house said the moon was not sighted on Friday and that Eid would be celebrated on Sunday.
The moon was not sighted either in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore. Hence, `Eid Al-Fitr will be celebrated on May 24.
In Nigeria, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has announced that the Ramadan fast would continue on Saturday.
“The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs has declared Sunday, May 24, as the first day of Shawwal 1441AH,” a statement cited by Punch Ng reported.
In Germany, the Fatwa committee said `Eid will be celebrated on Sunday.
In Australia, Imams Council of the ACT said `Eid Al-Fitr will be celebrated on Sunday.
Muslims in North America will celebrate the feast on Sunday, according to a statement by the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) and Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).
`Eid Al-Fitr is one the two main Islamic religious festivals along with `Eid Al-Adha.
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.