The majority of Muslims worldwide will celebrate `Eid Al-Fitr, which crowns the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, on Thursday, May 13.
Religious authorities in Saudi Arabia have announced that the new moon of Shawwal, the 10th month of Islamic calendar, was not sighted on Tuesday, May 11.
“The crescent of the month of #Shawwal could not be seen from the Tamir observatory in Saudi Arabia, #EidAlFitr is expected to be on Thursday,” Arab News tweeted.
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`Eid Al-Fitr will also start Thursday, May 13, in UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar.
In Egypt, Dar Al-Iftaa or fatwa house said the moon was not sighted on Tuesday and that `Eid would be celebrated on Thursday.
The moon was not sighted also in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore. Hence, so `Eid Al-Fitr will be celebrated on May 13.
The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs(NSCIA) has said the country will continue to observe Ramadan fast on Wednesday and celebrate `Eid Al-Fitr on Thursday.
The moonsighting committee in Japan has also announced that Thursday, May 13, will be the first day of `Eid Al-Fitr.
The Fatwa Committee in Germany has also announced that `Eid would be celebrated on Thursday.
The same is also the case in Australia, as Imams Council of the ACT announced.
Muslims in North America will also celebrate the feast on Thursday, 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.
Moonsighting has always been a controversial issue among Muslim countries, and even scholars seem to be at odds over the issue at times.
While one group of scholars proclaims that Muslims in a particular region are to follow the same moon-sighting as long as people in that region share one part of the night, another group maintains that Muslims everywhere should abide by the lunar calendar of Saudi Arabia.
There is also a third opinion which states that once an authority in charge of ascertaining the sighting of the moon in a given country makes a statement, then Muslims in the country should all abide by this.