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Eid Moon Sighting 2020 in Saudi Arabia: When is Hilal Crescent Expected to be Sighted? Know Prospective Eid al-Fitr Dates in KSA


Telescopes placed to spot new moon ahead of Ramadan | (Photo Credits: Twitter)

Riyadh, May 17: The month of Ramadan ul Kareem has entered into its final lap, and the countdown is underway for Eid al-Fitr. The exact date of Eid would be determined with the sighting of new moon next week. The prospective date of festival, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), is May 24-25. Moon sighting would be attempted on the evening of Friday to determine the end of Ramadan. Eid 2020 and Moon Sighting Date in India: When Will Ramzan End and Eid al-Fitr be Celebrated? Which Day is Chand Raat?

Theologically, Eid is celebrated on the first day of Shawwal – the Islamic month which succeeds Ramadan. Since Islam follows the lunar calendar, the start of a new month is determined by the sighting of new moon, also referred to as the hilal crescent.

When Can The New Moon be Seen This Year?

In Saudi Arabia, the new moon is expected to be seen either on Friday (May 22) or Saturday (May 23). The Umm al-Qura calendar or the Islamic calendar which the Kingdom maintains was rejigged last month via a Supreme court order – a day ahead of Ramadan. While Saudi was scheduled to begin Ramadan on April 24 after completing all 30 days of Shabaan, the court found discrepancy and decided the calendar to be shifted a day backwards.

Even though Saudi began Ramadan from April 24, the country claimed that it was based on the sighting of moon on 29th of Shabaan. The change in calendar was made on the basis of inputs received from neighbouring United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Oman. Most of the nations in the Gulf had began Shabaan a day later than KSA.

Experts believe that the change was necessitated as the Kingdom realised that Shaban and Ramadan – based on empirical data – always vary in number of days. The two consecutive Islamic months rarely match in the number of days. One of them is 30 days long and another ends with 29.

Since Ramadan crescent was sighted on the 29th date of Shaban, it is expected that the Shawwal crescent would be seen on the 30th date of Ramadan. Hilal experts, therefore, believe that the moon not be sighted on Friday and Eid al-Fitr in KSA and other parts of Gulf would be celebrated on Sunday.

As per the Islamic tradition, however, the final call is taken on the visibility of moon. The astronomical data is used to make a prediction, but cannot be considered as the final word on fixation of dates. The Saudi Supreme Court will issue an announcement on Friday regarding the sighting of moon. Readers are requested to tune into LatestLY for the fastest updates on moon sighting.

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