The International Astronomical Center has put forward a statement predicting that the sighting of a crescent moon might not be possible with a telescope in most of the Arabian countries, with a few countries in West Africa such as Libya as exceptional cases.
This might be a hint that Eid Al Fitr might fall even later than the predicted dates.
The UAE’s moon sighting committee will have the ultimate voice in fixing the date for Eid
However, spotting the crescent moon is not as easy as it sounds, As it requires a precise telescope, professional monitoring, and exceptionally nice weather conditions in our favor.
The simultaneous occurrence of all these factors aligning in our favor is quite a rare event, therefore the crescent can be quite difficult and may even be an impossible task to spot unless the conditions are miraculously favorable for the Arab World.
Since the sighting of the moon is a major criterion to determine the start of the month, the authority leans towards the opinion that Eid Al Fitr might be occurring on the Saturday of April 22nd. The International Astronomy Center is encouraging people to report any sightings of the crescent on Thursday. In addition to that the institution told, the nations that require the sighting with naked eye only or correct vision with the aid of a telescope, are expected to continue the ritual of fasting to complete 30 days, Eid Al Fitr will most probably be on Saturday for them.
However, the director of the International Astronomical Center expressed their concern to the source. Mr. Mohammed Odeh said that some of the media outlets broadcasted a partial story under the banner of the institution announcing the commencement of Eid on Saturday.
He took it to the source to clarify that the International Astronomical Center is not the announcing authority, but rather an institution that adheres to and studies scientific facts that provide astronomical information.
He cleared up the fact that the moon can be spotted with a telescope from parts of the Islamic World on Thursday and Islamic countries can expect Eid to fall on Friday unless it’s cloudy on Thursday and the moon cannot be spotted, in which case it might fall on Saturday.
However, he weighs more on the option of Eid falling on Friday itself. Mr. Odeh has additionally stressed the fact that Eid dates may vary in different Islamic nations and it depends on a lot of criteria stated earlier.
He also made it clear that the official announcement of the date of Eid will be the one that the moon sighting committee declares.
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On Thursday, 20th of April, the moon sighting committee of the United Arab Emirates will observe the sky and fix the date for this auspicious occasion.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) have declared the official holiday for the Eid Al Fitr occasion starting from the Islamic month of Ramadan 29th to the 3rd of Shawwal 1444 AH. If the sighting of the crescent moon remains impossible on Thursday, the 20th of April then the 22nd of April will be the commencement of Eid Al Fitr. If the latter is the condition the residents of UAE will be enjoying a 5-day weekend.