In Focus

No moon sighting on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia Supreme Court says

Ramadan to last at least one more day after Saudi Arabia Supreme Court reports no moon sighting

  • By Duraid Al Baik, UAE Editor
  • Published: 13:08 August 6, 2013
  • Gulf News

Dubai: The Shawwal crescent, which marks the end of Ramadan, was not sighted on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court announced, adding that it will hold another meeting on Wednesday.

The court met to hear people who might see the birth of the Shawal moon.

A sighting of the moon would have meani that Ramadan lasted 28 days, which is rare. Lunar months are either 29 or 30 days based on the birth of the moon on the sunset of the last day of the month.

But Ramadan consisting of 28 days is not unique in the recent history of Muslims as it happened 30 years ago.

The supreme cleric authority in Saudi Arabia admitted that the start of Ramadan of the year 1404 (1984 in the Gregorian calendar) was not correct. It said the end of Ramadan has to be watched on the eve of the 28th day instead of the regular watch of the moon on 29th of the month.

The majority of Muslims who were fasting that year, including this writer, could not believe that Eid could be announced on Ramadan 29. Some went to bed after having early suhour to catch up on early morning work; some decided to stay up late to have Suhour.

The moon was seen in parts of Saudi Arabia, but the announcement was made near midnight because the cleric council was confused on how to present such findings to the people.

Finally, the announcement was made that Ramadan would end unusually on the 28th day and Eid would be the next day.

As the Quran says clearly that Ramadan is either a full month of 30 days or 29 if the moon is seen.

The cleric body announced that Muslims must complete the minimum 29 days of Ramadan by fasting an extra day right after Eid. The announcement said Muslims are not allowed to complete the missed day of Ramadan on the first day of Eid as it is prohibited in Islam.

Other schools of fatwa said the day that people missed fasting can be compensated by feeding 10 poor people because it was a mistake in calculation.

Individuals were not responsible for the situation. Al Azhar clerics in Egypt did not agree on fasting 28 days like Saudi Arabia and many other countries. They decided to complete Ramadan in 29 days.

Comments (20)

  1. Added 17:53 August 6, 2013

    I agree with Hussain Saifullah our eid & fasting should be on one day throughout the world for showing the unity of Islam

    enrr.ismailshah, Bannu, Pakistan

  2. Added 17:12 August 6, 2013

    Lets not forget that Islam is in the hands of Scholars and they are all Human. "To Err is to Human". People have extra "faith" in Saudi Arabia instead of applying one's own mind and think !!

    Moez, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 17:08 August 6, 2013

    Assalam Alaikum, I just read the news that the Saudi Supreme Court has called for information of Sighting Shawwaal new moon. Actually Saudi missed one day & Today is the day of 'GUMMAH' the 29th day of RAMALAAN. So there is no question of sighting HILAL from any places in the world.

    MUSTAFA KAMAL, coimbatore, India

  4. Added 16:32 August 6, 2013

    The most serious thing about this situation is that all the odd nights were actually even, while all the even nights were actually odd! How did I spend the night of 26th? No wonder it rained in Dubai on 26th's night! Yet lets not forget, Eid can still be day after tomorrow as Ramadan could complete 30 days.

    Sidra Sh., Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 16:27 August 6, 2013

    I agree with Mr.Muhammad that the choice of words in this report could have been better. It should have said "cleric council was deliberating on how to present such findings to the people". The words "deliberating" or "considering" would be better than the word "confused" because "confused" is an individual's mental attribute and a group could be at best arguing or deliberating with different opinions on how to communicate the findings.

    Felicity, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 16:23 August 6, 2013

    Well this is something strange like now its 2013 not 1980s and it is not supposed to be mistaken about the start of the Ramadan Lets Hope for the best Allah knows better

    Ali Hassan, Ajman, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 16:19 August 6, 2013

    If one can know the sunrise and sunset timings for a day one year from now, how hard it is to have a permanent calender based on astronomical calculations?

    Em-Je, Mumbai, India

  8. Added 16:12 August 6, 2013

    But surely today we cant see first moon today after magrib, because today is conjugation day I mean new moon day...

    Hussain Saifullah, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

  9. Added 16:11 August 6, 2013

    Saudia governent lost the plot. They might be looking for a excuse to bring eid on Thursday so this is the best way around it as there are very less chances of sighting the moon on Wednesday night. Try to make people think eid could be on Wendesday due to mistake then say its on Thursday boys and girls!

    Abdul, London, United Kingdom

  10. Added 16:04 August 6, 2013

    We need not to be extra smart in this regard. As per the teachings of Islam, we are ordered to look for the moon only on the 29th and never on 28th. The mistake in the previous months is not to be taken into account later. We have to do only what we are assigned. Not to judge up on Allah.

    Musthafa K, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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