Abu Dhabi: The International Astronomy Center (IAC) has announced that Eid Al Adha is most likely to fall on Wednesday, June 28, 2023.
The announcement comes as countries across the Islamic world are preparing to observe the holy festival.
Most Islamic nations will attempt to sight the crescent moon of Dhu Al Hijja on Sunday, June 18, 2023, which corresponds to the 29th of Dhu Al Qa'da 1444 AH according to the Islamic calendar.
However, the International Astronomy Center has stated that on this particular day, the crescent will be extremely difficult to see with a telescope from the center and west of the Islamic world.
As a result, it is expected that Monday, June 19 will be declared as the first day of the month of Dhu Al Hijja in many countries. Consequently, Tuesday, June 27 is predicted to be the Day of Arafah, with Wednesday, June 28 being the first day of Eid Al Adha.
The center indicated that the sighting of the crescent in Jakarta and Abu Dhabi is not possible even with a telescope. However, in cities such as Riyadh, Amman, Jerusalem, Cairo, and Rabat, the crescent could potentially be sighted using a telescope, although it would still be difficult, particularly in the eastern and central regions. Clear skies would be necessary for any potential sighting.
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The International Astronomy Center provided data on the anticipated placement of the crescent moon on Sunday, June 18 in various Arab and Islamic cities:
• In Jakarta, the moon will set 7 minutes after sunset, and will be 6.5 hours old.
• In Abu Dhabi, the moon will set 29 minutes after sunset and will be 12.4 hours old.
• In Riyadh, the moon will set 31 minutes after sunset with an age of 13 hours.
• In Amman and Jerusalem, the moon will set 37 minutes after sunset and will be 13.8 hours old.
• In Cairo, the moon will set 36 minutes after sunset and will be 14 hours old.
• In Rabat, the moon will set 44 minutes after sunset and will be 16.2 hours old.
Significance of Eid Al Adha
Eid Al Adha, or the "Festival of Sacrifice", is one of the most significant Islamic holidays observed by Muslims around the globe. Its name translates to "Festival of the Sacrifice", reflecting the holiday's central theme.
This festival commemorates the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham in Christianity and Judaism) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. According to the religious narrative, God intervened at the last moment and provided a ram to be sacrificed instead of Ibrahim's son.
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Eid Al Adha is the culmination of Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, which is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It's observed on the 10th day of Dhu Al Hijjah, the final month of the Islamic lunar calendar.
The festival typically begins with a special prayer at the mosque, followed by the ritual of Qurbani, or sacrifice, where a livestock animal, usually a sheep or a goat, is slaughtered. The meat from this sacrifice is then distributed in three parts: one part for the family, one part for relatives and friends, and one part for the poor and needy.