Eid ul-Fitr: Sighting of the new moon brings the Holy Month of Ramadan to an end

EID MUBARAK

Conceptual image for the holy month of Ramadan and Eid al Fitr. Photo: Istockphoto

Conceptual image for the holy month of Ramadan and Eid ul Fitr. Photo: Istockphoto. Copyright.

In some parts of the Muslim world, the actual sighting of the new or crescent moon determines the end of the month of Ramadan, whilst other Muslim bodies such as the Fiqh Council of North America determine the end of the month based on “scientifically guaranteed astronomical calculations.” According to a statement released by the Fiqh Council, the new moon was going to be visible with a telescope in California on Wednesday August 7, and Eid ul-Fitr would be celebrated on Thursday, August 8, the first day of the month of Shawwal. Newspapers from India such as the Deccan Herald  reported the sighting of the crescent moon over places such as Kapad beach, near Kozhikode in Kerala, yesterday, Wednesday August 7 and announced that Eid ul-Fitr would take take place on Thursday, August 8. Kuwait, Jordan and Palestine are marking  Eid on Thursday while Oman and Pakistan are expected to observe it on Friday.

Thus over a 1000 million Muslims around the world will be celebrating Eid on Thursday or on Friday August 9th, based on the method used to determine the end of Ramadan. In any case bakeries, confectionaries and toy shops have been witnessing heavy rush of customers as Muslims started preparing for the two-day Eid festival. In Srinagar, Kashmir, where Eid is to be expected to be observed on Friday shopping outlets dealing with clothing including kids-wear, perfumes and footwear have started seeing brisk sales from early in the morning.

A new moon at Mackerricher State Park, California, USA. Photo: Istockphoto. Copyright.

A new moon at Mackerricher State Park, California, USA. Photo: Istockphoto. Copyright.

The festival of Eid, also known as Bairam or Eid Ramadan is one of the most joyous days in the Islamic calendar. It is an occasion for celebration and rejoicing for Allah’s Bounty upon mankind for His revelation of the Qur’an during the holy month of Ramadan.

It is also a time for individuals to express their gratitude to Allah for having given them the strength, courage and resilience to complete the fast, and thus fulfilling the duty enjoined upon them by Allah.

The festival begins with a festive prayer (Salatul-Fitr) with all the believers congregating at  mosques and jamatkhanas. It is also an occasion for socializing and meeting with other Muslims and for fostering a sense of brotherhood and unity amongst the community (ummah). After the communal prayer, families gather together at home with relatives and friends and participate in exchanging gifts and partaking a meal.

Rows of worshippers gather in neat rows facing Mecca in front of the mosque at the Taj Mahal to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid ul-Fitr in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. Eid is the muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. Photo: Istockphoto. October 2, 2008. Copyright.

Rows of worshippers gather in neat rows facing Mecca in front of the mosque at the Taj Mahal to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid ul-Fitr in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. Eid is the muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. Photo: Istockphoto. October 2, 2008. Copyright.

We convey our heartiest felicitations and Eid Mubarak to all our readers as well as Muslims around the world, with the fervent hope and prayer that peace and harmony will soon prevail over many areas of the Muslim world afflicted by horrible conflicts, which are resulting in the loss of lives and contributing to unbearable hardships and struggles. The Islamic ethic of forgiveness, generosity,  and peaceful co-existence and unity through dialogue are keys by which conflicts can be resolved, whereby every Muslim can aspire for a life of material and spiritual well-being and happiness.

Date posted: Wednesday, August 7, 2013.
Date updated: Thursday, August 8, 2013

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