Eid-al-Fitr 2024 LIVE: UK and Saudi Arabia moonsighting updates and announcements

The end of Ramadan is fast approaching and the Muslim world has now turned their attention to Saudi Arabia and Morocco for the moon sighting which will herald the beginning of Eid. Eid ul Fitr or Eid-al-Fitr, is one of the two main holidays in the Islamic calendar....READ FULL ARTICLE

Eid arrives at the end of the holy month of Ramadan which is a period in which practising Muslims abstain from eating or drinking from sunset to sundown. The date of Eid is determined by the sighting of the crescent of a new moon.

Worshippers in the UK follow the moon sightings in Saudi Arabia and Morocco because Islamic law states that if you are unable to see the moon in your country then you must follow the sighting of the closest Muslim nation.

What is the ‘Night of Power’ in Ramadan and why is it important?

Current astronomical predictions state that it is unlikely the moon will be visible in Saudi Arabia, Morocco, or the UK tonight (April 8).

However, it will likely be visible on both Tuesday, April 9 and Wednesday, April 10. The HM Nautical Almanac Office, which supplies astronomical data to religious groups, the military, and diary producers, has given some indication as to when we may see the new moon’s first crescent.

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In Mecca, the sun is set to dip below the horizon at 6.38pm on Tuesday, April 9, with the moon disappearing at 7.30pm. Over in Rabat, Morocco, sunset is pegged for 6.55pm, with the moon bowing out at 8.04pm.

On Wednesday, April 10, Mecca will see the sun set at 6.39pm and the moon at 8.36pm. In Rabat, the respective times are 6.55pm for sunset and 9.17pm for moonset.

With the moon predicted to be “easily visible” on both April 9 and April 10, experts are suggesting that Eid could likely be celebrated on either April 10 or 11.

If you are a non-Muslim, one thing you will notice is many people saying the words ‘Eid Mubarak’ to one another. This is a common phrase used to exchange pleasentries during the festival and roughly translated it means ‘happy Eid’ or ‘blessed celebration’.

The polite response to Eid Mubarak is ‘Khair Mubarak’ which wishes goodwill back to the person, however, you can also reply by saying ‘JazakAllah Khair’ which simply means ‘thank you’. These words are Arabic, which is the language the holy Qu’ran is written and recited in and should you find yourself forgetting them then the English translations work just fine.

Back in Manchester, members of the Muslim community are preparing to see out the holy month with the annual Eid event at Platt Fields Park.

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Tne of the biggest celebrations of Eid al-Fitr in the north west, the event, which has been attended by more than 20,000 since its inception in 2017, will feature salah prayers, food stalls, local traders and family-friendly attractions including a funfair.

The festival is organised by the Alfurqan Mosque and Islamic Centre, based in Rusholme, and Makki Masjid, based in Levenshulme. You can find out more details about the event here.

Australia has become the first nation to declare the date of Eid-al-Fitr in their country. Celebrations for worshippers down under will take place on Wednesday (April 10).

The announcement was made by the Australian Fatwa Council, who have based their decision on calculations from astronomical data rather than moon sightings. The Islamic council have since asked for their ruling to be respected in the Muslim community.

The council said: “It has been confirmed to the Australian Fatwa Council after further inquiries to the local and global observatories, that in Sydney, the new moon of the month will be born on Tuesday, April 9, 2024 at 4.20am AEST, the sun sets on the same day at 5.39pm, while the new moon will set on the same day and time, 12 minutes after, at 5.51pm from the horizon.

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“In Perth, Western Australia, the new moon of the month will be born on Tuesday, April 9, 2024 at 2.20am AWST, the sun sets on the same day at 6.02pm while the moon will set, 16 minutes after, at 6.18pm.

Therefore: Tuesday, April 9, 2024, will be the last day of the month of Ramadan 1445AH. The day of Eid Al-Fitr will be on Wednesday, 10th of April, 2024, and the first day of the month of Shawwal.

“The method in which the Grand Mufti of Australia and the Australian Fatwa Council had determined the end of the month of Ramadan, the first day of Shawwal and the day of Eid Al-Fitr is based on the calculated birth of the moon before sunset, the duration of the moon after sunset and the possibility of sighting the moon.

“The Australian National Imams Council and the Australian Fatwa Council acknowledge, understand, and respect the Imams and scholars who may hold a different opinion and request all Muslims to respect the different opinions on this matter and work towards the unity of the Muslim community in preserving the common values and interests that they all have and share.”...READ FULL ARTICLE

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