`Eid astronomically Sunday in most countries

CAIRO – Most Muslim countries and Muslim minorities in the West will celebrate `Eid Al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, on Sunday, September 20, according to astronomical calculations.
Egypt’s National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics (NRIAG) said `Eid Al-Fitr will start on Sunday, September 20 based on calculations.
Astronomical calculations also expected the Muslim feast to start on Sunday in the Gulf countries.
“Sunday will be the first day of Shawwal (the tenth month of the Islamic calendar),” said the Qatar Calendar House in a statement.
`Eid will also start Sunday in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Bahrain according to astronomical calculations.
Jordan, Iraq, Tunisia, Palestine, Mauritania, Nigeria, Djibouti and Somalia are also expected to celebrate `Eid on Sunday, according to the Bahraini Astronomical Society.
“The first day of `Eid is expected to start in Yemen on Sunday, September 20,” said Yemeni astronomer Mahmoud Ibrahim Sagheri.
The Muslim feast will also start in Sudan and Syria on Sunday according to astronomical calculations.
Shiite scholar Mohamed Hussein Fadlallah also announced that `Eid will start in Lebanon on Sunday based on astronomical calculations.
Most Arab and Muslim countries will sight the new moon of Shawwal on Saturday, September 19 to define the first day of `Eid.
`Eid Al-Fitr is one of the two main Islamic religious festivals, together with `Eid Al-Adha.
After special prayers to mark the day, festivities and merriment start.
During `Eid days, families and friends exchange visits to express well wishes and children, wearing new clothes bought especially for `Eid, enjoy going out in parks and open fields.
  • Differences
Most European countries and Muslim minorities in the West will celebrate the first day of `Eid on Sunday, September 20.
Turkey will mark the first day of `Eid on Sunday based on astronomical calculations.
Following Turkey’s suit, Muslims in Kosovo, Macedonia, Romania, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Albania, Slovenia and Russia will celebrate `Eid on Sunday.
The European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) has already announced that `Eid Al-Fitr will fall on Sunday, September 20.
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) has also announced that the first day of `Eid will be on Sunday according to calculations.
Some countries, however, will celebrate the Muslim feast in other days.
`Eid is expected to start in Libya on Saturday, September 19, according to the Libyan Center for Remote Sensing and Space Science.
The Muslim feast is expected to start in a number of countries on Monday, September 21.
"Based on astronomical calculations, it would be difficult to sight the new moon (of Shawwal) on Saturday,” the Sirius Astronomy Association said in a statement obtained by IslamOnline.net.
“Consequently, the first day of `Eid Al-Fitr in Algeria will be on Monday, September 21.”
`Eid is also expected to start in Morocco, Iran, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India on Monday.
Moon sighting has always been a controversial issue among Muslim countries, and even scholars seem at odds over the issue.
While one group of scholars sees that Muslims in other regions and countries are to follow the same moon sighting as long as these countries share one part of the night, another states that Muslims everywhere should abide by the lunar calendar of Saudi Arabia.
A third, however, disputes both views, arguing that the authority in charge of ascertaining the sighting of the moon in a given country announces the sighting of the new moon, then Muslims in the country should all abide by this.
This usually causes confusion among Muslims, particularly in the West, on observing Ramadan and celebrating `Eid Al-Fitr. [islamonline]

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