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Speculations on first day of Ramadan without sighting of the moon flayed
Friday June 20, 2014 6:19 PM , Staff Reporter

Even as wild speculations over the first day of the Holy month of Ramadan are on, especially in the Arab media, scholars and experts Friday said such announcements before sighting of the new moon were superfluous and were aimed at creating confusion.

Ramadan moon

"Every month in the Islamic calendar begins and ends with sighting of the crescent – the new moon of the moon. Likewise, the month of Ramadan will also begin with sighting of the new moon. The Sharia laws are very clear on this and there is total unanimity on the subject", Islamic scholar Dr Iqbal Biskohari said while talking to

He said that scientific calculations and astronomical and geophysical research are welcome but they cannot be basis of the judgements.

"We can take the help of astronomical studies and scientific calculations. But they cannot be prematurely used as the basis of final judgement. Let the final days of the month of Shaban arrive, the moon sighting committees will see if the moon is sighted and then they will take a final call on when the holy month of Ramadan will begin", he said.

Agreeing with Dr. Iqabal, another Islamic scholar Dr. Faiz-ur-Rehman said such speculations at this stage were premature and one should not be in a hurry.

"What is the haste in announcing the first day of Ramadan or Eid-al-Fitr now? Speculations at this stage are neither necessary nor valid", he said.

Newspapers in some Arab states and Egypt citing the reports of Sharjah Planetarium and Dubai Astronomy Group have announced that the first day of Ramadan this year will be June 29. Egypt and Muscat have even officially announced the first day of Ramadan as June 29.

Islamic calendar is based on lunar system, and beginning of the new month is decided by sighting of the new moon on 29th of the ongoing month. If the new moon is sighted on 29th, the next day is counted as first day of the new month otherwise it is treated as 30th day of the ongoing month.

In almost every part of the world, Muslims make special arrangements for sighting of new moon. Moon sighting committees are also functional in Muslim and non-Muslim countries to verify moon sighting reports and decide the beginning of the new moon.

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