Riyadh/Dubai: The Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia after a meeting to analyse the moon reports on Thursday September 01, 2016 corresponding to 29th of Dhulka'edah 1437 AH announced that Eid al Adha this year will be celebrated on September 12, 2016 whereas Youm-ul-Hajj i.e. Arafat Day will be on September 11, 2016.
Youm-e-Arafah (Arafat Day), also called as Youm-ul-Hajj, is on the 9th day of Dhul Hijjah whereas Eid al Adha is observed a day later i.e. on 10th day of Dhul Hijjah.
"Since no response incoming to it from the courts and committees across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in this regard, the Supreme Court decided that today, on Friday which is the 2nd of the month of September 2016 supplements the month of Dhu-AlQa'dah and that tomorrow, on Saturday, the 3rd of September 2016 will be the start of the lunar month of Dhu al-Hijjah of 1437H", the Saudi Supreme Court said in a statement.
"In its decision, the Supreme Court set Sunday, the 9th of Dhu al-Hijjah 1437H, corresponding to September 11th, 2016 as the standing on Arafat Mount and that Eid Al-Adha will be on Monday, the 10th of Dhu al-Hijjah, 1437H corresponding to the 12th of September, 2016", the statement added.
The Saudi Royal Court began the all important meeting after Maghrib prayers today i.e. Thursday September 01, 2016 corresponding to 29th of Dhulka'edah 1437 AH, sources said.
The Saudi Supreme Court had earlier announced that it will meet today after Maghrib prayers to analyse the moon report and then decide when Eid al Adha will be celebrated and Haj will be performed this year.
Similarly, moon sighting committees in the UAE, Kuwait and other Arab states held meetings after Maghrib prayers today to ascertain on the moon sighting reports. Though no official announcement has been made by them so far it is most likely that they will also follow Saudi Arabia and celebrate Eid al Adha on September 12, 2016.
Muslims in the United States, United Kingdom and other Euripean countries rely on the moon sighting report of Saudi Arabia. As per this tradition, the Fiqh Council of North America, United States has said it will follow the Eid date announced by the authorities in Makkah, and so will the European Council of Fatwa and Research.
Elsewhere in the world, clerics and muftis in Singapore on Thursday announced that the Dhul Hijjah (also pronounced Zul Hijja) crescent has not been sighted and hence they declared that tomorrow i.e. Friday will be the 30th day of Dhulka'edah 1437 AH.
"According to astronomical calculations, the crescent for the month of Zulhijjah this evening did not meet the criteria agreed upon by member countries of MABIMS (Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore). As such tomorrow is the last day of the Islamic calendar month of Zulkaedah", Dr Mohamed Fatris Bakaram, Mufti, Republic of Singapore said in a statement.
"Therefore, I am pleased to announce that the first day of the month of Zulhijjah 1437H falls the day after tomorrow, Saturday, 3 September 2016", he added.
"This means Eiduladha or Hari Raya Haji, which is on the tenth day of Zulhijjah falls on Monday, 12 September 2016", he said.
The Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia and the moon sighting committees in United Arab Emirate (UAE) and other Arab states had earlier called upon the Muslims to witness Crescent - the new moon of the Holy month of Dhul Hijjah (also pronounced Zul Hijja), today on Thursday corresponding to 29th of Dhulka'edah 1437 AH to decide when Eid al Adha will be celebrated this year.
It was also announced that the new moon if sighted today 29th of Dhulka'edah 1437 AH will decide when Eid al Adha -second holiest festival, which also coincides with annual Haj i.e. pilgrimage to Makkah, will be celebrated in the Arab world.
Eid al Adha is celebrated all around the world on 10th of Dhul Hijjah - the month revered as one of the holiest month is the Islamic calendar.
In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the Supreme Court had on Wednesday asked whoever sees the crescent moon by the naked eyes or binoculars “to report to the nearest court and register his testimony” or report to the nearest center that can help him reach the nearest court.
"If the new moon is sighted today i.e. September 01, 2016 corresponding to 29th of Dhulka'edah 1437 AH, that means the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah has begun, and the first day of Eid al Adha will be celebrated on September 11, 2016", the statement issued by the Royal Court of Saudi Arabia read.
"If there is no new moon today, Eid festivities will begin on September 12, as the holiday is always celebrated on the 10th day of that Islamic month", the statement added.
Traditionally, the festival lasts for four days but public holidays vary from country to country.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced that Turkey will observe a nine-day public holiday for Eid, known in Turkey as Qurban Bayram, from Saturday, September 10 until Sunday, September 19.
As in Eid al-Fitr 2016, the UAE, Kuwait, Pakistan and Bangladesh are also likely to observe a nine-day public holiday over the same dates as Turkey. In India and the Philippines, Eid al Adha is declared a public holiday.
Haj and Eid al Adha are celebrated to commemorate the sacrifices made by Prophet Ibrahim, Prophet Ismael and his mother Hager (peace be upon all of them).
In India and Pakistan, the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee will meet tomorrow i.e. Friday September 02, 2016 to decide about the sighting of the Dhul Hajjah moon.
Decision on Muslim festivals Eid al Fitr and Eid al Adha is based on lunar system. As per this system, the first day of a new month is decided if moon is sighted on 29th day of the preceding month.
Meanwhile, many Arab states will also witness a partial eclipse (annular eclipse) today on Thursday, September 1, including Yemen, southwestern parts of Saudi Arabia, and all the Arab states in Africa.
An annular solar eclipse occurs when the moon's apparent diameter is smaller than the sun's, blocking most of the sun's light and causing the sun to look like an annulus (ring).
On that day the eclipse will occur shortly before the sunset, and the moon will set after the sun shortly not allowing it to be viewed in all regions of the Islamic world.