New Delhi/Islamabad/Dhaka: The official moon sighting committees in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have announced that the moon of Ramadan could not be seen today i.e. Friday Shaaban 29, 1438 AH, corresponding to May 26, 2017 hence the holy month of fasting will begin in the three countries from Sunday May 28, 2017.
"The moon, marking the beginning of the Islamic month of Ramazan, was not sighted on Friday and the first day of the holy month will now fall on Sunday (May 28)", Pakistan's leading newspaper Dawn said in a report.
The announcement was made by the Chairman of Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee Pakistan, Mufti Munibur Rehman, in a press conference held after the conclusion of an official meeting of the committee on Friday in the federal capital Islamabad, the report said.
The Chairman Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee said that no witnesses regarding the moon sighting were received from across the country.
“The Holy month of Ramazan would now begin from May 28", he said.
Moon Committees from across India had earlier announced that Ramdana moon could not be sighted Friday. Hence first day of Ramadan in India will be Sunday May 28, 2017.
"Ramadan moon could not be seen in any part of Bihar, Odisha and Jharkhand. Hence Saturday May 27 will be Shaaban 30, 1438 AH and first day of Ramadan will be Sunday May 28", Abdul Jalil Qasmi, Qaziy-e-Shariat Emarat-e-Shariat Bihar, Odisha and Jharkhand said in a signed statement.
The statement further said that Mohammad Minhajuddin Qadri of Khanqah-e-Mujeebiya, Amir Imarate Ahle Hadees Ghazi Abdus Sami Sadiqpuri and Syed Asad Raza, president of Shia Rooyate Hilal Committee have also confirmed the statement.
Jamiat Ahle Hadees Maharashtra and Jamiat Ulema Malegaon and Nahsik have also announced that the Ramadan moon could not be sighted today and hence the first day of Ramadan here will be Sunday May 28.
"After talking to various places in India, it is learnt that the Ramadan Moon could not be seen today despite clear sky. First day of Ramadan hence will be Sunday May 28", Shahid Faizee, member of Jamiat Ahle Hadees Moon committee and President of Jamiat Ulema Nashik and Rooyate Hilal Committee Mufti Asif Nadvi said in two separate statements.
Secretary Rooyate Hilal Committee Emarate Shariat Hind Muizuddin Ahmed and Sunni Ruyate Hilal Committee Madanpura Badi Masjid Mumbai in two separate signed statements also confirmed that the Ramadan moon could not be seen in India on Friday and hence the fasting month will commence from Sunday.
Statements saying Ramadan moon is not sighted today have also been issued by moon sighting committees in Bhopal and Ranchi, and also by Mumbai Jama Masjid Rooyate Hilal Committee and Sunni Jamiat Ulema..
Similar statement has also been released by moon sighting committees in Bangladesh.
"The moon of Ramadan has not been sighted anywhere in Bangladesh and the holy month of fasting will begin from Sunday", the Islamic Foundation Bangladesh said today.
"National Moon Sighting Committee decided the date of Ramadan 1 this evening after obtaining reports from all corners of the country, reads a press release", according to Dhaka based The Daily Star.
"Effectively, devout Muslims will have Sehri on the wee hours of Sunday to begin the holy month of Ramadan, at the end of which Eid-ul-Fitr will be observed", the report said.
Earlier, various Ruyat e Hilal Committees - the Moon Sighting Committees, in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and other countries in the Sub-continent had urged the Muslims to sight the Crescent of the blessed month of Ramadan today i.e. Friday Shaaban 29, 1438 AH, corresponding to May 26, 2017.
"Appeals have been issued using various means to Muslims in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telanaga and other states to sight for the Crescent today evening", Mumbai Ruyat e Hilal Committee office said.
"The Hilal Committees will meet after Maghrib prayers today i.e. Friday to verify and assess moon sighting reports coming from different parts of the country", the office said.
"Accordingly, it will be decided if the first day of Ramadan in India is tomorrow i.e. Saturday or Sunday", the office added.
Accroding to the local media reports, similar appeals have also been issued by the Ruyat e Hilal Committees - the Moon Sighting Committees, in Pakistan, Bangaldesh, Sri Lanka and other neighboring countries.
The beginning of Ramadan has traditionally been based on “hilal” sightings, which is the traditional method mentioned in the Quran and followed by the Prophet Muhammad.
The process is followed as per the tradition of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him).
A new month in the Islamic Calendar begins with sighting of moon on 29th of the prevailing month. If the new moon, Crescent, is sighted, the next day is counted as first day of the next month. If not, the next day is counted as 30th day of the prevailing month and the new month begins thereafter.
If the moon is sighted today the holy fasting month of Ramadan in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and other Asian countries will begin from Saturday May 27, 2017. If the new moon is not sighted today then the holy month will begin from Sunday May 28.
The Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia, the UAE officials and moon sighting authorities in other Arab states have already declared Saturday May 27 as the first day of Ramadan 2017.
Officials in Qatar also said there was no moon sighted today. But, added that further probe will continue till Friday.
“Due to the lack of a moon sighting this night, the committee announces that investigation will continue tomorrow", Qatari Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs said on Twitter.
The Muslims in United States, United Kingdom and other European countries follow Saudi Arabia moon reports. Hence the first day of Ramadan in these countries will also be Saturday May, 27.
"The Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) has announced that Ramadan this year will begin on Saturday, May 27.
"In North America, the first day of Ramadan will be on Saturday, May 27, 2017, and the first day of Eid Al Fitr (Shawwal) will be on Sunday, June 25, 2017", the Council said in a statement posted on its website.
In Europe, the European Council of Fatwa and Research have also decided that May 27 will be the start of Ramadan.
More than 1.5 billion Muslims around the world will mark the month, during which believers abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and having martial relations from dawn until sunset. They also try to avoid evil thoughts and deeds during the holy month.
Ramadan is sacred to Muslims because tradition says the Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) during that month. It is followed by the Eid al-Fitr festival.