Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court on Thursday called on all Muslims throughout the kingdom to spot the crescent on Sunday evening.
Muslim residents of western countries like the UK and the USA are awaiting confirmation of moon sighting reports for the holy month of Ramadan. While Muslim majority countries like Egypt, Iran, and Morocco rely on local moon sighters to spot the new crescent, others wait for Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites, to make the call.
Saudi Arabia’s supreme court on Thursday called on all Muslims throughout the kingdom to spot the crescent on Sunday evening. The court also announced a second sighting for Monday evening due to “inconsistencies in the Umm al-Qurra calendar” for the Islamic month of Sha’ban. It further asked moon sighters to report to the nearest court and register testimony after spotting the crescent with naked eyes or through binoculars.
According to the moon visibility charts of the Crescent Moon Watch, it will not be visible in the United Kingdom until Tuesday. Iqbal Sacranie, the founding secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), told Middle East Eye that Muslims in Britain do not rely on local moon sightings because the weather in the UK makes it impossible to spot the crescent.
This year, however, they started counting the month of Sha’ban a day later than Saudi Arabia. The UK has a body of Ulema that takes a call on the start of Ramadan. Wifaq ul Ulama UK has urged Muslims in Britain to attempt to sight the moon on the evening of Monday, April 12.
“Wifaqul Ulama urges Muslims in Britain to attempt to sight the Moon for Ramadhan 1442 on the evening of Monday the 12th of April 2021. This will be the 29th of Shaʿbān 1442”, the body said.
Wifaq ul Ulama UK also said that the new moon conjunction time is at 02:30am UTC on April 12. The body said it could be possible to sight the moon in North America with the naked eye on Monday evening if the atmospheric conditions are perfect.
If the moon sighters spot the crescent on Sunday evening, the 29th day of Sha’ban, Ramadan will start from the next day i.e. Monday. Otherwise, Monday will be declared as the 30th day of Sha’ban and Ramadan will start from the subsequent day i.e. Tuesday, April 13, 2021.
Ramadan is considered one of the five pillars of Islam during which Muslims are required to offer charity and abstain from certain activities like eating, drinking and smoking from dawn to dusk. The month of Ramadan traditionally begins with a crescent sighting which marks the start of the ninth month of the lunar calendar.