CAIRO – The majority of Muslims worldwide will welcome `Eid Al-Fitr, which crowns the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, on Tuesday, August 30, while some Muslims will celebrate the occasion a day later.
Religious authorities in Saudi Arabia said that the new moon of Shawwal, the 10th month in the Islamic calendar, was sighted on Monday, August 29.
“Therefore, Monday, August 29, is the last day of Ramadan and Tuesday, August 30 will be the first day of Shawwal.”
Egypt’s Mufti Ali Gomaa also confirmed the start of the Muslim feast on Tuesday, August 30.
Religious authorities in Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait also said Tuesday will be the first day of `Eid.
The first day of the Muslim feast will be on Tuesday, August 30 in Jordan, Yemen and the Palestinian territories.
`Eid Al-Fitr will also start on Tuesday in Syria, Sudan, Tunisia and Algeria.
Sunni Muslims in Iraq and Lebanon will also celebrate `Eid Al-Fitr on Tuesday, August 30.
The first day of `Eid Al-Fitr will also be on Tuesday, August 30, in North America, the Fiqh Council of North America has announced.
The Muslim feast will also start on Tuesday, August 30, in Europe, the European Council of Fatwa and Research has said.
The Muslim minority in China will also celebrate `Eid Al-Fitr on Tuesday, August 30.
`Eid Al-Fitr will also start Tuesday, August 30 in Indonesia, Malaysia and Turkey.
Muslims in Kosovo, Macedonia, Romania, Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Albania and Slovenia will also celebrate `Eid Al-Fitr on Tuesday.
`Eid Al-Fitr is one the two main Islamic religious festivals along with `Eid Al-Adha.
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.
Some Muslim countries, however, will celebrate `Eid Al-Fitr on Wednesday, August 31.
Religious authorities in Oman have announced that Wednesday, August 31, will be the first day of `Eid Al-Fitr.
The Shiites-majority Iran will also celebrate the Muslim feast on Wednesday, August 31.
Pakistan, Bangladesh and India will sight the moon of Shawwal on Tuesday, August 30.
Moon sighting have 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 the dawn-to-dusk fasting and celebrating the `Eid Al-Fitr, which marks the end of fasting.