Saudi Arabia calls on Muslims to sight Shawwal moon on Thursday

The sighting of the crescent of Shawwal will also mark the day of Eid Al-Fitr which will begin either fall on Friday or Saturday.

Riyadh: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court on Friday called on all Muslims living in the kingdom to sight the crescent moon of Shawwal 1444, 2023 on Thursday evening, 29 Ramzan corresponding to April 20.

In an announcement, the Kingdom’s court called on Muslims who sight the moon with the naked eye, or through binoculars to report to the nearest court and register their testimonies, or report to the nearest centre that can contact a court.

If Thursday, April 20, is the last day of Ramzan, Shawwal will fall on Friday, April 21, as the Islamic month is 29 or 30 days long according to the lunar calendar. But, if it completes 30 days, Shawwal will fall on Saturday, April 22.

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The sighting of the crescent of Shawwal will also mark the day of Eid Al-Fitr which will begin either fall on Friday or Saturday.

What is Shawwal?

In Islam, Shawwal is the tenth month of the Islamic calendar, also known as the Hijri calendar or lunar calendar consisting of twelve months beginning with Muharram, and ending with Zul-Hijjah. Each month starts with the sighting of the moon. Eid Al Fitr, on the other hand, marks the end of the month-long fast.

The calendar has been observed for more than 1,440 years and is used to date important Islamic events including the start of Ramzan, Eid-Al-Fitr, and the beginning of the Haj.

The month of Shawwal is also of special importance to the Muslims. It is during this month that Allah has bestowed the Eid-ul-Fitr celebration. The month is considered to be Allah’s reward for the successful completion of Ramzan.

Fasting for a period of six days in the month of Shawwal is of immense virtue to the Muslims. It also compensates for any short falling that one might have made during the fasting of Ramzan.

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