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The New Arab

Saudi Arabia to announce Eid date on Friday evening

A positive sighting of the moon's new crescent signals the end of Ramadan [Getty]

Date of publication: 21 May, 2020

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Citizens of Saudi Arabia have been asked to carry out moon sightings on Friday evening to determine the date of the Eid al-Fitr festival.
Saudi Arabia's Supreme Court has asked citizens of the kingdom to carry out sightings of the new moon on Friday evening to ascertain the date of Eid al-Fitr, the Saudi Press Association reported on Wednesday.

A positive sighting of the moon's new crescent would indicate the end of the fasting month of Ramadan and the beginning of Shawwal - the 10th month of the Islamic calendar. Moreover, a positive sighting on Friday evening would make Saturday the first day of the Eid al-Fitr celebration.

If no sighting is made, fasting will continue for a 30th day in Saudi Arabia and Eid will be celebrated on Sunday.

Saudi Arabia's moonsighting announcement applies only to the kingdom, however, it is likely that millions of Muslims around the world will follow Riyadh's Eid announcement.

Read also: When is Ramadan, and will Saudi Arabia get the date 'wrong' again?

Saudi Arabia's sighting of the moon has long been a subject of controversy, particularly in countries where there is no centralised Islamic authority.

Critics of the kingdom's moonsighting methods say Muslims outside of Saudi Arabia should rely on local moonsightings, as Riyadh has allegedly announced the wrong date for Ramadan and Eid on several occasions.

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