British Muslims had been preoccupied with the UK’s announcement regarding Eid Al-Fitr on their official website, which goes into details about the new moon sighting to mark the begging of Eid.
The statement concluded that no country in the world will be able to see the new moon in the sky on Thursday 20 April, as the sky will not be clear enough, meaning they will not be able to announce Eid Al-Fitr on Friday, April 21, 2023, and the first day of Eid will be the Saturday after.
However, UK’s statement contradicts the statement of the European Council for Fatwa, which states that the first day of Eid is Friday, April 21.
In that regard, we allocated the main topics for you to view and understand.
New Moon Sighting According to the UK’s Government
The sighting of the new moon is expected to be on Thursday, April 20, 2023, at 04:13 UTC or 05:13 GMT. The new moon can be seen at that time using small and medium-sized traditional telescopes from some regions of Canada located in the far northeast, and the northern parts of South America. Visual aids may be required to see the moon from the southern Caribbean, northeastern regions of North America, northwest regions of South America, and southern Polynesia.
On the same day, the crescent can be seen with the naked eye under excellent conditions from the northern Caribbean, Central America, and southern and western regions of North America. The moon is also easily visible from northern Polynesia, including the Hawaiian Islands.
On Friday the 21st of April, the vast majority of the globe is expected to be able to see the new moon easily with one or two exceptions in the southern hemisphere.
For observers in the Middle East, North Africa, and the United Kingdom, the new moon should be easy to see with the naked eye on Friday, April 21, Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 23.
Under excellent weather conditions, the crescent can be seen with the naked eye from the northern Caribbean, Central America, and the southern and western parts of North America. It is also easily seen from northern Polynesia including the Hawaiian Islands and some of the Aleutian Islands.
It is unlikely that the new moon will be able to be seen with the naked eye on the evening of Thursday, April 20th, from the Middle East, North Africa, and the United Kingdom in particular, but it is of course possible on the evening of Friday, April 21st.
The possibility of seeing the new moon of Eid 2023, according to the statement of the European Council for Fatwa.
The possibility of seeing the new moon for Eid 2023, according to the statement of the European Council for Fatwa
The European Council for Fatwa agrees with the UK’s statement on the matter of the moon sighting on Thursday. As they stated the moon cannot be seen in the sky with the naked eye on April 20.
The new moon will only be visible through visual aids in many countries, including West Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.
Sighting of the moon by telescopes and visual aids is referred to as “Vision by Judgement” and is considered a valid method to mark the start of the new lunar month as agreed on in the large Islamic Scientific Conference in Istanbul, 2016.
Sheikh Hussein Halawa Comment on the Matter
Sheikh Hussein Halawa expects that the clashing statements will be controversial, but he calls for considering the “Vision by judgement” in this case. Meaning to take the astronomical statement into account and declare Eid, even if the moon cannot be seen with the naked human eye in the night sky.
AUK Asked for Sheikh Hussein Halawa’s opinion on the matter and on the clashing statements, and he answered: “I have read the statement [by the UK Gov.], and it is no different from what we [the European Council for Fatwa] issued. It only talks about visual sighting – meaning seeing the new moon yourself -, which is not the only general role now. And when we rely on astronomical calculations, we know for sure that they are definitive, as they inform us that the new moon is seen at such and such hour and that we can see it because it is present in the sky.”
“If anyone used the new modern visual aids and equipment, they can see the moon in the sky, and as far as I know, there is a type of camera called “IC” or something similar that allows you to see the moon on Friday clearly. We are aware that seeing the moon after sunset in the sky will not be possible in several cities, this was also announced in Egypt and Jordan” He continued.
He then added: “And the British government website agrees with us on the sighting of the new moon and agrees with us on the possibility of the sighting, and this is what we said.”
AUK went on to confirm again with His Eminence Sheikh Halwa: “So there is no way to see the moon with the naked eye, but equipment will be needed to actually see it? Therefore, many countries may clash with each other on the announcement of Eid, correct?”
It is worth mentioning that the major mosques in the UK will await for Saudi Arabia to announce on Thursday evening and then issues its statement, and the same applies to Shia mosques that await what their authorities say.
Accordingly, if Saudi Arabia announced Eid Al-Fitr on Friday, April 21, this practically means that it has completely switched to astronomical calculations and has taken vision as a rule without requiring it to be seen with the naked eye, as it was known about in the past.
We, in turn, have no choice but to wait for Thursday and hear what will come out of them.
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