Saudi meteorologist: Ramadan expected to be 29 days, Eid holiday on June 15
Muslims around the world currently fasting the month of Ramadan will be keen to know that a senior Saudi meteorologist has said that Ramadan is expected to last this year for 29 days, meaning the Eid al-Fitr holiday will be celebrated on June 15.
Abulaziz Al Husseini said that this astronomical calculation is on condition of atmospheric clarity on the day of the moon sighting for Eid.
The Islamic calendar directly follows the lunar cycle, meaning that each month is comprised of 29-30 days.
Due to these shifts, the Islamic calendar lacks specificity and precise dates. It depends on when the new crescent moon appears and is seen by two reliable witnesses.
This, however, can lead to different start dates for the new month, due to some countries witnessing the new moon before others.
This is why Eid is often celebrated on different days in different locations. Only religious scholars, bodies and governments have the right to proclaim the exact date of Eid and other religious holidays.
The beginning of Ramadan has traditionally been based on “hilal” sightings, which is the traditional method mentioned in the Quran and followed by the Prophet Muhammad.
It dictates that one is to look to the sky and visibly see the slight crescent moon, referred to as hilal, which marks the beginning of the month. If one sees the hilal at night, the next day is the first day of Ramadan.
Scholars believe that people who observe the fast should base the start of Ramadan on hilal sightings in their own country.