Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court is calling on Muslims throughout the Kingdom to sight the crescent moon on Monday evening marking the beginning of the Dhu al-Hijjah Islamic month, according to a Saudi Press Agency report.
In its statement, the Supreme Court called on whoever sights the crescent by the naked eyes or through binoculars to report to the nearest court and register their testimony.
Muslims follow a lunar calendar consisting of 12 months in a year of 354 or 355 days. Sighting a crescent moon heralds the start of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and the Eid al-Fitr which marks the end of the holy month and the beginning of Dhu al-Hijjah, the month which marks the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and a must for able-bodied Muslims at least once in their lifetime. Last year, 2.5 million pilgrims performed their Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina.
Saudi Arabia will allow limited Hajj pilgrimage this year due to the continued risk of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.