Some Iranian clerics split with Khamenei over end of Ramadan, Eid in Iran

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Shia Iranians in a rare event will mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan this year on separate days -- Sunday or Monday -- depending on different religious authorities’ edicts.

Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei announced Saturday evening on his official website that the Eid al-Fitr festival will fall on Sunday this year.

But the country’s other senior Shia clerics, or “marjas” -- whose guidance believers follow and are seen as a “source of emulation,” such as Javadi Amoli, Makarem Shirazi and Safi Golpayegani, among others -- have issued separate statements saying the holiday will be celebrated on Monday.

The timing of Eid is determined by the position of the moon, in accordance with the Muslim lunar calendar.

In practice, due to the political system of the Islamic republic, almost all open religious sites -- affiliated with the state -- will mark Eid on Sunday.

Shia Islam is the state religion in Iran. The Sunni minority in the country celebrates Eid on Sunday, in line with most of the Muslim world.

In the capital Tehran, where many mosques remain closed as part of measures to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, worshippers took part in morning prayers while trying to respect social distancing rules, according to AFP journalists.

Collective prayers are still banned in principal in the city due to the pandemic, but special dispensation has been granted for Eid al-Fitr, one of the most important holidays on the Muslim calendar.

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