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

Worshippers wearing protective face masks offer Eid al-Fitr prayers outside a shrine to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, in Tehran, Iran on May 24, 2020. (AP)

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.

Worshippers prepare to offer Eid al-Fitr prayers marking the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, outside a mosque to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, in Tehran, Iran on May 24, 2020. (AP)

Worshippers prepare to offer Eid al-Fitr prayers marking the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, outside a mosque to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, in Tehran, Iran on May 24, 2020. (AP)

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.

Read more:

Iran-backed leaders in Iraq call for terrorist operations in Saudi Arabia: Statements

Coronavirus: Iran reopens mosques against Iranian medical expert advice

Religious tourism to Iran triggers spread of coronavirus across Gulf

SHOW MORE
Last Update: Sunday, 24 May 2020 KSA 16:27 - GMT 13:27
Top