Eid expected to start on August 19

August 10, 2012

The first day of Eid marking the end of Ramadan will be on Sunday, August 19, a Bahraini astronomer has said.

“We are most likely to have a 30-day Ramadan as there can be no eyewitnesses to report the sighting of the new moon on Friday,” Waheed Eisa Al Nasser, the deputy chairman of the Bahraini Astronomy Society, said.

Ramadan, the lunar month during which Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking and sexual pleasures from sunrise to sunset, started on July 20 in most Muslim countries.

The Muslim community has often been engaged in heated debates on how to determine the beginning and end of Ramadan.

Under the traditional approach, people look to the sky and seek to sight the slight crescent (hilal) that marks the beginning or the end of the month.

If the hilal is sighted, the next day is declared the first day of Ramadan -the start of the fast- or the first day of Eid – the end of the fast.

However, questions raised over the traditional approach included whether the start or end of the month should be declared if the hilal is sighted in only one part of the country, or if the hilal could not be sighted when the location is overcast or cloudy.

Calls to adopt the astronomical calculation approach have been invariably resisted by followers of the traditional method.

The divisions have often resulted in marking the beginning or end of Ramadan on two, and at times, three different days.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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