Browsing 'moon' News

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In an unexpected move, the governments of two Gulf countries have announced plans to look for the crescent moon tonight, indicating that Eid al-Fitr could be held tomorrow – at least one day earlier than expected.

UPDATE | 8:26pm

A prominent Islamic scholar in Qatar has confirmed that Wednesday will be the 29th of Ramadan across the Gulf, and not Eid. On Twitter, Sheikh Ali Al Qaradaghi said it was impossible for the new moon to be sighted tonight in Saudi Arabia.


On Monday, the Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia called on residents to look to the skies either tonight or tomorrow night. Today, Bahrain’s Islamic Affairs Council issued the same order, saying it would convene its moon-sighting committee tonight. 

Qatar has not waded into the debate today. Yesterday, Qatar’s Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs said it would look for the new moon either on Wednesday or Thursday night, making Eid in this country on either Thursday or Friday.

The Awqaf did announce that some 265 mosques and prayer areas are being prepped for the customary early morning prayers, which will be performed at 5:20am, regardless of which day Eid falls.

If the moon was to be spotted tonight, that would mean Ramadan only lasted 28 days, which is very rare. According to Gulf News, the last time this happened in the Gulf was in 1984, after a Saudi sheikh admitted that Ramadan had mistakenly been started a day late:

The cleric body announced that Muslims must complete the minimum 29 days of Ramadan by fasting an extra day right after Eid. The announcement said Muslims are not allowed to complete the missed day of Ramadan on the first day of Eid as it is prohibited in Islam.

Other schools of fatwa said the day that people missed fasting can be compensated by feeding 10 poor people because it was a mistake in calculation.

It isn’t yet clear what Qatar will do if other Gulf countries begin Eid tomorrow, although if the moon is spotted here, Ramadan will be over.

We’ll keep you posted as we learn more. Thoughts?

Credit: Photo by Edward Musiak

Editor’s note: The update initially, erroneously read Thursday would be the 29th of Ramadan. This has been corrected to say Wednesday will be the 29th of Ramadan.

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Qatar’s Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs has announced that Ramadan fasting will begin on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, corresponding with the Islamic calendar year 1434 A.H.

The month officially begins at sunset tomorrow with nighttime taraweeh prayers being held at most of Qatar’s mosques. The first fast will be Wednesday, and that is when shortened hours, a ban on public eating and drinking during daylight, and other changes will begin. 

Saudi Arabia’s High Judiciary Council also ruled that Shabaan would continue for one more day as there were no confirmed sightings of the moon tonight.

For more on Ramadan, read: 8 things to know about Ramadan in Qatar

PHOTOS: “Supermoon,” as seen from Doha

We’ve gotten some beautiful submissions of last night’s big, bright moon, which was the closest in distance to the Earth that it will be all year.

Incidentally, the full moon also means that Ramadan is only two weeks away. In Qatar, that means day and night pretty much switch places.

Who’s ready for it?