LONDON – The crescent of the month of Shawwal in the United Kingdom and European countries is likely to be sighted on Saturday, June 24, after Maghreb prayers.

It will be possible to see the moon with the naked eye if the sky remains clear on the eve of June 24, meteorologists said. This means the Eid 2017 is highly likely to fall on Sunday, June 25.

The moon sighting committee in UK, called ICOUK asked all the Muslim community in the UK to make an effort to sight the Hilal moon on the evening of Saturday, June 24, 2017, for the month of Ramadan ul Mubarak 1438.

However, Muslims across the UK, EU and Western countries will be keenly waiting for the announcement from KSA officials as they follow Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Hijri calendar.

ICOUK Statement: 

“Please look for the Hilal of Shawwal 1438 AH on 24 June 2017 after sunset from the western horizon and report your results via our ICOUK website.

“Note that according to reliable scientific predictions (Imkan e Ruyat), we are expecting negative sighting reports from the Middle East to West Africa. Therefore, please be aware of false sighting claims to match the Saudi Ummul Qura calendar, which does not match the visibility of the moon.
Realise also that if there is a genuine Hilal sighting from the East (e.g. Saudi Arabia) then it must be seen a few hours later to the West (e.g. Morocco), as the moon will be bigger, brighter and higher in the sky. If this is not the case, then the sighting report from the East must be a mistake (or a fabrication)!”

Meanwhile, in UAE,  the Minister of Justice Sultan bin Saeed Al Badi has set up a moon sighting committee.

Al Badi will chair the moon-sighting committee he set up to confirm the start of the month of Shawwal.

The Committee is to convene after Maghreb prayer today on 29th of Ramadan at the Judiciary Department in Abu Dhabi.

The Supreme Judiciary Council of Saudi Arabia will also meet today to witness the Ramadan crescent.

What Do People Do on Eid al-Fitr?

Just like any Muslim country, people in the United Kingdom and Europe wake up early and perform Namaz e Eid either at an outdoor prayer ground or a mosque, in their finest clothes, specially designed (or prepared) for the occasion.

Image: USA Today

Muslims embrace each other after the prayers, congratulating of Eid. They decorate their houses, cook special dishes, sweets.

The beauty of Islam is that even on this happy-go-busy day, Muslims do not forget their poor brothers and distribute alms (Fitrah) among them.  Eid al-Fitr is a joyous occasion but its underlying purpose is to praise God and give thanks to him, according to Islamic belief.

Eid al-Fitr Observances

Note: According to Islamic customs, every month begins with moon sighting. It may cause a variation of the date for Islamic holidays, as the moon sighting begins at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.

The Islamic calendar is lunar and the days begin at sunset, so there may be one-day error depending on when the New Moon is first seen.

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