Eid Al Fitr Celebrated in North America with Great Fervor
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali
Sacramento, CA: North America joined Saudi Arabia and many other countries to celebrate Eid Al Fitr according to the Islamic calendar announced by the Fiqh Council of North America, and adopted by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), on Sunday, June 25.
Most of the mosques in North America follow the FCNA/ISNA calendar first announced in 2006.
Unlike the many Muslim countries that depend on sighting the crescent moon with the naked eye, the FCNA uses astronomical calculations.
On its website, the FCNA states that it “recognizes astronomical calculation as an acceptable Shar’i method for determining the beginning of Lunar months including the months of Ramadan and Shawl.”
The Council stated that “The Astronomical New Moon is on Saturday, June 24, 2017 at 2:33 Universal Time. On that day, somewhere close to South Africa at sunset the elongation is 8 degrees and moon is 5 degrees above the sun. Therefore, first day of Shawwal 1438 is on Sunday, June 25, 2017, insha’Allah.”
The Islamic Shariah council of Northern California, 'Central Hilal Committee' (www.HilalCommittee.org), 'Chicago Hilal Committee' (http://chicagohilal.org/) and the Hilal Sighting Committee of North America (http://hilalsighting.org/home-mainmenu-1) have all declared that the Shawwal moon has been sighted and Eid Al Fitr will be on Sunday.
Eid Al Fitr in Canada
Like the United States, almost all the mosques celebrated Eid Al Fitron Sunday in Canada.
The Crescent Committee of Canada announced Saturday that it had received reliable reports of the new crescent moon sighting for the month of Shawwal 1438 on the evening of Saturday June 24th 2017 (29th Ramadan). Therefore, the blessed month of Ramadan concludes and the 1st of Shawwal (Eid al Fitr 2017) is on Sunday 25th of June, 2017.
“We have confirmation of new moon sightings from Guyana (Mufti Ramzan of Central Moon Sighting Committee of Guyana) and also from Iquique, Chile (Br. Mohammad Younis, Br. Mohammed Abdullah and Br. Omar Khan). The Judicial Council of Saudi Arabia has also declared the beginning of Shawwal based on testimony taken from moon watchers” a statement of the committee said.
Ottawa Muslim Association and the Muslim Association of Canada, Toronto, celebrated Eid Al Fitr on Sunday.
In Mississauga, Ontario, the ISNA mosque celebrated Eid Al Fitr on Sunday with four sessions of Eid Prayers.
The Canada Post in May last issued a special stamp commemorating the Muslim Eid festivals alongside community members. Arabic writing on the stamp translates loosely to “Have a blessed Eid” and contains other symbols of Islam including a crescent moon.
The Canada Post website says that the population of Muslims in Canada passed the one million mark in 2011, and has reached more than 3 per cent of the total population. Many have arrived in Canada in the last decade, while most Canadian-born Muslims are second-generation Canadians.
Eid Al Fitr in the United Kingdom
Reports from the United Kingdom indicate that most of the mosques there announced that Eid Al Fitr will be celebrated on Sunday, June 25.
Coordination Council of London Mosques announced Saturday that Sunday June 25 will be the 1st of Shawwal 1438 Hijri. Eid Al Fitr is celebrated on the 1st of Shawwal which is the 10th month of the Islamic or Hijri calendar.
The Coordination Council includes the following mosques:The Islamic Cultural Centre & London Central Mosque, Al Manaar – Muslim Cultural Heritage Center, Finsbury Park Mosque, Al Muntada Al Islami, Mayfair Mosque, East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre, Masjid Al Tawhid, and Muslim Welfare House. Jamiat e Ulama Britain is also member of the London Coordination Council.
Eid Al Fitr elsewhere
In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia's High Judicial Court announced Saturday that, based on confirmed sightings of Eid's new moon crescent, the first day of Eid al-Fitr 1438 will be Sunday June 25.
According to Al Jazeera, on Saturday, June 24, the moon was set to be visible to the naked eye in Peru, Ecuador, and islands in the Pacific Ocean. It is also expected to be visible with optical aids in other parts of Latin America, in parts of the United States and in parts of Africa.
Turkey and Muslim communities in North America, Europe and Australia had previously announced they would celebrate Eid al-Fitr from Sunday June 25 based on astronomical calculations.
In Bangladesh, India and Pakistan and in many other countries Eid Al Fitr was celebrated on Monday, June 26.
International Hijri Calendar
It may be pointed out that at the International Hijri Calendar Unity Congress was held in Istanbul in May 2016 voted in favor of adopting a unified lunar calendar.
Scholars from across the globe were hosted by Turkey's state-run Presidency of Religious Affairs (DİB) to adopt a single Islamic lunar calendar.
The event followed years of research by a Science Board composed of scholars and scientists from Turkey, Qatar, Jordan, the United States, European and several Muslim countries.