Thursday, October 11, 2007

Eid Mubarak or Eid Confusion?

Every year, there is confusion about not only when Ramadan starts but also when Ramadan will end, even when groups of people start fasting on the same day. Islamic months are based upon sighting of the moon and can be either 29 or 30 days.

Today, Nigerians observed Eid, which was a complete violation of the astronomical possibility to see the crescent moon. Libya, which started Ramadan a day prior to what was astronomically possible has called Eid for Friday, which would make their Ramadan 30 days. Saudi Arabia and the other gulf nations except Oman (which is of the Ibadi school of thought) have called Ramadan for Friday, which would make Ramadan 29 days.

As usual in Metro Detroit, mosque that are primarily attended by Sunni Arabs have opted to celebrate Eid based upon the pronouncement of Saudi Arabia. However, mosques that are Non-Arab that are Sunni tend to observe Eid based upon the moon sighting in the Western Hemisphere, which would make their Ramadan 30 days this year, not 29 days.

The Dawoodi Bohras (a branch of Isma'ili Shi'ah Islam that is not heterdox) will be celebrating Eid on Friday at Masjid Al-Burhani in Farmington but fasted 30 days because their religious authority (da'i) in Mumbai, India pronounced Ramadan the same day as the Nigerians and Libyans. The Ja'fari Shi'ah Muslims in Dearborn appear to be split on celebrating Eid on Friday or Saturday depending on their religious authority (marja').

So to those who are observing Eid on Friday, Saturday or Sunday (those few who started fasting according to the ruling of Zaytuna Institute in California), Eid Mubarak!

May the Most Merciful guide the mu'mineen out of confusion and turmoil. AMEEN!

For the scientific analysis of the moon phases, go to

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