CAIRO – Muslim minorities in North America will celebrate the beginning of the holy fasting month of Ramadan on Tuesday, July 9, according to astronomical calculations.
“[The] first day of Ramadan is Tuesday, July 9, insha'Allah,” the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) said in a statement obtained by OnIslam.net.
“First Tarawih prayer will be on Monday night.”
|Astronomical Calculations: A Fiqhi Discussion|
The Muslim body said the Ramadan moon will be born on July 8.
“Moon is born before sunset in Makkah and moonset is after sunset.”
Quoting FCNA, the umbrella Islamic Society of North America also confirmed the beginning of Ramadan on July 9.
“The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is pleased to announce that the holy fasting month of Ramadan will start in North America on Tuesday, July 9, 2013.”
In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.
Muslims dedicate their time during the holy month to be closer to Allah through prayers, self-restraint and good deeds.
It is customary for Muslims to spend part of the days during Ramadan studying the Noble Qur'an.
Many men perform i`tikaf (spiritual retreat), spending the last 10 days of the month exclusively in the mosque.
FCNA also announced the beginning of `Eid Al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, on Thursday, August 8.
“[The] first day of Shawwal, i.e., Eid Al-Fitr is Thursday, August 8, insha'Allah.”
FCNA recognizes astronomical calculation as an acceptable Shari`ah method for determining the beginning of lunar months including the months of Ramadan and Shawwal.
The council uses Makkah al-Mukarrama as a conventional point and takes the position that the conjunction must take place before sunset in Makkah and moon must set after sunset in Makkah.
The first day of Ramadan and moon sighting have always been a controversial issue among Muslim countries, and even scholars seem at odds over the issue.
While one group of scholars sees that Muslims in other regions and countries are to follow the same moon sighting as long as these countries share one part of the night, another states that Muslims everywhere should abide by the lunar calendar of Saudi Arabia.
A third, however, disputes both views, arguing that the authority in charge of ascertaining the sighting of the moon in a given country announces the sighting of the new moon, then Muslims in the country should all abide by this.This usually causes confusion among Muslims, particularly in the West, on observing the dawn-to-dusk fasting and celebrating the `Eid Al-Fitr, which marks the end of fasting.
Related Links:Astronomy Defines France Ramadan
Fasting Unites US Muslims, non-Muslims
London Muslims Share Ramadan Values
No Ramadan Fasting for Uighur Muslims
Nigeria Muslims Call For Ramadan Unity