Muslims in different parts of the globe will be celebrating the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan either on Monday October 23 or Tuesday October 24.
Muslims in Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore and Thailand is scheduled to celebrate Aidil-fitri on Tuesday, October 24 while those in Saudi Arabia and some other Arab countries will be celebrating it on Monday, October 23.
However, astronomical calculations suggest sighting the Shawal moon (crescent) would be impossible on Saturday and Sunday, which marks the end of Ramadan, therefore Aidil-fitri will fall on Tuesday, October 24.
Muslim countries which began fasting on Sunday, September 24, would mark Aidil-fitri on Tuesday, October 24 while those which began on Saturday, September 23, such as Saudi Arabia and certain Arab countries, would have no choice but celebrating it on Monday, October 23.
Sighting the Shawal moon on Sunday would be meaningless as the day would mark the 30th day of the month of Ramadan, said Saudi Arabia scholar Abdullah bin Salman.
" We will celebrate Aidil-fitri on Monday, October 23," he added.
According to Professor Mosalam Shaltout, an expert on solar and space physics, the original problem is that many countries started fasting one day ahead of the time set by astronomical calculations for the birth of the Ramadan moon.
Islamic lunar months are either 29 or 30 days. Since Sunday will be the 30th day of fasting for millions of Muslims they would automatically celebrate Aidil-fitri the following day, Monday, October 23.
Meanwhile, scientists in the Washington-based US Naval Observatory had said that the Ramadan moon signed on Saturday, September 23, and that the Muslim holy fasting month truly began on Sunday, September 24.
Moon sighting has always been a controversial issue among Muslim countries, and even scholars seem at odds over the issue.
The Islamic Crescents Observation Project has determined that a sighting of the new crescent on Saturday is impossible in all states of the world because the moon will go down before sunset and the conjunction will happen after sunset. Similarly, sighting the new crescent on Sunday will equally be impossible in all states because the moon will go down before sunset in some regions, or the setting together with the sun in the other regions.
Muslims in Malaysia, Indonesia and the other Asean countries will be celebrating Aidil-fitri on Tuesday, October 24 and according to astronomical calculations it is the correct date.