Shawwal moon: Has the moon been sighted in Saudi Arabia? When is Eid?

Muslims have been praised by senior figures such as Professor Chris Whitty for adhering to lockdown rules during Ramadan, one of the holiest months in the Islamic calendar. During the month Muslims take part in dawn to dusk fasting, consuming no food or water.

Muslims do this to become closer to Allah, and fasting is seen as a way purifying yourself spiritually and physically.

This year’s Ramadan has been a bit different from usual, as the coronavirus outbreak has meant staying at home as much as possible, and not being allowed into the houses of your friends and loved ones.

It has also seen places of worship across the country closing down to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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What is the Shawwal moon?

The sighting by astronomers of the “Shawwal Moon” heralds the start of Eid al-Fitr, also called the “Festival of Breaking the Fast.”

Eid al-Fitr is a massive holiday celebrated by Muslims across the world, and involves all kinds of events, gifts, receptions—and the performance of communal prayer at daybreak on its first day — so its timing would be helpful to know in advance.

Has the Shawwal moon been sighted?

In Saudi Arabia, the UAE moon sighting committee will meet remotely on the evening of May 22, in an attempt to see the new crescent moon.

The Saudi Supreme Court will also issue an announcement on Friday regarding the sighting of the moon.

The Shawwal moon has not yet been sighted, but this page will be updated when it has.

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Saudi Arabia is two hours ahead of UK time.

Once the moon has been sighted, Eid al Fitr can begin.

What is Eid al Fitr?

At the end of Ramadan, there is a special three-day festival called Eid al-Fitr – the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast.

Eid al Fitr begins when the first sight of the new Moon is seen in the sky.

This year Ramadan will end on May 23, once the new moon has been sighted, after starting on April 23.

Children are often given presents or new clothes and thanks is given to Allah.

The celebration of Eid is a public holiday in many Islamic countries, but is not one in the UK, despite a campaign for it to be recognised as one back in 2014.

Eid means “celebration” and Mubarak means “blessed”, often Eid Mubarak is used as a greeting over this period.

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