Date of Hari Raya to be decided on 29th of Ramadan (April 20), says FT Mufti

KUALA LUMPUR: The date of Hari Raya Aidilfitri in Malaysia will be decided based on Hisab (astronomical calculations) and Rukyah or the sighting of the new crescent moon (hilal) as soon as the sun sets on the 29th day of Ramadan, which is on Thursday (April 20), says Federal Territories (FT) Mufti Datuk Dr Luqman Abdullah.

"According to this method of calculating and observing, or the Imkanur Rukyah method, if the moon is sighted on the evening of the 29th day of Ramadan, Aidilfitri will be celebrated the next day, but if not, then Aidilfitri will be celebrated a day after.

"That is how it has been practised and it should not be an issue now,” he told Bernama in response to the methods used in other countries to decide the date of Aidilfitri and the forecast that it will fall on Friday (April 21).

Luqman said that based on the calculations by the FT Mufti Office and relevant agencies, the altitude of the new moon at sunset on Thursday will not be more than 2° above the horizon, hence making it unlikely for it to be sighted and for Hari Raya to fall on Friday.

"That is why our initial calculation says that Aidilfitri will be on Saturday (April 22), but it depends on what Allah wills...on whether or not the new moon will be sighted on the evening of the 29th of Ramadan,” he said.

He added that the date of Aidilfitri will be announced by the Keeper of the Ruler’s Seal on the same evening after all information from the 29 observation stations around the country has been collected and analysed. - Bernama

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