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Ramadan Moon Sighting in 2024

Ramadan Moon Sighting_2024

“They ask you about the new moons. Say: These are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage.”[al-Baqarah 2:189]

There are mentions of the moon in the Quran as a sign of Allah (SWT). In another verse, Allah (SWT) says:

“Among His signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. Do not prostrate yourselves to the sun, or to the moon. And prostrate yourselves to Allah who has created them, if it is Him whom you worship.” [41:37]

Ramadan Moon Sighting

The beginning of the month of Ramadan is determined by the sighting of the new moon, as Islamic months follow the lunar calendar. Ramadan is the ninth month of the calendar and the fourth pillar of Islam. Moonsighting has a deep relevance to the holy month. The believers cannot start fasting until the new moon has been sighted. According to the hadith of the Prophet (SAW), “If you see the new moon then fast, and if you see the new moon then break it/If the new moon is covered by clouds, then determine (approximate) it.”[Muslim]

The Importance of the New Crescent Moon in Islam

 A new crescent moon is the first time the moon can be seen, according to the Royal Museums Greenwich. In Islam, the new crescent moon marks the beginning of a new month. On the 29th of each month, the Muslims look for the new moon in the sky. In light of the above-mentioned hadith, the length of the month is decided by the visibility of the new moon. If it becomes visible on the 29th, the month is 29 days long. Otherwise, that particular Islamic month will have 30 days.

How to Conduct Moon Sightings for Ramadan

 In Muslim countries, government officials and religious committees are responsible for the sighting of the Ramadan moon. In the UK, mosque managements announce the beginning of the new month. As the start of fasting depends on moonsighting, all Muslims are encouraged to participate in it.

 Revive the Sunnah of the moonsighting and make necessary preparations. Royal Museums Greenwich gives some tips to make this easy. In view of these, it is worthwhile to remember that the new moon becomes visible on the western horizon. A telescope or a pair of binoculars might help in getting the first glimpse as the new moon is significantly thin. Another thing to consider is that the sun should be below the horizon. For this purpose, moon sighting is traditionally done straight after breaking the fast at sunset.

What Do the Different Moon Phases Mean?

The phases of the moon begin with the ‘new moon’. In total, there are eight phases of the moon. The first phase is followed by a waxing crescent when a little part of the lit-up moon can be seen from the Earth. The moon goes through different shapes, which include the first quarter, waxing gibbous, and the full moon.

 Different shapes of the moon tell the Muslims about important dates of the Islamic month. The new or waxing crescent marks the start of the new Islamic month and the end of the previous one. The full moon signifies the middle of the month, which is the 13th, 14th, or 15th of the month. These days of the month are also important to Muslims as the Prophet (SAW) encouraged fasting on “the bight days” or “ayyam-al-Beed”. The Prophet (SAW) said:

“Fasting three days of each month is fasting for a lifetime, and ayyam al-beed are the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth.” [al-Nasai, 2420]

The significance of the phases of the moon in determining key dates has been mentioned in the Quran.

 “And for the moon We have appointed measured phases, until it turned (pale, curved and fine) like an old branch of date palm.”[ Ya-Sin 36:39]

Moon sighting for Ramadan 2024

The new Ramadan moon will be sighted in the UK on 9 or 10 March, with a possible variation of a few days. You can make advance preparations to participate in moonsighting around that time. Invest in a good telescope, get family and friends together, and check the Royal Observatory Greenwich website for upcoming broadcast details regarding the Ramadan moon sighting.

 In the UK, many mosques follow moonsighting in Saudi Arabia because of difficulties in local sighting. Contact your local mosque for updates regarding moonsighting for Ramadan 2024.

Has the Moon Been Sighted for Ramadan 2024?

The Ramadan crescent moon for 2024 has not been sighted yet. According to the Islamic calendar, there are two Islamic months of Rajab and Shaban to follow yet before the sighting of the Ramadan moon in 2024. The new moon of Ramadan 2024 will become visible at the end of the month of Shaban.

The 27th Night of Ramadan 2024

In Ramadan 2024, the 27th night might fall near the 7th of April. Visit Muslim Aid’s Islamic Calendar for updated dates of the holy month.

When are the Odd Nights in Ramadan 2024?

The final 10 odd nights of Ramadan contain Laylat-al-Qadr amongst them. The last 10 days might start around 1 April, depending on moonsighting in the coming months. In case 1 April happens to be the 21st of Ramadan, the preceding night will be the 21st night of Ramadan in 2024. 

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