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Cross-Continental Celebration

Eid al-Fitr 1445 AH/2024 CE may unify Middle East and Indian Subcontinent on April 10th!
12:00 AM Apr 03, 2024 IST | Guest Contributor
cross continental celebration
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The global Muslim population has a significant numerical presence. According to official  data from the United Nations, the world population surpassed 8 billion in the last quarter of 2023, with the Muslim population expected to exceed 2 billion soon.

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There are around 50 Muslim-majority countries in the world. The Islamic Shariah mandates the utilization of the Pure Lunar Hijri Calendar as an unequivocal obligation for its adherents in reckoning time.

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Unlike the Solar Calendar or the Luni-Solar arrangement, this calendrical system is intricately tied to the lunar phases, with the commencement of each new lunar month contingent upon the direct visual observation of a youthful waxing crescent on the western horizon shortly following sunset at the designated sighting location.

The phenomenon of moon sighting represents a multifaceted intersection of astronomical principles, encompassing the formation of the crescent on one aspect and the intricacies of optical physics on the observer's side where observations are conducted.

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In order to streamline the process of moon sighting, humans have developed and utilized predictive criteria dating back to ancient eras, extending even to periods preceding the Common Era.

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Among the earliest and most rudimentary prediction rules, credited for yielding reasonably accurate outcomes, is the system devised by the Babylonians circa 500 BC. In accordance with this criterion, the successful observation of a youthful waxing crescent necessitates the fulfillment of the following two conditions:

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i. That at the time of local sunset, the age of the waxing crescent is 24 hours or older and

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ii. That the moon lag is 48 minutes or more.

The age of the crescent is determined by measuring the duration from the moment of Astronomical Conjunction to the time of sunset on the evening of observation. Likewise, the Moon Lag is determined by the temporal interval between the timing of Moonset and Sunset, both of which are relevant to the evening observation period.

The utilization of the Babylonian Criterion for predicting Eid Al-Fitr 1445 AH/2024 CE is delineated in the table, encompassing five cities, with corresponding projections for the anticipated Eid Day.

These outcomes are predicated under the premise that the designated sighting committees shall employ individuals possessing a high level of expertise in lunar observations, and also utilize modest optical instruments.

Furthermore, it is presupposed that atmospheric conditions will persist in a favorable manner, facilitating the smooth observation of the lunar crescent.

Postscript:
The proclamation by designated official committees shall take several hours, as only a limited number of reported sightings are expected to happen in each city, followed by the mandatory authentication process undertaken in accordance with the provisions of Islamic Shariah.

BY Er. Ghulam Nabi Mir

(The author is working as an Assistant Executive Engineer at the Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Department)

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