Originally Published By:
The Fiqh Council of North America as “Ramadan and Eid in North America” on Moon Sighting
The Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) recognizes astronomical calculation as an acceptable method for determining the beginning of the Islamic lunar months including the months of Ramadan and Shawwal. As a result, Ramadan will begin May 6 and Eid ul Fitr is expected on Tuesday, June 4th.
FCNA uses the scientific criteria of the European Council (ECFR), which is that somewhere around the globe, at sunset, the elongation should be at least 8 degrees and the moon should be at least 5 degrees above the horizon. If these conditions are met, the new crescent will be visible somewhere on earth.
Hence the new lunar month will start the next day, otherwise it will start on the day after the next day.
On the basis of this method, the dates of Ramadan and Eid-ul Fitr for the year 1440 AH are established as follows:
the astronomical new moon is on Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 22:47 Universal Time. On that day, there is no place on earth where at sunset the elongation is 8 degrees and the moon is 5 degrees above the sun. Therefore Ramadan cannot start the following day. Hence first day of Ramadan 1440 is on Monday, May 6, 2019, with the first Tarawih prayer taking place on Sunday night, May 5th.
For Eid ul Fitr, the Astronomical New Moon is on Monday, June 3, 2019 at 10:03 Universal Time. On that day, near Miami, Florida, at sunset, the elongation is 8 degrees and the moon is 5 degrees above the sun. Therefore the first day of Shawwal 1440 is expected to be Tuesday, June 4, 2019.