Mumbai, June 25: Eid-al-Fitr 2017 is being celebrated across the world with fervour but, most people are unaware of the fact as to how the date of the auspicious occasion is decided.
Nearly two billion Muslims living around the world see the moon at the end of the month of Ramadan. Muslims believe in the lunar calendar. The date of this calendar is determined according to the appearance of the moon in different forms. Ramadan comes in the ninth month of this calendar. Every year there is a gap of about eleven days in this calendar. The lunar calendar is very important for Muslims. By looking at this calendar and moon, not only the dates of Ramzan are determined, but on the day of Eid, it is decided only by seeing the moon.
If Muslims, who had been fasting in Ramzan, had believed in the solar calendar then Ramzan would be celebrated in different time and months throughout the world. In some countries, it will come in December and some countries will celebrate it in June. But according to the lunar calendar, all Muslims celebrate Ramzan together all over the world, not only on account of varying dates but they also experience Ramadan in different seasons.
The day of Eid comes on the tenth month of the lunar calendar on the first day of ‘Shawwal’. But Islam has been discussing what is the original day of Eid and how it should be determined. In many countries, Muslims themselves depend on the officers of the country who are given the responsibility of seeing the moon, instead of people themselves seeing the moon. While some people also determine this day by looking at the solar calendar. And nowhere else happens that people see the new moon with the help of astronomy. The whole world never celebrates Eid on the same day. However, there is a difference of more than one day or two in the dates of celebration of Eid.
For example, the date of Eid is confirmed in Saudi Arabia after the sighting of the moon. Many Muslim countries celebrate Eid only on the fixed date in Saudi Arabia. However, the government of the country decides the date of Eid in Shia-populated country, Iran. While Iraq, where both Shia and Sunni Muslims live, people from both communities follow their religious leaders. For the first time in Iraq in 2016, the Shia and Sunni Muslims celebrated the Eid together. While the secular country Turkey decides Eid with the help of astronomy, Muslims in Europe follow the decisions of leaders of their communities.