HYDERABAD: The crescent for Eid-ul-Fitr, marking the conclusion of the fasting month of Ramzan, will be visible in Hyderabad on Thursday, only with the aid of optical instruments such as telescopes and powerful binoculars. It will, however, be visible to the naked eye on Friday, if astrophysical calculations are any indication. This, in effect, means Eid-ul-Fitr is likely to fall on Saturday (June 16) in India, as a majority of Islamic scholars here insist on the sighting of the crescent with the naked eye. Eid is expected in Saudi Arabia on Friday (June 15).
The astronomical new moon or conjunction occurs at 1:12am on June 14 (intervening night of June 13 and 14) and thus, the first visible crescent will occur on June 15, marking Eid-ul-Fitr the next day.
Eid-ul-Fitr, or the festival of alms-giving, is celebrated on the first day of Shawwal, the 10th month of Islamic Hijri calendar. Eid is celebrated with distribution of charity as a thanks-giving to the Almighty after fasting during the preceding month, Ramzan.
Astronomical charts for June 2018 show that the crescent can be seen on June 14 with the naked eye only in Africa and Americas. It will be visible to the naked eye in Saudi Arabia, if the conditions are perfect, and only through optical aid in India. There are, however, chances of the moon being visible on June 14, if conditions are perfect, in Lakshadweep and Kerala. In Hyderabad, it will be visible to the naked eye only on June 15.
Muslims in different countries follow different set of rules to begin and end lunar months. Some countries follow local sighting of the moon, while others follow Saudi Arabia or Turkey. In India crescent sighted anywhere within the Indian territory is considered as local sighting.
The official moon sighting committee in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh will meet on June 14 to decide whether the Eid is on Friday or Saturday. The problem with sighting the crescent is that it is briefly visible soon after sunset and before moonset. Moonset in Hyderabad on June 14 is 7.28pm with an illumination of only 0.4%. On June 15, moon will set at 8.30pm with an illumination of 3.5%. As the crescent will be low on the horizon, precise time of visibility depends on geographical location of viewer.
Official announcement on Eid in Hyderabad is expected after 8pm on Thursday.Eid On Sat? Today, moon to be visible only with gadgets