Ramadhan falls on Saturday, minister announces
The first day of Ramadhan, the Muslim fasting month, will fall on Saturday, the Religious Affairs Ministry has announced.
Minister Suryadharma Ali said during the itsbat (confirmation) meeting on Thursday night, that observations conducted by the ministry’s teams in several parts of the country had concluded that the hilal (crescent moon), which marks the beginning of the new month, was not yet visible.
“Because the result of the rukyat (observation) found no hilal on Thursday, the Ramadhan month would begin on Saturday,” Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali said after the meeting.
The ministry deployed 38 rukyat teams across the country.
According to the hisab (astronomical calculation) method, the crescent should have appeared after sunset on Thursday. However, the government said that the crescent could not be directly seen by eyes or telescopes. The Ministry believes that the crescent moon should be visible at lest 2 degrees above the horizon.
Religious groups, Ambassadors of Islamic countries, and the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) attended the meeting. However, Muhammadiyah, the second largest Muslim organization in the country, was absent.
Muhammadiyah, which uses calendar-based calculations, has previously announced that the fasting month would begin on Friday. (fzm/lfr)