Finding the moon: Astronomy experts from Lajnah Falakiyah at the Nahdlatul Ulama Executive Board (PBNU) monitor the movement of the sun in an effort to calculate the height of hilal, which marks the start of Ramadhan at the top of the Season City building in Jakarta, on Monday. (JP/Jerry Adiguna)
The Religious Affairs Ministry has decided that the start of Ramadhan 1434 H falls on Wednesday. The decision was taken during an itsbat (confirmation) meeting attended by Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali and several Islamic organizations.
“By saying bismillah, we decide that Ramadhan 1434 H, falls on Wednesday, July 10, 2013,” said Suryadharma Ali in the meeting held at the ministry, on Monday evening as quoted by Kompas.com.
Cecep Nurwendya, a member of the Planetarium’s hisab and ru’yat body, previously said that according to astronomical empirical criteria, the start of Ramadhan was set to begin when the altitude of the hilal in Pelabuhan Ratu, Sukabumi, West Java, was 0.65 degrees, with the distance of the angle between moon and sun was at 4.55 degrees, the age of the hilal was 03:35:25 and the illumination of the hilal was 0.18 percent visible.
“Therefore, there is no reference that the hilal of Ramadhan 1434 H on July 8, 2013, could be observed from all areas across the country,” said Cecep.
Representatives from the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) and Indonesian Mosque Council (DMI) attended the itsbat meeting.
Other Islamic organizations attending the meeting included the Al Itihadiyah, Al Wasliah, Islamic Organization Friendship Body (LPOI), Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Wahdah Islamiyah and many more. (apt/ebf)