|Fadlullah: Next Friday is the first day of the month of Ramadan|
His Eminence, the Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah, announced that next Friday, the 21st of August, is the first day of the month of Ramadan. His announcement was based on astronomical calculations, which affirmed that the crescent could be sighted in certain regions with which Lebanon, and the Arab world in general, shares a part of the night. As for Australia, New Zealand, and other regions that are located to their East, and that do not share a part of the night with the regions of sighting in South America, the month of Ramadan starts there on Saturday.
The following is the text of the statement:
The scientific astronomical data affirm that the crescent of the blessed month of Ramadan for this year (1430 H., 2009 A.D.) will be born on Thursday, the 20th of August, at 10:01 according to the international timing, i.e. at 13:01 according to Beirut timing, then it covers a time zone, in which it becomes visible – at least by means of magnifiers – at the sunset in several regions in South America and beyond, towards its West Coast. These regions share with Lebanon, and the Arab world in general, a part of the night.
Based on our jurisprudential view, which says that the month starts in all places in the world that share a part of the night with the regions where there is a possibility of seeing the crescent, the first of the month of Ramadan for this year is next Friday, if Allah wills, in all the regions and countries that share a part of the night with South America and the other regions where the crescent could be seen.
Consequently, the beginning of the month of Ramadan in the countries located far in the east, such as Australia and New Zealand, is on Saturday, the 22nd of August, because these regions and the like do not share a part of the night with the regions in which the crescent could be seen. Thus, that night marks the birth of the crescent.
We congratulate the Lebanese on the beginning of this Holy month that brings about mercy, forgiveness, and spirituality. We pray to Allah, the Almighty, to return this month on all Muslims with good, blessings, and mercy. We also pray to Allah that this month will bestow peace and unity among all Muslims.