Why Is Malaysia Marking Aidilfitri A Day Earlier Than Singapore
One out of 29 lunar observation locations had sighted the new moon yesterday, leading to May 2 being declared the first day of Syawal.
According to Astro Awani, Federal Territories Mufti Luqman Abdullah said fair weather allowed the new moon to be sighted.
"This (year) is a bit different... One out of the 29 gazetted locations for observing the new moon reported a sighting.
"Hence, the Keeper of the Royal Seal had declared (May 2) as the first day of Syawal, unlike what was predicted previously," he said.
Luqman spoke to reporters yesterday after attending a moon sighting ceremony in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Islamic authorities across the world will attempt to sight the new moon on the 29th day of Ramadan after sunset.
In Malaysia, the criteria were that the new moon must exceed three degrees elevation and the degree of elongation of the sun and the moon must exceed 6.4 degrees.
"Based on these criteria, based on our calculations, it is difficult (to sight the new moon), but the possibility is there," said Luqman.
Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei had all declared May 2 as the first day of Syawal, while Singapore - which adopts the same criteria - stuck to May 3 as predicted because their Islamic authorities did not sight the new moon.
Singapore's Office of the Mufti, in a statement, explained that different start dates of the Islamic calendar for various countries were not uncommon.
It noted that in Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia, the new moon was only visible at certain observation sites only.
"Their individual results are valid in their respective contexts," it said.
Apart from Singapore, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan are among the countries which will make Aidilfitri on May 3.
Singapore Mufti Nazirudin Mohd Nasir explained yesterday that based on “hisab” (calculation), the new moon will unlikely be observed on the horizon of Singapore when the sun set yesterday.
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