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December 18th, 2007

Date of Eid-ul-Adha, December 2007

As so often in the past, the Saudi Arab authorities announced a date for Eid which caused confusion all over the world. The date of Eid-ul-Adha had been expected by all Muslims to be either Thursday 20th or Friday 21st December 2007. I compute dates of Ramadan and the two Eids in advance for the Lahore Ahmadiyya branch in the U.K. We had set this Eid-ul-Adha as Thursday 20th some four years ago.

Saudi Arabia has now announced that Eid-ul-Adha is to be on Wednesday 19th December. This has led many Muslim organisations around the world to change their earlier plans and hold Eid on this date.

The Muslim astronomical website www.moonsighting.com has quoted this announcement and then given their own comment as follows:


Official Decision and Announcement of the High Judiciary Council of Saudi Arabia:

Since the moon of Dhul-Hijjah was sighted Sunday, December 9, 2007 evening here in Saudi Arabia, we shall be completing twenty nine (29) days of Dhul-Qi’dah, inshaa’Allaah.

… and the Muslim Ummah shall be celebrating ‘Eid al-Adha on Wednesday, December 19, (10 Dhul-Hijjah 1428), inshaa’Allaah.

Comment by Moonsighting.com:

The moon was not even born on Sunday, December 9, Maghrib time in Saudi Arabia, and moon actually set 23 minutes before sun set at Makkah.

According to the research conducted by Moonsighting.com the Universal date for Eid-al-Adha is on December 20, 2007 (Thursday) because actual authentic sighting was confirmed from Mauritius, Tanzania, South Africa, and Barbados on Monday, December 10, 2007.

(See: http://www.moonsighting.com/1428zhj.html)


Thus it was impossible for the new moon to have been sighted in Saudi Arabia on the 9th as claimed. As it had not even been born, it means that neither by calculation nor by actual sighting could the moon be considered new on the 9th (and hence Eid-ul-Adha on the 19th).

It would also have been impossible to sight it by eye on the evening of 10th December in most parts of the world (including Saudi Arabia), and only on the basis of calculation could it be accepted as new for 10th December (giving Eid-ul-Adha on 20th). This is why in many countries Eid-ul-Adha is being held on 21st December.

If the Saudi authorities accept the evidence of their eye-witnesses who claimed to have seen the new moon on 9th December 2007, then they should also announce that the calculations of the moon’s movement and position as accepted by astronomers and others have been proved incorrect. Are they prepared to do that? Why do they not come forward to claim credit for disproving these predictions of modern science? They should be easily able to claim several Nobel prizes for correcting the universally-accepted data published by scientists.

One Response to “Date of Eid-ul-Adha, December 2007”

  1. December 18th, 2007 at 6:08 pm
    From Abdul Momin:

    The new moon occurs on December 9, long after sunset as the following data will show:
    U.S. Naval Observatory
    Astronomical Applications Department
    Sun and Moon Data for One Day

    The following information is provided for (longitude E67.0, latitude N25.0) (Near Karachi) :
    Monday 10 December 2007 Universal Time +5h
    Sunset 17:43
    Moonset 18:06
    Phase of the Moon on 10 December: waxing crescent with 0% of the Moon’s visible disk illuminated.
    New Moon on 9 December 2007 at 22:41 (Universal Time + 5h).

    The following information is provided for (longitude E40.0, latitude N22.0) (Near Mecca) :
    Monday 10 December 2007 Universal Time +3h
    Sunset 17:37
    Moonset 18:06

    Phase of the Moon on 10 December: waxing crescent with 0% of the Moon’s visible disk illuminated.
    New Moon on 9 December 2007 at 20:41 (Universal Time + 3h).

    It seems that the Saudis have declared December 10 as the first of Zilhaj. So then Eid would occur on December 19 (Zilhaj 10). But the above data shows that even on December 10, when the new moon will be nearly 19 hours old in Saudi Arabia at sunset, it will still not be visible to the naked eye. I am not sure what criteria the Saudis use, but the Pakistan government which bases its lunar months on visual sighting, in this instance has got it right by declaring Zilhaj 1 to be on December 12 and Eid to be on December 21. For USA the correct date for Zilhaj 10 would be December 20, but it seems that most Muslims organizations will follow the Saudis and celeberate Eid on Wednesday December 19.

    So we have Saudi Arabia celebrating Eid on December 19, Britain on December 20, USA on December 19, Pakistan on December 21. Going East to West from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, this is hardly a logical pattern of things. Also there should never be more than a day’s difference in the start of lunar months between any two points on earth. But in this instance we have a difference of 2 days between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

    Unless the Muslim world uses the same criteria and one reference point as the basis for calculating all lunar months (longitude 180 E, 180W, latitude 0 N, 0 S), confusion will usually prevail at the time of Muslim holy festivals.


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