Eid al-Fitr 2020: What is the importance of Moon sighting on the last day of Ramadan?
Here is why the crescent moon is sighted on the last night of Ramadan, marking the beginning of the Islamic festival Eid.
Ramadan 2020 was different in a way that none has ever been, courtesy the global lockdown amid COVID-19. Ramadan is a month of utmost submission to God. Even though the world is still battling this pandemic, Muslims around the world is huddled together with families away from worldly pleasures. The COVID-19 has people more focused on doing good deeds and spending time with their loved ones. Also Read | Eid Mubarak 2020: What Is Eid Al-Fitr, History, Significance And Celebrations
As the last few days of the Holy month of Ramadan drawing to a close, Muslims are gearing up for the most auspicious festival of Eid-ul-Fitr. The difference this year is the peaceful celebration and minimal crowd gathering. Instead of a huge Jamat, believers will be offering prayers inside their houses owing to social distancing restrictions.
The importance of Moonsighting
The Islamic calendar follows the moon unlike the Gregorian calendar in the west. Ramadan which is the ninth month of the Islamic year occurs approximately 11 days earlier every year depending on the moon. It differs from country to country by about a day.
The end of the fasting month is marked by the sighting of the moon on the last day of Ramadan. Eid is the first date of the 10th Islamic month, Shawwal. Muslims all over the world fast from dawn to dusk to seek forgiveness from the Almighty for their sins during a whole month. The day after the moon sighting marks the day of Eid-ul-Fitr, which translates to ‘festival of breaking the fast’ in English.
The festival of Eid begins by offering prayer at the mosque. Though it will be different this time. The Islamic prayer is known as salat or namaz. The prayer is followed by the sermon after which Muslims pray for their forgiveness, mercy, peace, and good health for all living beings. Muslims are also commanded by Allah to pay Zakat-al-Fitr, charity, before offering prayers on the occasion of Eid.