The Fiqh Council of North America in its meeting in Herndon, Virginia on July 31-August 1, 2007 noted with satisfaction the recent Fatwa of its counterpart in Europe â€œthe European Council for Fatwa and Researchâ€ related to the permissibility of the use of calculation method for determining the beginning of Lunar months including the months of Ramadan and Shawwal.
The position of ECFR is very similar to the position of FCNA adopted last year on June 10, 2006, with a minor difference. FCNA adopted the position that the conjunction should occur before noon at Greenwich time. ECFR has adopted Makkah al-Mukarram as a conventional point and took the position that the conjunction must take place before sunset in Makkah and moon must set after sunset in Makkah.
FCNA after careful discussion has revised its position and has adopted the Fatwa of ECFR. This revised position will change only a few dates in the Fiqh Councilâ€™s Five year calendar; but it will bring greater harmony and unity among the Muslims communities in the West.
On the basis of this new position the dates of Ramadan and Eidul Fitr for this year are as follows:
1st of Ramadan will be on Thursday, September 13, 2007
1st of Shawwal will be on Saturday, October 13, 2007
Ramadan 1428 AH:
The astronomical New Moon is on Tuesday, September 11, 2007 at 12:44 Universal Time (3:44 pm Makkah time). Sunset at Makkah on September 11 is 6:28 pm local time, while moonset at Makkah is at 6:24 pm local time (4 minutes before sunset). This does not meet the new criteria adopted by Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) and European Council of Fatwa and Research (ECFR). On Wednesday, September 12, 2007, sunset at Makkah is 6:27 pm local time, while moonset is at 6:55 pm local time. Therefore, first day of Ramadan is Thursday, September 13, inshaâ€™Allah.
Eid ul-Fitr 1428 AH:
The astronomical New Moon is on Thursday, October 11, 2007, at 5:00 Universal Time (8:00 am Makkah time). Sunset at Makkah on October 11 is 6:00 pm local time, while moonset at Makkah is at 5:59 pm local time (1 minute before sunset). This does not meet the new criteria adopted by FCNA and ECFR. On Friday, October 12, 2007, sunset at Makkah is 5:59 pm local time, while moonset is at 6:32 pm local time. Therefore, first day of Shawwal, i.e., Eid ul-Fitr is Saturday, October 13, inshaâ€™Allah.