Ramadan in USA starts August 12 – The official start of Ramadan in North America which includes Canada and the USA will start on August 12, 2010. This date is in accordance with the Muslim Holy Book, Qur’an and the Sunnah.
The date of the start of Ramadan is traditionally determined by Moonsighting. Moonsighting is defined as seeing the crescent moon or Hilal is the sign for Muslims around the world that holy month of Ramadan has begun. This tradition of determining Ramadan has been accepted and used for centuries, and Ramadan 2010 is no different.
Since the Ramadan Hilal will not be visible on Tuesday, August 10 in the USA and Canada they can’t start Ramadan till the 12th. The position of the crescent moon on Tuesday will be between the sunset and the moonset, and its altitude on the western horizon is too low.
The Hilal or Moonsighting will be visible on the evening of August 11 almost everywhere except for northern regions of Canada. Thus, Ramadan in the USA will start on August 11 and follows Saudi/Egyptian date.
A Hilal will also not be visible in Makkah or Cairo on August 10.
“The traditional method, mentioned in the Qur’an and followed by the Prophet Muhammad, is to look to the sky and visibly sight the slight crescent moon (hilal) that marks the beginning of the month. If one sees the hilal at night, the next day is the first day of Ramadan and thus the first day of fasting. At the end of the month, when the community sights the hilal again, the Festival of Fast-Breaking (‘Eid al-Fitr) begins,” according to islam.about.com
This method however had been criticized since Moonsightings or Hilal should be done using the naked eye and sometimes the moon is not visible. Some scholars are suggesting to use precise moon charts to determine Hilal.
The author of moonsighting.com which advocates for the use of astronomical charts says, “Certainty, not actual sighting, is the real objective of the Shari’ah and that the Qur’an does not mandate physical sighting. A careful analysis shows that those hadiths that seemingly require sighting actually require certainty. The assertion that all Muslim scholars prohibit the use of astronomical calculations, both in affirming or negating the month of Ramadan, is not correct.”To receive updates from WWNN.co.uk directly to your e-mail, you can subscribe to us for free by entering your e-mail address here and confirming your subscription by clicking the link that will be sent to your e-mail address.