Sunday 27th July may mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan for Cape Town Muslims. And while the Crescent Observers Society prepares to sight the moon at Three Anchor Bay in Sea Point they say conditions must be just right to judge the end of Ramadan and the beginning of the month of Shawwal.
Abdul-Waheed Abrahams, vice-chairperson of the society says the sighting of the moon, especially during the Islamic calendar’s most venerated lunar cycle, is a matter of Sharia [Islamic law]. Therefore, he says, it must be treated thoroughly.
“We’re talking here about a sharia issue. We always give the mandate that the sighting must be made by the naked eye, and you must be able to sight every month.”
Because of this, Abrahams on Friday said the chances of sighting the moon on Sunday will be slim based on environmental factors as well as the amount of illumination given to it by the sun.
And although many Muslims wish for the Eid ul-Fitr to fall on Monday or even Tuesday, Abrahams believes the moon will not be spotted.
“For it to be visible the illumination should be one degree, but [at present] it is at 0.5 degrees. The moon will [likely] not be sighted, because of another factor coming in to play; the moon is almost at its furthest point away from the earth. We take this kind of data every month and compare it after every sighting, so we are more than 90% correct when we make announcements.”
VOC will broadcast live from Three Anchor Bay on Sunday from 5pm. VOC (Andriques Che Petersen)