Aug 21, 2012

Witnessing the Syawal Moon of Hari Raya Aidilfitri

Syawal Moon of Hari Raya Aidilfitri

For a long time I had this small dream for Hari Raya Puasa. To witness the young crescent moon that announces the end of Ramadan month which also marks the start of the festival of Eidul Fitri. Last Sunday evening I got my chance. The thin crescent appeared in the west at dusk, the gleam sharp yet the illumination was not overpowering. It was as if to remind me, gently, that my modest dream had been fulfilled. Snapping out of what seems like an eternal fixation on the lunar beauty, I reminded myself that this was all temporal, the moon would disappear below the horizon later that night. I am glad to have wasted no time in retrieving the camera.

I was a day late. At 1930 when the photos were taken, it was already the second day of the Islamic lunar month. Still, the appearance of the lunar crescent one day into Eidul Fitri was an exhilarating sight to behold. Exactly one day earlier at 7.28pm, the Mufti office announced the beginning of the Syawal month of 1433H/2012. Excerpt of the English translation from Malay below:

Based on astronomical calculations, and in accordance with the criteria of the visibility of the crescent moon (imkanur rukyah) as agreed by the member countries of the Unofficial Meeting of Religious Ministers of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore (MABIMS), the new moon was at the horizon of Singapore for 27 minutes, after the sun sets this evening. Thus, I am pleased to announce that the first day of the month of Syawal 1433H falls tomorrow, Sunday 19 August 2012.

Syawal Moon of Hari Raya Aidilfitri
The young lunar crescent in the western sky on 19th August 2012. The sighting of the crescent moon a day before by Islamic authorities marked the commencement of Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Here I wish all my Muslim relatives and friends a belated Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri!