Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 03-05-2019
While the blessed month of Ramadan 1440 is expected to commence on Monday, there are astronomical reports which indicate there is a very small possibility of the new moon being sighted on Sunday 5 May.
A lunar chart indicates the astronomical new moon (conjunction) in on Saturday, 4 May at 22:47 with no chance of the moon being sighted anywhere on earth.
According to the lunar report, there is a very small possibility of the moon being sighted on Sunday by high-powered telescopes in various countries including Australia, the Middle East and Europe.
“On the same evening, Eastern Americas have a small chance of seeing by human eye and Western Americas have a good chance of sighting. On Monday 6 May, the moon can easily been seen in the whole world.”
However, in South Africa, Muslims commence the blessed month of Ramadan after an official announcement by the United Ulama Council of South Africa (UUCSA) if and when the moon is sighted in this country only.
UUCSA’s current policy is that whilst there is jurisprudic basis to accept moon sightings beyond the boundaries of South Africa, there is also jurisprudic basis to restrict moon sighting within the borders of the country.
UUCSA spokesperson Moulana Ebrahim Bham previously said that due to the differences of the opinion of some Ulama regarding the acceptance of moon sightings beyond the borders of South Africa, UUCSA has decided to give preference to the view of accepting moon sightings within the boundaries of South Africa to avoid conflict in the country.
The current procedure to only accept Moon Sighting in South Africa was taken in conjunction with the Darul Ifta's of all the Jamiat’s and Ulama bodies affiliated to UUCSA which has also been endorsed and agreed upon by Mufti Mohammed Saeed Motara from Darul Uloom Azaadville and Mufti Radha-ul-Haq of Darul Uloom Zakariyyah.