On Sunday (1 May), the Keeper of the Ruler’s Seal Tan Sri Syed Danial Syed Ahmad unexpectedly announced that the Hari Raya Aidilfitri will be brought a day forward to Monday (2 May).
This came in as a surprise for all Malaysians and many had to rush to finish their preparations for the festival.
If you are wondering why the Hari Raya Aidilfitri was brought a day forward, the Federal Territory Mufti Datuk Dr Luqman Abdullah explained that this is because the new moon was sighted.
According to Astro Awani, he said the sighting was at one out of 29 lunar observation locations in Malaysia, adding that this year it is different from the usual because the new moon was sighted at one of the gazetted locations.
“This year was a bit different. One out of the 29 gazetted locations for observing the new moon reported a sighting. Hence, the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal had declared (2 May) as the first day of Syawal, unlike the previous prediction.”
“Based on the criteria and our calculations, it is difficult to sight the new moon, but the possibility is there,” he said.
Dr Luqman also explained that the criteria in Malaysia are that the new moon must exceed 3 degrees elevation and the degree of elongation of the sun and the moon must exceed 6.4 degrees.
In addition, the fair weather also led to the sighting of the new moon.
Meanwhile, Indonesia and Brunei had also declared 2 May as the first day of Syawal, but Singapore observed 3 May as predicted because their Islamic authorities did not see the new moon.
Apart from Singapore, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan are among the countries which will mark Aidilfitri on 3 May.
Singapore Mufti Dr Nazirudin Mohd Nasir announced that the first day of Syawal 1443H/2022 falls on Tuesday (3 May).
“According to the ‘hisab’ (calculation), the crescent moon of Syawal is unlikely to be seen on the horizon of Singapore when the sun sets this afternoon and also does not meet the conditions of the ‘imkanur rukyah’ criteria that have been agreed by the member countries of MABIMS.”
“This means that May 2 is the culmination of the month of Ramadan for 30 days and the beginning of the month of Syawal in 1443H, which is, Hari Raya Aidilfitri falls on May 3,” he said a statement.
MABIMS is an acronym for Menteri-Menteri Agama Negara Brunei Darussalam, Republik Indonesia, Malaysia dan Republik Singapura (Ministers of Religion of Brunei Darussalam, the Republic of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Republic of Singapore).