On March 12, the US-based organization published that the astronomical new moon will be observed on May 15, “Therefore the first day of Ramadan 1439 (Islamic calendar) is on Wednesday, May 16, 2018.”
The source added that the first day of Tarawih, Ramadan prayers performed after iftar, or break fast, will start on May 15.
CNN Arabia and Al Jazeera have reported that Saudi Arabia, which serves as the benchmark for fasting times across non-Muslim majority countries, will observe the crescent moon on May 15 and commence fasting on the following day.
ISNA also predicted when Muslims in the US will celebrate Eid Al Fitr. According to the source, the astronomical new moon will be on June 13, at 7:43 p.m. Universal Time.
“On that day there is no place on earth where at sunset the elongation is 8 degrees and moon is 5 degrees above the sun.” Thus, the first Shawwal (month in the Islamic calendar), when Muslims celebrate Eid Al Fitr will commence on June 15.
However, Moroccan astronomer Abdelaziz Kharbouch Al-Ifrani, is predicting that Arab countries will collectively fast on May 17.
The Moroccan researcher told Morocco World News that the appearance of the crescent moon will be clearly observed from countries in the Western Hemisphere, including Morocco.