The moon sighting committee saw the crescent moon this evening, marking the beginning of the month of Shawwal.
Rabat – Morocco will celebrate Eid al Fitr, the fast-breaking feast marking the end of Ramadan, on Sunday, May 24, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs announced on Saturday evening.
A statement from the ministry said that the moon-sighting committee confirmed the sighting of the crescent, after the prayer of Al Maghrib. The sighting of the crescent moon announces the beginning of the month of Shawwal, 1441 of the Islamic calendar.
The crescent moon sighting that took place today, May 23, confirms the previous astronomical calculations made by the Moroccan astronomer Abdelaziz Kharbouch Al Ifrani.
Al Ifrani told Morocco World News that Moroccans would celebrate Eid Al Fitr on Sunday May 24, based on astronomical calculations.
Moroccans will have observed Ramadan for 29 days again this year, abstaining from food and water from sunset to sunrise.
Ramadan in Morocco started on April 25, a day later than other Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Egypt.
Morocco relies on a number of observatories besides naked-eye sightings to set the lunar calendar.
Muslims worldwide typically begin the celebration with Eid ِAl Fitr prayers in the morning in mosques.
Moroccans, however, will have to perform the prayers at home like Taraweeh prayers of Ramadan due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
Morocco closed mosques on March 16, in addition to other public places, as part of the preventive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The Supreme Scientific Council urged citizens to perform the prayers at home to maintain their safety amid the pandemic.
The statement emphasized that scholars of the Maliki school, and others, stipulated that Eid al Fitr prayers are permissible at home. According to the scholars, this applies if worshippers cannot perform the rituals at mosques due to extenuating circumstances, as is the case this year with COVID-19.