Moonsighting for Ramadan 1429

1429 AH

The Astronomical New Moon is on February 7, 2008 (Thursday) at 3:44 Universal Time or GMT (i.e., February 6, 10:44 pm EST, and 7:44 pm PST). It will be visible on February 7, in Central and North America. On February 8, it will be visible all over the world, with the exception of New Zealand, where it will be visible on February 9, 2008, Insha-Allah.

Announcement: The holy fasting month of Ramadan will start Monday, September 1, in most Arab and Gulf countries as well as North America and European countries.

"There was no evidence of any person seeing the new crescent today," Saudi Arabia's Judicial Council confirmed in a statement on Saturday, August 30. Therefore, Sunday, August 31, will be the last day of the month of Sha`ban and Ramadan will fall on Monday, September 1, added the council.

There have been a lot of questions about the sighting claims from Australia, Indonesia, South Africa, etc. on Sunday, August 31. Many experts in moonsighting think that it was not possible by the naked eye. has comments for these sighting claims as follows:

Almost everyone of these claims of sighting mentioned that there were patches of clouds. This phenomenon is the perfect reason for sighting of such marginal and thin crescents with the naked eye which will not be visible if skies were clear of any clouds.

The calculations for the Visibility curves are for clear sky. However, if the sky is covered by patches of clouds here and there, then they block a lot of scattered sunlight in the sky, and if there is an opening of clouds where the moon is, then this moon would be visible, because the background sky light is not as bright as it is usually in the clear skies. This phenomenon has been observed in the past by myself and others, for those areas where the sighting was possible by telescopes, the moon can be seen with the naked eye, under these circumstances.

The main thing is that the elongation should be sufficient and the altitude above the horizon should be reasonable to expect the sighting. To outright reject such claims ignoring the possibility of sighting due to contrast of crescent illumination and the background skies with patchy clouds is scientifically not correct.

Sighting Reports
August 30, 2008 (Saturday):

No sighting reports are expected on August 30. However, Nigeria has claimed to see the moon on Saturday.

Maulana Sultan Alam (MCW member) from Karachi Pakistan reported: Not Seen
I tried to sight the moon in Karachi but not sighted, it was partially cloudy and polluted. On my request, members of personal moon-sighting committees of our institute (Jamia-tur-Rasheed) and my friends tried to sight the moon at 23 places all over Pakistan, but result was nil. Nearly, all reporters are religious scholars. They tried at these places, weather was different at different places :Karachi (at 5 places), Tando-Allah yar, Peshawar, Multan, Pishin, Malakand, Hyderabad, Shorkot, Sargodha, Sheikhopura, Muzaffarabad, Swabi, Badeen, Battal, Abbotabad, Kohat, Quetta. Gujranwala, Mansehrah.
Note: It was certain that the crescent would not be sighted anywhere in Pakistan tonight because moonset occurred before sunset and conjunction was after nearly 6 hours of sunset. In spite of these facts, we tried to sight the moon only to increase the trust of common people upon the Science of Moon-sighting and because the people becomes confused due to the 29th day according to the Ummul-Qura calendar.

August 31, 2008 (Sunday):

M Shamim Ali (MCW member) from Samabula Suva Fiji Islands reported: Not Seen
Fiji Muslim League advises its members that the NEW MOON HAS NOT BEEN SIGHTED therefore Fasting (ROZA) for the month of Ramadhan 2008 will Insha Allah commence from Tuesday, 2nd September 2008.

Posted on 31 August @ 20:51, 2008 - Printer Friendly Page - Tell a Friend Seen
Alhamdulillah, we have received the news of the sighting of the moon from the Imam of Darwin Mosque. Therefore, the first day of Ramadan is the Monday, the 1st of September. "

Benjamin Nitschke & Rina Yoshizawa reported that Australia's National Imams Council (ANIC) has announced the Hilal has been Seen
It was sighted in Perth & Darwin. This report is corrected as follows:
Members of Australia's National Imams Council (ANIC) announced that the Hilal was Seen in Darwin and not in Perth. (see below).

Burhaan Mehtar (Shaykh) Secetary - Jamiatul Ulama WA, Vice Ameer - Imams Council West Australia reported:
As the coordinator for the hilaal committee in Perth, and secretary of the Jamaitul Ulama WA i would like to reiterate that the moon was not sighted in PERTH for the start of Ramadan. We went with the sighting reports from Darwin.

Engr Manzoor A Mian from Melbourne Australia reported: Not Seen - cloudy weather
The moon was not sighted in Melbourne today 31st Aug 2008 Sunday evening due to cloudy weather. Sky was clear Just before sighting time then cloud appear and disappear during sighting time. However it was sighted in Darwin (Capital City Northern Territory of Australia) according to some evidence. Here are views of Ayn Academy.
“The crescent was not sighted in any other location, but there was a report of a sighting in Darwin. Australian ‘Ulama have decided to accept a sighting report from Darwin. ‘Ayn Academy along with Al-Ghazzali Centre disagrees with this sighting report on the basis of opposing scientific and jurisprudential facts. However, according to a majority of Australian 'Ulama', 1st of Ramadhan commences on Monday 1st of September 2008. …Ayn Academy Adelaid”

Dr. Shabbir Ahmed (MCW member) Imam of Rooty Hill Mosque Sydney Australia reported: Seen
The Hilaal has not been sighted in all of the major states of Australia except Darwin by the evidence of Br. Abshar Mohammad and Br. Kamaluddeen. From the astronomical point of view, there was an extremely slim possibility for the moon to be sighted in all states, including Darwin, but as the coordinator of the Moonsighting Committee of Australia, I have spoken to Br. Abshar and Br. Kamal concerning their confirmation in the sighting of the moon and they both admitted to obtain the responsibility of being the evidence of this sighting. Also, I was informed by other resources that these brothers are of full authenticity. I thereafter discussed this concern with the following Scholars:

  • Mufti Obaidullah -Melbourne
  • Mufti Muneeb - Melbourne
  • Sheikh Gulam Ali - Melbourne
  • Mufti Naeem Ali -Sydney
  • Mufti Amjad Iqbal -Sydney
  • Sheikh Shamim -Sydney
  • Sheikh Adam -Darwin
  • Sheikh Ridwan -Sydney
  • Sheikh Ozair - QLD
  • Sheikh Imran - Gold Coast
All these scholars agreed upon accepting this sighting of the moon. Therefore, I declared that the first day of the month of Ramadaan would be on the 1st of September, 2008.

Mr. Ahmad I. Adjie (MCW member) from Bandung Indonesia reported: Seen
Alhamdulillah our team led by MCW member Ahmad I. Adjie from Bandung has seen the hilal today after Maghrib, Sunday 31st August 2008 at SRAU beach, East Java near Pacitan city. Therefore for those who follow moonsighting at Maghrib way in Indonesia, the 1st of Ramadhan will be on Monday, 1st September.

Engr. Azizul Huq (MCW member) from Dhaka Bangladesh reported: Not Seen
Clear skies-Not Seen with Naked Eye and Binoculars.

ABM Ruhul Hassan (MCW member) from Dhaka Bangladesh reported: Not Seen
Moon is not sighted in anywhere in Bangladesh. Though sky was very clear in many places. Ruiati Hilal Majlish as well as Islamic Foundation Bangladesh have announced the first day of Ramadan in Bangladesh as 2nd september.

Maulana Sultan Alam (MCW member) from Karachi Pakistan reported: Not Seen - partially cloudy and polluted
I tried to sight the moon in Karachi with 2 persons, but not sighted, it was partially cloudy and polluted. On my request, members of personal moon-sighting committees of our institute (Jamia-tur-Rasheed) and my friends tried to sight the moon at 30 places all over Pakistan, but result was nill. Nearly, all reporters are religious scholars. They tried at these places, weather was almost clear: Karachi (at 9 places), Tando-Allah yar, Lakki Marwat, Bannu, Meerali, Peshawar, Miranshah, Multan, Pishin, Iskardo, Malakand, Hyderabad, Shorkot, Sargodha, Sheikhopura, Muzaffarabad, Akora-Khatak, Badeen, Battal, Abbotabad, Lahore, Kohat.

Amjad Al-Tobi from Oman reported: Not Seen
Oman has announced the 1st day of Ramdhan is going to be on Tues the 2nd of Sept 2008, based on actual sighting and evidenced by the astronomical calculations. Because the moon lasted only about 17 minutes after the sunset on Sunday, 31st Aug 2008, which proved difficulty in sighting.

Hamza Rijaal (MCW member) from Island of Zanzibar Tanzania reported: Not Seen- very cloudy
It is almost 35 minutes after sunset on August 31, in the Island of Zanzibar with a group of Muslim Brothers. We failed to sight the Hilal as the weather was very cloudy, however I am waiting the results from other regions.

Goolam Tegally (MCW member) from Port Louis Mauritius reported: Not Seen
Hilal was NOT sighted this evening Sunday 31st August in Mauritius, despite clear sky. Hence, we will start Ramadhan on Tuesday 2nd September.

Hussain Khushaish (MCW member) from Khaiam Lebanon reported: Not Seen - cloudy upto 5 degrees
In Khaiam town in south Lebanon at a hieght of 750 meters above see level on Sun 31 Aug 2008 I could not see the Crescent even with 20*60 binocular. Venus was seen easily; also jupiter was seen easily at sunset time. The western horizon was cloudy upto 5 degrees.

Rashid Motala (MCW member) from Durban S. Africa reported: Seen
The Hilaal for Ramadaan was sighted this evening at Waterval in Johannesburg. A group of Islamic teachers/students comprise the sighting committee at the institution where the sighting took place. They look regularly every month for the moon, and their sighting reports are reliable. Many parts of the country including Durban were overcast/raining.

Dr. Abdurrazak Ebrahim (MCW member) from Cape Town S. Africa reported: Not Seen
I did not see the crescent from my sighting station at Green Point lighthouse in Cape Town. Observers at Cape Town Signal Hill and Bakoven did not see the moon. The field of vision was clear and no crescent sighted with a 525x magnification lunarscope and a 20x50 binoculars. You may see the fumes emanating from this email.
However, The Muslim Judicial Council officially announced that the 1st Ramadaan will correspond to 1st September 2008. They received a sighting claim from Johannesburg. No details of the claimed Johannesburg sighting is available from the authorities.

Barakah Ahmed from Windhoek NAMIBIA reported: Seen
Moon was sighted in Windhoek NAMIBIA, on Sunday August 31, at about 18:09 local time, was only visible for about 8 mins.

Muhammed Yasin Qamardeen (MCW member) from Ilorin Nigeria reported: Not Seen - cloudy sky
I tried to observe the New Hilal of Ramadan here, around Abeokuta express Road, Mangoro, Agege Lagos, however due to cloudy sky the new hilal was not visible. Besides, report from different location such brother Nurudeen Miftaudeen and Rasheed Abdul kareem (Lagos), Sister Toyyibah Akewushola (Ogba Ikeja) and Lajinatul Hilal (Ilorin Kwara state)indicated negative sighting.

Jamal Mimouni, President Sirius Astronomy Association from Algeria reported: Seen
The announcement of the National Crescent Committee in Algeria as read on national TV stated that the crescent was seen today Sunday 31 August (29 of Chaabane) from three locations in Algeria: the Wilayates of Tlemcen, Constantine and Bordj Bou Arreridj. On this basis and the fact that the crescent was also reported seen in Malaysia and South Africa, tomorrow Monday 1st of September will be the first of Ramadhan.

Bankih Kacem (MCW member) from Beni Isguen Ghardaïa Algeria reported: Not Seen - hazy and partly cloudy
Sunday, 31/8/2008 , 30 people have tried to observe, with naked eye and using three binoculars, the crescent of Ramadan 1429 but it wasn't seen. The western horizon was hazy and partly cloudy from Merkiche Station.

Imran Mushtaq from Oslo, Norway reported: Not Seen - Cloudy but Officially announced
Cloudy in Oslo-Norway today. Islamic Council of Norway have officially declared 01.09.1429 on Monday 01.09.08. Ramadan mubarak.

Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti (MCW member) from Oxford UK reported: Not Seen - completely overcast but Seen in Other Countires
Negative sighting. A group of us attempted to perform the obligatory sighting of Ramadan after Maghrib on Sunday 31st August (the 29th day of Sha'ban for the UK). Unfortunately, the horizon is completely overcast. We received news of positive sightings to the East of the UK from Indonesia as well as South Africa. This news, despite not being able to sight locally in the UK, makes it sufficient for those in the UK to begin the month of Ramadan tomorrow, on Monday the 1st of September (beginning from today's Maghrib) by following the basic rule [dabit] in Islamic Law in this matter that whenever it is known that the crescent has been positively sighted in the East, local sighting inevitably follows, but not the other way round. Ramadan Karim!

Samy Khadem-Al-Charieh (MCW member) from Berlin reported: Not Seen
As expected I could not see the crescent here in Berlin, Germany, for it was setting before the sun. Although it was cloudy I could see venus for about five minutes near to eight o'clock and from eight o'clock on Jupiter was visible in the south. So let's see what we can do tomorrow. Weather forecast says rain and clouds.

Khalid Chirabi from Morocco reported: Not Seen
I want to let you know that the Ministry of Islamic Affairs has announced on August 31, in the evening, that the new moon wasn't observed in Morocco, and therefore the first day of ramadan will be on Tuesday September 2, 2008.

Muhammad Hafiz (MCW member) from Guyana reported: Not Seen
Myself and the members of Rose Hall Town Masjids and Islamic Center tried to observe the Hilaal after sunset on Sunday, 31st August, 2008. Unfortunately, due to clouds on the horizon (possibly due to hurricane Gustav in the Caribbena) we were unable to observe the Hilaal. I also contacted Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago earlier, and no positive observations of the Hilaal was made. I am still in the process trying for the first time to contact some Spanish speaking Muslims in South America. I will report if I get any positive Hilaal sighting, Inshallah.
Br. Haseeb, the Murshid of the Guyana Islamic Trust later reported to me that there were no positive Hilaal sighting in Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados, as such Ramadan fasting will begin on both Monday and Tuesday.

Isa Mohammed from Trinidad, an amature astronomer (very reliable person) reported: Seen
I am reporting a sighting of the crescent from Chaguanas in Trinidad & Tobago on the evening of August 31st, about fifteen minutes after sunset, using binoculars. A thick band of clouds prevented an obvious sighting, but I was able to see the crescent through a very brief break in the clouds. By the time I passed to binoculars to the second person, the moon was covered over again.

Muhammad Sohail from Iquique, Chile reported: Seen
I have seen the moon on Sunday 31st Agusut in Iquique Chile at 18:45 upto 19:05 Here in Chile today we have first of Ramzan on Sep 1.

Saleh Bhattay (MCW member) from Panama reported: Seen
Today, Sunday the moon was seen in Panama. 1 septembar is first day of fasting.

Abdul Samad Adam (MCW member) from Brooklyn NY reported: Not Seen
We did not see the hilal on Sunday 31st August, in Brooklyn, New York. USA

Khidhr Amin from Albany, NY reported: Seen
We in Albany New york sighted the moon 2 minutes after sunset and it was visible for 11 minutes after. My self Aboo Mahmood Khidr Ameen the Imaam of Masjid As salaam Abdul Qadir Elmi, the brothe Umar, the brother Abdul Kareem and one youth Azzam and another brother I cant recall his name

Imam Muhammad `Abdur-Razzaq Miller (MCW member) from Philadelphia PA reported: Not Seen
In Philadelphia I attempted a sighting with 9X63 astronomical binoculars today August 31, but it was not seen.

Syed Shahid Rashid (MCW member) from Mississauga Ontario reported: Not Seen - Partly cloudy and Hazy
I was not able to sight the moon. The western horizon is partly cloudy and hazy. I also used binoculars with no success.

HiMY SYeD (MCW member) from Toronto Ontario reported: Not Seen - low hanging clouds
I was looking forward to the slim possibility that I may be fortunate enough to spot the Hilal. I returned to Christie Pits Park and the spot where I sighted last month's hilal as it has a good vantage point. I began scanning the skies shortly after 8 p.m. local Toronto time, however due to low hanging clouds along the western horizon, it was immediately obvious that if the crescent could be sighted, it would be very difficult. I biked around the park and the Bloor Street and Ossington Avenue neighbourhood for about 10 minutes hoping to see a hole in the clouds and perhaps the new crescent, all to no avail.

Mohamedraza H.Janmohamed (MCW member) from Sanford Florida reported: Seen
Three very prominent Aalims in Detroit, MI have seen the new crescent and based on the Ja’ffariya Fiqh, all shia centers in North America have accepted and declared Monday, September 1, as the first day of Ramadhan.

Eric Engler (MCW member) from Calgary Alberta reported: Not Seen - completely overcast
The sky was completely overcast all day, snowing and raining intermittently. We had a very small break on the cloud cover at sunset in the direction of where the sun would set, - however no sighting was possible.

Meer Husain (MCW member) from Wichita, Kansas reported: Not Seen
I did not see the moon here in Wichita, Kansas today, August 31, 2008.

Ms. Lyna Snow (MCW member) from San Antonio Texas reported: Not Seen - many clouds
I searched for the moon in our local community from 8:15pm until 8:35pm and I did not see the hilal. There were many clouds on the horizon which obstructed my view.

Mohammad Al-Bedaiwi (MCW member) from Austin Texas reported: Not Seen - dark clouds
I attempted the sighting of the Hilal on Sunday August 31st. The sky had low level and dark clouds and I did not see any moon.

Clay Chip Smith (MCW member) from Austin Texas reported: Not Seen - haze and thin clouds
From the 17th floor of the RLM Building at the University of Texas in Austin Texas USA, the Horizon was evident, but haze and thin clouds obscured the lower ~7 degrees of sky. No Hilal was seen on Sunday August 31 from sunset till 30 minutes after sunset, when we quit trying. Austin has a sighting effort for all 12 months of the year.

Nasseam Elkarra from San Francisco, California reported: Not Seen
I was unable to see the moon with or without binoculars between 7:40-8:00PM on this Sunday, August 31st at Twin Peaks, San Francisco. Conditions were clear and I was able to see Venus without binoculars and Mercury and Mars with the aid of binoculars near the horizon.

Mirza Shahid Basravi (MCW member) from Irvine California reported: Not Seen - clouds and haze
I tried to look for the crescent from 7:20 to 7:45PM Pacific time from Irvine, California. I was unable to sight the Moon crescent. There was a band of clouds on the horizon and a lot of bright haze around the area where the Sun had set. the Planet Venus was visible clearly and I scanned the area below and to the right of Venus several times with my 7 X 35 binocular, without any success.

Muhammad Hafiz (MCW member) from Guyana received phone calls from Hawaii, Santiago Chile, and Buenos Aires Argentina:
Chile, and Argentina phone calls are translated from Spanish). Following are the three reports:

  • Hakim Ouansafi from Hawaii reported: Seen
    This is to inform you that we were not able to see the moon yesterday, August 30. However, this evening Sunday August 31 it was observed in Hawaii.
  • Fuad Musa, President Islamic Cultural Center, Santiago, Chile reported: Seen
    Daer Brother Hafiz, yesterday (August 30) Sunday the New Crescent was seen in the North of Chile and the North of Argentina, and because of this, today Monday was the first day of the sacred month of Ramadan. The New Crescent in the North of our country was seen by our Sheikh and very religious Muslim Brothers.
  • Mohammed Hajar from Buenos Aires, Argentina reported: Not Seen
    In Buenos Aires no one reported seeing the moon on (Saturday, August 30), and we started fasting on Monday, 1st September. (According to some reports,) the New Crescent was seen in a location called Cordoba, 600 km from Buenos Aires on Saturday, and some started fast on Sunday.

September 1, 2008 (Monday):

Iqbalhusen Bokda (MCW member) from Gujrat, India reported: Seen
The crescent has been sighted here in Gujarat and the most parts of India today on 1st Sept.2008. So the first day of Ramadhan has been declared on 2nd Sept.

Yaseer Ahmed from India reported: Seen
New Delhi, Sep 1 (PTI) The holy month of Ramzan will commence from tomorrow (Sep 1), as the new moon of Ramzan was sighted today. Maulana Mufti Mukarram, the Shahi Imam of Fatehpuri mosque here said. The announcement came after a meeting of the Royat Hilal Committee chaired by Mufti Mukkaram and attended by ulemas and scholars.

Capt. Tahir Gul Hasan (MCW member) from Lahore Pakistan reported: Not Seen - hazy western horizon
The Ramadan, 1429 Hijra moon was NOT sighted at Lahore on the evening of 2 September 2008. Method: naked eye + binoculors observation Weather: hazy western horizon Humidity: 66% Pressure: 1006 hP Temperature: 29 degrees Celsius Observation Time: sunset (19:28 LT), until 20:05 LT

Maulana Sultan Alam (MCW member) from Karachi Pakistan reported: Seen
Moon was easily sighted at many places in Pakistan. Officially announced, Hence tomorrow Tuesday. September 2, 2008 is 1st Ramadhan in Pakistan.

Imam Majolagbe Monsuru (MCW member) from Lagos Nigeria reported: Seen
I and some brothers began sighting the crescent in Ikorodu Lagos since 6:55pm though it was cloudy but we sighted it by 19:18 TODAY 01 SEPTEMBER 2008.

Samy Khadem-Al-Charieh (MCW member) from Berlin Germany reported: Not Seen
We travelled to Hildesheim for weather reasons but still could not find perfect conditions ie there were still few clouds near the western horizon although it was mainly a beautiful clear blue sky. We could see venus in the binocular for some minutes but we could not see the crescent. But as mentioned before this could be also for weather reasons.

Javad Torabinejad (MCW member) from Christiansburg Virginia reported: Seen
This evening we sighted the moon in Christiansburg, VA at 7:49 (sunset 7:49).

Nasseam Elkarra from San Francisco, CA reported: Seen
My father and I easily saw the crescent at 8PM in San Francisco, CA. It was easily visible and the horns were between 1 and 7 on a clock. Ramadan Mubarak.

Moon sighting has always been a controversial issue among Muslim countries, and even scholars seem at odds over the issue.

While one group of scholars sees that Muslims in other regions and countries are to follow the same moon sighting as long as these countries share one part of the night, another group states that Muslims everywhere should abide by the lunar calendar of Saudi Arabia.

A third group, however, disputes both views, arguing that the authority in charge of ascertaining the sighting of the moon in a given country announces the sighting of the new moon, then Muslims in the country should all abide by this.

OFFICIAL 1st Day of Ramadan in Different Countries

August 31, 2008 (Sunday):

  1. Argentina (also on Sep 1)
  2. Libya (Based on Calculations - Conjuction before dawn)
  3. Nigeria [Northern] (Based on Sighting Claim)

September 1, 2008 (Monday) - Based on calculations (unless noted otherwise):

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Algeria
  3. Australia (based on actual sighting in Perth and Darwin)
  4. Argentina (also on August 31)
  5. Austria
  6. Azerbaijan
  7. Bahrain
  8. Belgium
  9. Bosnia
  10. Bulgaria
  11. Canada (also on Sep 2)
  12. Croatia
  13. Czech Republic
  14. Djibuti
  15. Egypt
  16. France
  17. Guyana (also on Sep 2)
  18. Germany
  19. Indonesia (based on actual sighting)
  20. Iraq (Sunnis)
  21. Kazakhstan
  22. Kenya
  23. Kirghizstan
  24. Kosovo
  25. Kuwait
  26. Lebanon
  27. Macedonia
  28. Maldives
  29. Mexico
  30. Montenegro
  31. Namibia (based on actual sighting)
  32. Netherlands
  33. Nigeria (Southern)
  34. Norway
  35. Palestine
  36. Philippines
  37. Qatar
  38. Romania
  39. Russia
  40. Saudi Arabia
  41. Serbia
  42. Slovakia
  43. Slovenia
  44. South Africa (based on actual sighting)
  45. Sudan
  46. Syria
  47. Singapore
  48. Slovenia
  49. Tunisia
  50. Turkey
  51. Ukraine
  52. United Arab Emirates
  53. UK
  54. USA
  55. Uzbekistan
  56. Yemen

September 2, 2008 (Tuesday):

  1. Bangladesh (based on actual Sighting)
  2. Brunei Darussalam (non-sighting on August 31)
  3. Canada (also on Sep 1)
  4. Guyana (also on Sep 1)
  5. India (based on actual Sighting)
  6. Iran (based on actual Sighting)
  7. Mauritius (30 days completed)
  8. Morocco (30 days completed)
  9. Oman (30 days completed)
  10. Pakistan (based on actual Sighting)

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