The Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia has called residents in the kingdom to watch the skies to sight the Shawwal crescent on the evenings of Tuesday and Wednesday. Those who sight the crescent (hilal) are requested to record the proof and inform the nearest court.
Sighting the crescent will decide the first day of Shawwal when Eid Al-Fitr is celebrated. If the crescent is sighted on the evening of Tuesday, then Wednesday would be considered as Eid. If that is the case, then there will be only 28 days of the holy month in 2013. Under such circumstances, worshippers fast a day any day after Eid and before the next Ramadan to make up for the 29th Ramadan. An error in the lunar sighting for this year’s Ramadan is the reason for the shortening of the holy month. This oddity has happened once 30 years ago.
If, however, the crescent is sighted on Wednesday evening, then Eid will be celebrated on Thursday after 29 days of Ramadan.
(Image courtesy: www.skyandtelescope.com)