Eid Celebrations In India: Ramzan Celebrated On Different Dates Across Various Region

Eid Celebrations In India: Ramzan Celebrated On Different Dates Across Various Region

According to religious scholars, the date of the Eid celebration depends on the Shawwal crescent moon sighting.

Manoj RamakrishnanUpdated: Wednesday, April 10, 2024, 10:30 PM IST
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Mumbai and most regions of the country will be celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr today to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramzan. Some regions in the extreme north and south of the country, like Kashmir, Kargil, and Kerala, celebrated the festival on Wednesday. Clerics said that the difference in the dates is because there is no standard rule for all regions of India and the day of the festival was determined by the sighting of the crescent moon on the previous evening.

Senior clerics in Lucknow from the Markazi Chand Committee announced on Tuesday evening that since the crescent moon was not sighted in most of north and south India, Eid will be celebrated on April 11. The Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, also announced that Eid will be on Thursday. In Mumbai, Muslim sects like the Khoja Shias announced on Tuesday that Eid will be celebrated on Wednesday. Another group, the Bohras, held the celebrations on Tuesday. Many countries in the Middle East, like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates celebrated the festival on Wednesday.

Insights Into The Lunar Sighting And Religious Practices

According to religious scholars, the date of the Eid celebration depends on the Shawwal crescent moon sighting. Shawwal is the Islamic month that follows Ramzan. The festival is celebrated a day after the sighting of the Shawwal crescent moon. This year, there were reports that the sighting of the moon will be affected by the total solar eclipse.

On Tuesday evening, while most sects announced the celebration of Eid on Thursday, other groups reported sightings of the moon. The Khoja Shia Ishaashari Jamaat Mumbai, an association representing the Khoja Shia community, put out a message on their social media pages on Tuesday evening, announcing the sighting of the moon. 'Chand has sighted ... In Sha Allah swt 10th April 2024 tomrw (sic) Eid will be celebrated confirmed by Maulana Abidi saab & Maulana Roohe Zafar saab.'

Eid Dates And Regional Variances

Mohammad Athar, a resident of Mumbai Central, said that the difference in longitude means that the moon is sighted at different times across the world. "The Middle East has a standard day and all countries in the region observe Eid on the same day. In India, however, there is no such standard date. Kerala, for instance, follows the Middle East date,' said Athar.

Clerics explained that the difference in the dates for the festival is because of differences in latitudes and longitudes. Maulana Mohammad Arif Umri, a member of the Jamaat-e-Ulema and a resident of Mira Road, said that countries in the Middle East followed a standard date for the festival after the moon sighting. "On the other hand, some sects, especially Shia groups, do not require the sighting of the moon as a sign that Eid is on the next day. Even among Shias, the practice is not standard.,' said Umri. "A difference of one day in Eid dates is normal, but there have been years when cloudy weather has created confusion. There have been years when Eid dates were two days apart."

Eid Festivities And Traditions: Reflection, Prayers, and Personal Meaning

Others say that it is not important for all Muslims to celebrate Eid on the same day. "It depends on the geography of the place," said Mohammad Shoiab Kothi, a resident of Jogeshwari.

Festivities for Eid start on the previous evening, but the festival's eve is spent in prayers and reflection. The first prayers on the day of Eid, called Namaz-e-Eid, are held after sunrise. Before the prayers, food is distributed to the poor. The prayers on the eve of Eid are important.  "The prayers are related to the practices of Ramzan. We pray because God looks at us with merciful eyes and forgives us for our transgressions. Though there is a recent trend in involving political issues during the prayers, these moments of contemplation and prayers are supposed to be related to your personal life," said Umri.

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