From the news desk

Moon unlikely to be sighted: COS

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Sunday 27th July may mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan for Cape Town Muslims. And while the Crescent Observers Society prepares to sight the moon at Three Anchor Bay in Sea Point they say conditions must be just right to judge the end of Ramadan and the beginning of the month of Shawwal.

Abdul-Waheed Abrahams, vice-chairperson of the society says the sighting of the moon, especially during the Islamic calendar’s most venerated lunar cycle, is a matter of Sharia [Islamic law]. Therefore, he says, it must be treated thoroughly.

“We’re talking here about a sharia issue. We always give the mandate that the sighting must be made by the naked eye, and you must be able to sight every month.”

Because of this, Abrahams on Friday said the chances of sighting the moon on Sunday will be slim based on environmental factors as well as the amount of illumination given to it by the sun.

And although many Muslims wish for the Eid ul-Fitr to fall on Monday or even Tuesday, Abrahams believes the moon will not be spotted.

“For it to be visible the illumination should be one degree, but [at present] it is at 0.5 degrees. The moon will [likely] not be sighted, because of another factor coming in to play; the moon is almost at its furthest point away from the earth. We take this kind of data every month and compare it after every sighting, so we are more than 90% correct when we make announcements.”

VOC will broadcast live from Three Anchor Bay on Sunday from 5pm. VOC (Andriques Che Petersen)

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  1. he is correct, even though he means 1/2 % and not degree illumination, also the moon crescent is a mere 17 hours old, and the moonlag is only 43 minutes which makes a sighting with optical help possible but naked eye sighting improbable,

    of all the south african cities capetown with the largest moonlag has the best chance of sighting weather permitting. the further east and north the city, the worse the chances of sighting

    the saudis for this month has decided to go with “naked eye” sighting but how sincere they are is another matter, for the beginning of ramadhaan they went with an actual sighting, lets see what happens

  2. my fears were realised

    the saudis even though their own astronomers agreed its impossible for saudi to sight has said 2 persons claimed sightings

    one astronomer appealed to the high court not to accept their claim

    another doctor from saudi im in contact with said they were surprised by the saudi declaration of 1st shawwaal for today

    but our local jamiat from joburg for whom too sighting was impossible claimed sightings

    check out their website at, where their date for today is monday 28th as “0” shawaal, so tomorrow they have 1st shawaal, cant have two 1st days not so?

    the local announcer was clearly troubled saying after looong deliberations they decided “for the sake of unity” to accept the claim of sighting

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