“You who believe, fasting is prescribed for you the way it was prescribed for those before you, so that you might become pious.” Qur’an 2:183
The criteria for beginning a new lunar month differs between AMJA (Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America) and FCNA (Fiqh Council of North America). AMJA waits for actual sighting reports to determine the month of Ramadan. FCNA (along with the European Council of Fatwa and Research) says that Ramadan begins when somewhere on earth at sunset, the moon must be at least five degrees above the horizon with at least an eight-degree elongation (or distance from the sun), ensuring visibility. The Astronomical New Moon for Ramadan 1444/2023 is on Tuesday March 21 at 17:23 Universal Time. On that day, there is no place on earth where the FCNA criteria will be met so the crescent should not be seen by anyone, therefore Ramadan begins on Thursday. The Astronomical New Moon for Shawwal (Eid) is on Thursday April 20 at 4:12 Universal Time and the FCNA criteria is met, so Eid is on Friday.
Therefore, Ramadan could be, according to the two opinions:
|Ramadan||Mar 22 or Mar 23 (Probable)||Mar 23 (For Sure)|
|Eid ul-Fitr||Apr 21 or Apr 22||Apr 21 (For Sure)|
Remember that ICOI follows FCNA so the dates are determined in advance. Other local masjids may follow AMJA so they might determine a different day for Ramadan and/or Eid.
Start preparing for the blessed month now.
[Shaykh] Mustafa Umar