There was sense of celebration going around in Qatar as The Crescent Sighting Committee of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs announced that May 23 would be the last day of Ramadan meaning that the first day of the holy Eid Al Fitr will be celebrated on Sunday, 24th May 2020.
The sighting was announced in a statement released by the committee headed by Chairman Sheikh Dr Thaqil Al Shammari after a meeting held at the headquarters of Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs.
Eid Al Fitr which means ‘Festival of Breaking the Fast’ is celebrated at the end of the holy month of Ramadan. It is announced at the beginning of the tenth month of the Islamic calendar called Shawwal which keeps track of the month of Ramadan. The sighting of the crescent moon thus becomes important to announce the start of the new lunar month.
The statement said that the Crescent Sighting Committee had met on Friday evening, Ramadan 29, 1441 AH to sight the crescent of Shawwal Month and prove the testimony of who sees it. the committee said that the crescent sighting was not confirmed tonight as a result of which Saturday, May 23, 2020 would be the last day of Ramadan and Sunday will be celebrated as the first day of the blessed Eid al Fitr. The committee then extends the greeting of Eid al Fitr and the advent of the blessed Eid Al Fitr to H.H. the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, HH the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, HH the Deputy Amir Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Thani, as well as the honourable government, the people of Qatar and all Muslims.
“We ask Almighty Allah to return this occasion to everyone with good and blessing”, The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs tweeted on their official Tweeter account confirming that Eid al Fitr would be celebrated on 24th May 2020.
How different will this year’s Eid al Fitr be?
However, this year’s Eid celebration worldwide would be a curtained one as lockdowns remain in place in most countries as the new wave of coronavirus has been documented in some places. It is certain that the celebrations would be affected by the pandemic this year and any form of social interaction would be highly discouraged which is usually against the very essence of the festival which sees large meals with extended families and visits to relatives and friends.
Many of the Muslim countries have announced either the cancellation of mass Eid prayer or limited service keeping in line with social distancing norms to mitigate the impact of the Coronavirus. Qatar too has cancelled the communal prayers and has replaced it with special prayers broadcast from the minarets of mosques so as take the sense of the occasion to the people.