UAE: The total solar eclipse on April 8 may impact Eid Al Fitr moon sighting.

The total solar eclipse on April 8 coincides with the birth of the Shawwal crescent, marking the conclusion of the sacred month of Ramadan.

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This rare celestial event, where the moon obscures the sun, will cast a shadow over North America, beginning its trajectory over the South Pacific Ocean before passing through Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

The convergence of the Shawwal crescent and the solar eclipse holds profound significance for Muslims worldwide. Scheduled for 10:22 pm UAE time, as indicated by the Emirates Astronomical Association, this alignment symbolizes the transition from Ramadan to Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic (Hijri) calendar, and heralds the onset of Eid Al Fitr, a joyous occasion celebrated by Muslims globally.

In the Islamic calendar, the duration of months varies, spanning either 29 or 30 days, contingent upon the sighting of the crescent. With the moon absent over the western horizon post-sunset on April 8, its sighting before dawn the subsequent day, April 9, suggests the possibility of visibility after sunset in many Islamic regions.

As a result, April 10, 2024, is anticipated to mark the lunar birth, signaling the commencement of Shawwal and the celebration of Eid al-Fitr. However, the official date of Eid al-Fitr remains subject to the sighting of the Shawwal moon.

Ibrahim Al Jarwan, Chairman of the Emirates Astronomical Association, clarified that while North America experiences the total solar eclipse, its occurrence remains imperceptible in the Arabian Peninsula.

The UAE government has designated Ramadan 29 to Shawwal 3 as public holidays, translating to April 9 to April 12 on the Gregorian calendar. This strategic allocation ensures that residents have ample opportunity to observe religious traditions and participate in Eid al-Fitr festivities.

Moreover, the convergence of the total solar eclipse with the birth of the Shawwal crescent holds profound significance, underscoring the interconnectedness of celestial phenomena and religious observances. As Muslims await the sighting of the new moon, the anticipation of Eid al-Fitr imbues communities with hope, unity, and spiritual fulfillment.

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