1st Muharram-ul-Haram 2017/ هـ1439 will be on Friday, 22nd September 2017. 

Scottish Hilal Forum agreed that the Shara’i new month is ascertained if the following conditions are satisfied:

  1. The conjunction must have actually occurred.
  2. The moonset follows sunset.
  3. The visibility falls either in Category A or B or C for either Makkah, or any city in the UK or any city in North, North West, West, South and South West African countries. Imam Abu Hanifah (RA) held the opinion of ittihad-ul-mataley’ – إتّحادالمطالع (unity of horizon) – i.e. global sighting is valid.
  4. The city that is chosen in the regions/ counties mentioned above in the point 3 for the start of Hijri month must be same for the end of Hijri month.

Now we can safely determine the 22nd of September 2017, Friday as the 1st of Muharram-ul-Haram هـ1439. According to Her Majesty’s Nautical Almanac Office (HMNAO), the visibility falls in the following categories on 21st of September 2017:

City Visibility Lag time (minutes)
Makkah A 62
Rabat A 63
Cape Town – South Africa A 79
Dakar – Senegal A 71
Accra – Ghana A 71
Freetown – Sierra Leone A 72
London B 52
Glasgow B 49

Note: Although the moon is born on 20th September but its visibility for all the above cities and any other cities in Europe, Africa and Middle East falls in category F; hence 21st September cannot be the 1st of Muharram-ul-Haram هـ1439.

Ramadan and Eid Start dates for 2017

The Scottish Hilal Forum (SHF) announces Ramadan and Eid Start dates for 2017, under the supervision of Ulama and in line with agreed Islamic criteria and including data from Her Majesty’s Nautical Almanac Office (British Observatory).

Based on this agreed criteria, Insha Allah:

The first day of Ramadan 2017/1438 AH will be on Saturday 27th of May,
Eid ul-fitr will be on Sunday the 25th of June 2017/1438AH.

The Muslim community in Scotland has faced confusion for many years regarding the starting of Ramadan and Eid, resulted in severe difficulties for students, employees and the self-employed who could not take time off from work or from educational institutions due to the wait for last minute confirmation of Eid day.

SHF, by Ulama agreeing Islamic and Scientific criteria, has been able to announce the required dates ahead of time, allowing the community to plan ahead while keeping united.

Following mosques and centers are agreed with the Scottish Hilal Forum’s criteria.

1. Minhaj ul Qur’an International – Glasgow

2. Al-Furqan Mosque – UKIM – Glasgow

3. Jamia Islamia – Tantallon Road – Glasgow

4. Zia-ul-Qur’an – Glasgow

5. Iqra Learning Centre (ILC) – Glasgow

6. Hamilton Islamic Centre – Hamilton – South Lanarakshire

7. Airdrie Islamic Centre – Airdrie – North Lanarakshire

8. Coatbridge Islamic Centre – Coatbridge – North Lanarakshire

9. Dar-ul-Qur’an – Renfrew

10. Muslim Association of Britian (MAB) – Glasgow

11. Somali Muslim Community (SMC) – Glasgow

12. Salahuddin Mosque and Islamic Centre

Statement on Start of Ramadan and Eid Dates

The Muslim community in Scotland has faced confusion for a number of years with regard to determining the start of Ramadan and Eid dates. This resulted in severe difficulties for students, employees in the public and private sector and even the self-employed.

Most Muslims falling in one or the other of these categories have not been able to take a day off from work or from their educational institutions to celebrate Eid due to receiving last minute confirmation as to the date of the Eid day. Even the self-employed, such as shopkeepers could not inform their suppliers and customers in advance as to which day they would be closed due to last minute decision on Eid dates. As a result many in the community suffer anxiety and uncertainty due to the supposed unpredictability of important religious festivals such as Eid.

This situation arises because sighting of the new moon is mostly not possible in Scotland due to the weather conditions and Scotland’s northern location on the globe. Traditionally, groups of Islamic Scholars, Imams and mosque committees often have to wait until the last minute of the last night of the Islamic month to receive sighting reports from Middle Eastern and African countries before they could announce the first day of Ramadan and Eid. The disagreements among decision makers to follow the moon sighting report from either one or the other country often led the Muslims residing even next door to each other in Scotland, to start their Ramadan and celebrate their Eid on different days. The decision makers did not take advantage of the most advanced scientific knowledge and astronomical calculations available to them, either due to their own lack of understanding, or due to mistrust of the available scientific data.

The scholars of Islamic Law (Shari’ah) have been striving, during recent years, to find a solution to these issues in the light of Islamic principles and additionally benefiting from astronomical calculations. All this in order to reach a consensus for determining the dates for the start and end of Ramadan and thereby creating unity on these dates among Muslims living in this part of the world, as a solution to our problem of reliable determination of the dates of Ramadan start and Eid.

The Scottish Hilal Forum (SHF) is pleased to announce the following conclusion under the supervision of Ulama from various backgrounds. They will use Her Majesty’s Nautical Almanac Office (British Observatory) calculations leading to six levels of visibility of moon as follows:
A. Easily visible
B. Visible under perfect conditions
C. May need optical aid to find the crescent Moon
D. Will need optical aid to find the crescent Moon
E. Not visible with a telescope
F. Not visible, below the Danjon limit

By using this grading as per the observatory, the following criteria were agreed:

1) The conjunction must have occurred
2) The moonset follows sunset
3) The visibility of the moon falls either in Category A or B or C for either Makkah, or any city in the UK or any city in North West, West, South and South West African countries.
4) The city that is chosen in the regions/ counties mentioned above in the point 3 for the start of Ramadan must be same for the end of Ramadan.

On the basis of this agreed criteria: Insha Allah

The first day of Ramadan 2017/1438 AH will be on Saturday 27th of May.
The Eid Al’fitr will be on Sunday the 25th of June 2017/1438AH.

NOTE: The SHF has already presented these criteria to various mosques and Madrassas. However, the SHF is willing to make detailed presentation on these criteria anywhere throughout Scotland via Skype or other available methods. We pray to Allah almighty for the unity and facility of the Muslim community in Scotland, Ameen.