by Editor (Editorials, Crescent International Vol. 45, No. 3, Rajab, 1437)
With the month of Ramadan approaching, a host of Saudi agents masquerading as self-styled experts will emerge from the woodwork to try and convince unsuspecting Muslims about moonsighting claims. Their agenda is to conform to Saudi claims completely disregarding Qur’anic injunctions and the Prophetic Sunnah. We give below the moonsighting data for Ramadan so that Muslims can verify for themselves how it works. It must be borne in mind that the age of the moon and moonset time are not sufficient for the first visibility. Illumination is equally important. Astronomical predictions based on the movement of the Earth, the Moon, and the Sun, suggest that the birth of the moon will be on June 4, 2016 at 23:59:30 EST (just a little before midnight on June 4). On June 5, 2016, sunset will be at 20:55 EST (8:55 pm), and moonset will be at 21:26 EST (9:26 pm), with illumination at 0.7%. Hence, even though moonset is after sunset, the illumination is so low that no visibility will be possible on the evening of June 5 in Toronto or any parts of Canada. Therefore, the first day of fasting in Ramadan will insha’allah be on Tuesday, June 7, 2016.