Muslims in Saudi Arabia will celebrate Eid el Fitr on Sunday as Shawal moon has not been sighted in the kingdom, reports said.
A noted United Arab Emirates astronomer had predicted last week that Eid el Fitr will fall on Sunday, August 19.
Astronomy researcher and General Superviser of the Sharjah Planetarium Ibrahim Jarwan insisted that calculations showed that the crescent moon marking the beginning of the month of Shawwal would rise on Friday August 17 at 7.54pm, www.emirates247.com reports.
As the moonrise takes place 65 minutes after the sunset on that day, it will be impossible to see it because it will not be there on the horizon.
The ideal time to watch the crescent moon ranges between 10 to 30 minutes after the sunset on a day, explained Al Jarwan.
Thus Saturday will be the 30th day that completes the month of Ramadan, and the crescent will be visible on the horizon 17 minutes after the sunset, he added.
If Eid el Fitr falls on Sunday, people in the UAE will enjoy a five-day Eid holiday starting from Friday and ending on Tuesday. Work will, then, resume on Wednesday.
Authorities in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman have already declared 10-day Eid holidays.
Muslims in other Gulf Arab countries are still waiting for announcement from their respective moon sighting committees. Most of Arab countries celebrate Eid on the same day.
But Pakistani media reports said that Shawal moon has been sighted in Pakistani cities bordering Afghanistan and the Muslims there will celebrate Eid tomorrow.
Reports said that Muslims in Miran Shah and North Waziristan will celebrate Eid on Saturday after authorities declared Eid tomorrow in those areas.