HELWAN – The National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics (NRIAG) of Egypt and the Egyptian Dar Al-Ifta’ has announced that their astronomical expedition crews will travel today January 16 to eight Egyptian cities to observe the Waxing Crescent of the new Hijri month Jumada Al-Awwal.
Based on astronomical calculations, “the Astronomical New Moon (conjunction) will take place on Wednesday, January 17, 2018, at 2:17 UTC,” explained Dr. Mohamed Gharib, a solar astronomer at NRIAG, Helwan in Egypt. The moon will be seen by telescopes only in the Americas.
However, on Thursday, January 18, the newborn crescent will be easily seen in almost everywhere in the 60 Muslim countries and the entire world. This means that the new Hijri month Jumada Al-Awwal 1439 will start on Thursday.
“According to our astronomical calculations, the month of Rabi’ al-Akhir will be 30 days, and similarly the next month Jumada Al-Awwal will complete 30 days as well,” Dr. Hatem Ouda, the President of NRIAG assured.
Ouda explained that the new crescent won’t appear after the sunset of Tuesday, January 16 which is Yawm Ar-Ro’ya (Day of Observation). “Neither in Cairo nor in any other Muslim capital city,” he announced.
It’s impossible to see the waxing crescent on Tuesday’s evening because the moonset will occur between 18 to 36 minutes before sunset. As a result, Wednesday will be Rabi’ al-Akhir’s 30th and last day.
“On today’s evening, the moonset will precede the sunset in Cairo by full 25 minutes, and by 26 minutes in Makkah Al-Mukarrama. The difference will even expand to 36 minutes in the easternmost Muslim countries like Indonesia, and shrink to 18 minutes at the westernmost Muslim nations like Senegal,” Ouda clarified.
Why Is That
Like all the other Hijri Lunar months, Jumada Al-Awwal spans annually over either 29 or 30 days. Thus, Muslims conduct lunar astronomical observations and calculate the lunar phases to know the exact dates every year.
The Hijri Calendar is a lunar dating system. This means that its months begin when the lunar phase named First or Waxing Crescent is sighted.
Since the Hijri Year is 11 to 12 days shorter than the Solar Year, Jumada Al-Awwal and all the other eleven lunar months migrate backward throughout the seasons, during a cycle of about 33 solar years.
You can check the following astronomical maps of moon sightseeing to discover the beginning of Jumada Al-Awwal month of the Hijri Year 1439 at your location:
1st sightseeing map:
2nd sightseeing map: