The Hilaal for Ramadaan 1444
UUCSA Community Statement
Alhamdulilllah, we are once again on the eve of Blessed Ramadan. In South Africa, the sighting of the hilaal for Ramadan 1444 will be sought after sunset on Wed 22nd March 2023, in-sha-Allah.
Seeking the sighting of the hilaal that signals the of start an Islamic month, is a requirement of Deen and part of the Sunnah of our beloved Nabi Muhammad Sallallahu alayhi wasallam. The United Ulama Council of South Africa (UUCSA) therefore requests the Muslim public to go out and seek the hilaal of Blessed Ramadan.
In the event of confirmed reports of sighting in South Africa, Shabaan will end with 29 days and the first fast of Ramadan will be observed on Thu 23 March 2023. Otherwise, Ramadan will start on Fri 24 March 2023.
Following their meeting of Tue 21 March 2023, there are a number of important guidelines that UUCSA would like the Muslim public to take into consideration regarding the Ramadan sighting on Wednesday, the 22nd:
Even if the new moon’s age (of at least 22 hours) at sunset would be old enough for sighting, other factors may render its visibility challenging. Such factors include its very low altitude over most parts of South Africa at sunset, as well as the moonset lag (duration between sunset and moonset) of less than 40 minutes.
- There will be a slightly better chance of crescent visibility in the northern parts of the country over which it will be at a higher altitude. As such, UUCSA specially requests communities in the regions such as Limpopo, Northern Cape and the North-West to go out to sight the hilaal.
- It is important to note that other heavenly bodies on the horizon may be mistaken for the hilaal.
- In the event of sighting the hilaal, it is important to record aspects such as the exact time of sighting and the orientation of the crescent. It will be necessary to report a sighting to relevant local Ulama, or the Ulama organisation closest to you.
- In order to determine acceptability, UUCSA shall apply the Shari’ criteria in considering all relevant aspects of sighting reports.
- UUCSA’s announcement of the final decision may be subject to times of sunset in the western parts of the country which are later than in the eastern regions.
- We urge the public not to rely on unverified or unofficial reports of sightings but wait for UUCSA’s announcement, which will be made as soon as possible, via designated official channels.
May Allah grant us all a blessed and accepted Ramadan.
The Hilaal Committee
United Ulama Council of South Africa
29 Shabaan 1444 / 22 March 2023