Tehran/Baghdad/Beirut, June 14: Muslims in the restive belt of West Asia are embracing for their biggest festival - Eid-al-Fitr - which will be celebrated tomorrow if the Hilal moon is sighted this evening. The designated religious authorities in Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, Istanbul, Beirut, Amman and Gaza will attempt the sighting of moon between Asr and Isha prayers. An official meeting will be convened by the respective Hilal Committees post the evening prayers, scheduled after sunset. Stay tuned here for the live news updates on Eid moon sighting from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Palestine, Israel and other parts of West Asia.
According to the International Astronomical Centre, the Eid moon will be sighted in West Asia using the telescopic and optical aid. The IAC claims the crescent will be spotted in Beirut and Damascus post 41 minutes of sunset. In Amman and Jerusalem, the Centre predicts the crescent to be visible after 42 minutes of sunset. In Baghdad, the moon is likely to be spotted 40 minutes after the setting of the sun.
The region will also await the decision taken by the Grand Mosque, Mecca in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Most of the Middle East and Gulf celebrates Eid together the with KSA. However, Tehran and Turkey maintain significant geographical gap which may alter the dates.
Eid-al-Fitr is among the two biggest festivals in Islam, the second being Eid-al-Adha. The former also marks the end of Ramadan, when Muslims are duty-bound to fast from dawn to dusk. Most Islamic nations have declared Eid holidays beginning from today until Monday.