Politically shaped Iraq marks Ramadan on two different days

As Iraq's Sunni and Kurdish communities celebrate Ramadan today, its Shia community looks forward to the next day.

Mehdi al-Sumaidai of the Iraqi Fatwa House blames the Sunni Foundation for Monday's Ramadan announcement due to the inability to see the crescent moon.

On Monday, the Sunni Endowment Diwan dismissed a report saying Tuesday was the start of Ramadan. [Getty]

While Iraq's Sunni and Kurdish communities will mark the start of Ramadan today, March 11, Iraq's Shia communities, including those in neighboring Iran, will begin fasting the next day.

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs and Diwan Sunny donations It declared Monday the first day of Ramadan, claiming that the crescent had been sighted on Sunday night. However, the office of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's highest Shiite official, issued a statement. Calendar It identifies Tuesday as the start of Ramadan.

Officials say a crescent moon was spotted Sunday night in Saudi Arabia, home to Islam's holiest sites, marking the start of the holy month of Ramadan for many of the world's 1.8 billion Muslims.

The holy month, which sees abstinence from food and water from sunrise to sunset, marks a period of religious reflection, family gathering and giving across the Muslim world. Moon sighting on Sunday night is the first day of fasting on Monday.

The Diwan of Sunni Endowment has denied a statement issued on its behalf that marks Tuesday as the first month of the holy month of Ramadan.

The head of the Iraqi Fatwa House, Mehdi al-Sumaidai, added to the controversy by saying that the head of the Sunni foundation was legally and religiously responsible for Monday's declaration as the first day. Ramadan.

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The Sunni and Shia communities in Iraq have divergent views on Islam, and divisions often emerge when identifying the first day of Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr, and Eid al-Adha. The driving force is largely political: while Sunnis, including Kurds, follow Saudi Arabia's path in terms of key religious dates and feasts, Shiites follow Iran's decision to mark the beginning and end of Ramadan and two Muslim festivals.

Kurdish cleric Najmadin Shamsavai said New Arabic The major differences between Shias and Sunnis are deeply rooted in history. Shias believe you must clearly see the crescent moon to determine the start of Ramadan, but for Sunnis, the start of the holy month can be identified with just eyesight, astronomy or modern equipment, he said.

The Abu Dhabi-based International Astronomical Center (IAC) released a photo on Monday showing the crescent moon seen over Abu Dhabi.

Unlike the Gregorian calendar, which is based on the rotation of the earth around the sun, the Islamic calendar is based on the phases of the moon.

However, some Asia-Pacific countries such as Australia, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore will start Ramadan on Tuesday after failing to sight the crescent moon. Oman, on the eastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, similarly announced the start of Ramadan on Tuesday.

This year's Ramadan comes as the Middle East continues to rage over Israel's war in the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, inflation and high food prices around the world due to the pandemic continue to curtail festivities.

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