Will Eid be on one day?

In the News | 16-07-2015

Eid al-Fitr is likely to begin on 17 July for most countries in the Arab region, but the political division in Libya could potentially lead to a situation where the western and eastern authorities announce different days for when the new lunar month begins.

In some sense such a split has already occurred, related to the 'Zakat al-Fitr', which is a small charitable donation made before Eid begins.

Traditionally, the Zakat al-Fitr was given in the form of a bucket of rice or wheat to the needy, but in modern times Islamic scholars have used market prices for such grains to calculate an equivalent figure for people to donate.

The Dar al-Ifta, which is headed by Sadiq al-Ghiryani, previously said the Zakat for this year is LD3.5 per person.

A rival religious body, set up by the Tobruq authorities, set the donation at LD5, presumably using a different methodology to estimate the amount.

The split could possibly repeat itself when announcing the start of the new month.

Neither of the two bodies has made any official announcement as to whether Ramadan will end on 16 July, or whether it will be 30 days long and end on 17 July.

Other Muslim countries with poor central governance, such as Pakistan and Iraq, often witness splits with regards to when Ramadan begins and ends, although this is often due to sectarian divisions.

In Libya, the current division is primarily political.

In either case, we wish our readers a happy and peaceful Eid.

Update: Late on 16 July, both authorities announced that 17 July is to be the first day of Eid.

Written by: Libya Monitor