A Happy Eid to you, dear readers. Today is Eid-ul-Fitr here in Atlanta, the day celebrating the end of Ramazan, the month of fasting.
So I have Eid here today, while my wife in New Jersey will have hers tomorrow. What’s the deal with that? I have no idea. Eid is celebrated on the new moon of a lunar calendar. Therefore, the day of the Eid would be different in different regions of the world. However, as far as I remember, there are always differences in opinion on the date of the Eid even in the same country. In Pakistan, for example, there was a government-appointed religious body which decided the start of each lunar month. The people of the Frontier province (inhabited mainly by Pashtuns, the major ethnic group of Afghanistan) always had Eid a day earlier, even if it was astronomically impossible for the new moon to appear that day. In the US, the decision for Eid is taken by each mosque independently. This usually led to huge confusion. So three major Muslim groups (ISNA, ICNA and Warris Muhammad’s group) formed a joint committee which among other things decides on the moonsighting. (Aside: Warris Muhammad, son of Elijah Muhammad, converted the bulk of the Nation of Islam to orthodox Islam in the 1970s.) So, the Shura Council has decided on Dec 6, while our mosque here in Atlanta decided on Dec 5 probably to coincide with the Saudis.