`Eid Al-Adha is expected to start on Friday, July 31, with moonsighting.com citing astronomical calculations, as world Muslims await the final confirmation of the sighting of Dhul-Hijjah moon.
“The Astronomical New Moon (conjunction) is on July 20, 2020 (Monday) at 17:33 UT. On that day, the moon cannot be seen anywhere in the world,” Moonsighting.com reported.
It added, “on July 21, it can be seen with difficulty in India, Pakistan, and Middle East, but easily in Africa, Canada, and Americas. On July 22, the moon can be seen in almost the whole world.”
Therefore, the first day of Eid Al-Adha is expected on Friday, July 31.
The final confirmation, however, depends on the announcement of the Saudi authorities on the start of Dhul-Hijjah.
`Eid Al-Adha, or “Feast of Sacrifice”, is one of the two most important Islamic celebrations, together with `Eid Al-Fitr.
After special prayers to mark the day, Muslims offer unhiyah, a ritual that reminds of the great act of sacrifice Prophet Ibrahim and his son Isma`eel were willing to make for the sake of God.
`Eid Al-Adha also marks the end of the annual hajj.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Saudi Arabia announced it will host a very limited hajj this season to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
One of the five pillars of Islam, hajj consists of several ceremonies, meant to symbolize the essential concepts of Islam. They also commemorate the trials of Prophet Abraham and his family.
Every able-bodied adult Muslim — who can financially afford the trip — must perform hajj once in their lifetime.