Millions of Muslims worldwide will celebrate the beginning of the holy month of Rajab on Tuesday, February 25, following the announcement that the new moon of the Hijri month was not sighted on Sunday.
“Egypt’s Dar al-Ifta announced that Tuesday, February 25, 2020 is the first day of the blessed month of Rajab 1441AH,” Egyptian Dar Al-Iftaa tweeted.
“Oh God, bless us in the month of Rajab and Sha’ban and enable us to reach the month of Ramadan.”
Rajab is the 7th Hijri month of the lunar calendar. It’s regarded as one of the four sacred months in Islam in which warfare is prohibited.
The month is very special to Muslims, being a prelude to, and an occasion to prepare for, Ramadan, the 9th Hijri month.
When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) sighted the moon of Rajab, he used to pray to Allah in the following words: “O Allah, make the months of Rajab and Sha’ban blessed for us, and let us reach the month of Ramadan (i.e. prolong our life up to Ramadan, so that we may benefit from its merits and blessings).”
In Nigeria, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, directed Muslims to look for the new moon on Monday, February 24.
Abubakar made the call in a statement signed by Prof. Sambo Junaidu, Chairman, Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs, Sultanate Council, in Sokoto, yesterday.
“This is to inform the Muslim Ummah that Monday Feb. 24, 2020 which is equivalent to 29th day of Jumada-Al-Thani 1441AH shall be the day to look for the new moon of Rajab 1441AH.
“Muslim faithful are therefore requested to start looking for the new moon and report its sighting to the nearest district or village head for onward communication to the Sultan,” he said.
In Pakistan, a meeting of Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee in connection with the sighting of the moon of Rajab, 1441 AH is expected to be held on Monday.
However, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has said that there is slight chance of sighting the new moon of Rajab 1441 AH on the evening of 24 February. Therefore, Rajab is expected to start on Wednesday.
The Hijri calendar is a lunar calendar. Its months begin when the first crescent of a new moon is sighted.
Since the lunar year is 11 to 12 days shorter than the solar year, Rajab migrates throughout the seasons.