Moon Sighted, Sha`ban Starts Wednesday

Millions of Muslims worldwide will celebrate the beginning of the holy month of Sha`ban on Wednesday, March 25, following the announcement that the new moon of the Hijri month was sighted on Tuesday.

“Egypt’s Dar al-Ifta announced that Wednesday, March 25, 2020, is the first day of the blessed month of Sha’ban 1441 AH,” Egyptian Dar Al-Iftaa tweeted.

“Oh God! Bless us in the month of Sha’ban and allow us to reach the month of Ramadan.”

Sha`ban is the eighth month of the Islamic calendar. This is the month of “separation”, so-called because the pagan Arabs used to disperse in search of water.

Ramadan Calculations

Meanwhile, Ramadan is expected to begin on Friday evening, 24th April 2020 according to astronomical calculations.

This is the tentative date as the actual date of the commencement of Ramadan 2020 is subject to the sighting of the moon.

The Hijri calendar is a lunar calendar, and months begin when the first crescent of a new moon is sighted. Since the Hijri lunar calendar year is 11 to 12 days shorter than the solar year, Shaaban migrates throughout the seasons.

The month is very special for Muslims as it’s a prelude to Ramadan, the 9th Hijri month; “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).”

A new Hijri month starts when the First Crescent appears before sunset by a time gap of a few minutes at minimum.