Fasting month 2017 begins on Saturday: Minister

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government decided that the fasting month 2017 begins on Saturday based on the results of the Isbat (decision) session held at the Ministry of Religious Affairs in Jakarta on Friday evening.

Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin said the new moon marking the beginning of the Ramadan fasting month or hilal was sighted in four observation points across the country before the Isbat session decided the first Ramadan day on Saturday.

"There are two considerations in deciding the beginning of the Ramadan fasting month, namely the sighting of the new moon or hilal and the position of the hilal based on calculation," the minister said in Jakarta on Friday evening.

Based on astronomical calculation, according to the minister, the position of the moon was 8.51 degrees over the horizon. Participants of the Isbat session unanimously agreed that the beginning of the first fasting month falls on Saturday, May 27, 2017.(*)