"God willing, the isbat session to determine the start of Ramadan will be held on April 12, 2021. Since currently, the pandemic still rages on, the session will be held online and offline again while still applying health protocols," Director General of Islamic Community Guidance (Bimas) Kamaruddin Amin noted in a written statement received here on Thursday.
Amin revealed that a cap will be placed on the number of participants attending the session in line with the set health protocols to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Some of the participants are only permitted to participate through teleconference via the internet network.
The isbat session will commence with a seminar on the position of the new moon for the start of Ramadan and the rukyatul hilal, an observation of the visibility of the crescent moon.
According to calculations, the hilal position at the start of Ramadan 1442 H is above the horizon between two degrees and 37 minutes to three degrees and 36 minutes. Results of the calculation would then be confirmed through the rukyatul hilal to be held in 86 areas across Indonesia.
"In Jakarta, the rukyatul hilal will be held at the Regional Office of the Religious Affairs Ministry of DKI Jakarta, Kepulauan Seribu, KH Hasyim Asy'ari Mosque, and Al Musyari'in Basmol Mosque," he remarked.
Amin noted that the isbat session to be conducted by the Religious Affairs Ministry was in accordance with the Fatwa of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) Number 2 of 2004 on the Preliminary Determination of Ramadan, Syawal, and Zulhijjah.
The isbat session is always held on the 29th, a month before the Hijri calendar. For instance, the isbat session to determine the start of Ramadan is held on the 29th of Shaban, while the isbat session to determine the start of Shawwal is held on the 29th of Ramadan.
The isbat session will involve the Religious Ministry's Hijriyah Calendar Unification Team, ambassadors of friendly countries, representatives of community organizations, the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (LAPAN), the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG), and other invited guests.
"The isbat session will be chaired by Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas. We also invite the leaders of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) and Commission VIII to attend the session," he stated.
In the meantime, Director of Islamic Affairs Agus Salim remarked that the isbat session would be divided into three stages, with the first being the explanation of the position of the new moon at the start of Ramadan 1442 H by members of the Hijriyah Calendar Unification Team of the Religious Affairs Ministry. This stage will start at 16:45 p.m. local time and will be broadcast live.
The second stage is the isbat session, held behind closed doors, to determine the start of Ramadan that will be held after the Maghrib prayer.
"The third stage is a press conference regarding the results of the isbat session that will be delivered by the religious affairs minister and will be broadcast by TVRI and the social media platform of the Religious Affairs Ministry," Amin stated.
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