Hopefully, it can reflect the togetherness of Indonesian Muslims.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas announced here on Wednesday that Ramadhan 1444 Hijri will start on March 23, 2023, as the position of the hilal in Indonesia has met the requirements.

Hilal is the new crescent moon that marks the start of the month in the Islamic calendar. Meanwhile, the requirements for determining the beginning of the month are set by the Religious Ministers of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore (MABIMS).

"The MABIMS agreement is the guideline (for the Indonesian government) to stipulate the start of the Qamariyah month (lunar month in the Islamic calendar)," the minister said at a press conference regarding the results of a meeting held for determining the start of Ramadhan 1444 Hijri.

Based on the new MABIMS agreement, the height of the hilal must reach at least three degrees over the horizon with an elongation angle of 6.4 degrees to be recognized as the mark of the new lunar month.

To observe the emergence of the new moon, the Religious Affairs Ministry’s team conducted hilal observation at 124 locations across Indonesia.

"A total of 12 observers reported having seen the new moon," Qoumas informed.

He said that the height of the observed hilal varied from six degrees 46.2 minutes to eight degrees 43.2 minutes, with an elongation angle between 7.93 degrees and 9.54 degrees.

It is expected that the result of the meeting can be a referral for all Indonesian Muslims, thus they can start the fasting ritual concurrently, he added.

In previous years, there were different opinions regarding the stipulation of the beginning of Ramadhan, as there were two methods for determining the start of the month, namely hisab and rukyat.

Hisab calculates the start of Qamariyah month using mathematics and astronomy, while rukyat is based on the visibility of hilal.

"Hopefully, it can reflect the togetherness of Indonesian Muslims. It is expected that this togetherness can embody our spirit as the children of the nation to build a better future," the minister remarked.

The meeting was attended by a number of representatives of religious organizations, astronomers, and embassies of friendly countries in Indonesia.

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Translator: Asep Firmansyah, Uyu Liman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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