KOMPAS.com - Indonesia will observe the first day of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan on Tuesday, April 13 following a limited isbat (confirmation) meeting held by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, several Islamic organizations, and other related institutions in Jakarta Monday, April 12.
“Without any dissenting opinion, we declare the first day of Ramadan 1442 Hijrah corresponding to April 13, 2021,” Minister of Religious Affairs Yaqut Cholil Qoumas told a press conference after the meeting.
Yaqut explained that decision made by the ministry and several Islamic organizations was based on hisab (astronomical calculations) and rukyat (lunar movement observations) conducted at 88 points in many regions in the country.
"Thirteen people under oath witnessed that the Ramadan crescent was sighted [at all designated locations]," Yaqut said.
"Tonight we can start the tarawih [evening Ramadan prayers] and in the morning we perform sahur [pre-dawn meal]," he added.
He added that Saudi Arabia would also start the holy month of Ramadan on Tuesday.
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Ramadan is expected to last for 30 days. The government will hold another isbat meeting on May 11 to determine the first day of Syawal month, which marks the Idul Fitri celebration.
This year's Ramadan for most Muslims will be held under partial lockdown, bringing a new degree of challenge to the arduous but spiritually rewarding month.
However, unlike last year, large public gatherings celebrating Ramadan such as tarawih or communal fast-breaking are allowed. Its implementation must comply with the provisions mentioned in the Minister of Religion circular No. 04/2021 on Guidelines for Worship at Ramadan and Idul Fitri 1422 Hijrah.
Despite that, the government called on the Muslims to refrain from attending crowd-pulling events during the Covid-19 outbreak to avoid the risk of contracting the disease.
(Writer: Dian Erika Nugraheny, Sania Mashabi | Editor: Bayu Galih)