Hilāl for Shawwal 1445 Eid-ul-Fitr and Moonsighting Procedures

An UUCSA Community Notice


Alhamdulillāh, we are once again on the eve of the month of Shawwal. In South Africa, the hilāl for Shawwal 1445, that will also usher in Eid-ul-Fitr, has to be sighted after sunset on Tue, 9 April 2024, in-sha-Allah.


Seeking to sight the hilāl that signals the beginning of any Islamic month is a requirement of Dīn and part of the Sunnah of our beloved Nabi Muhammad SAW. The United Ulama Council of South Africa (UUCSA) therefore urges the Muslim public to go out and seek the hilāl of Shawwal.


In the event of confirmed reports of sightings in South Africa, Ramadan will end with 29 days and Eid-ul-Fitr will be observed on Wednesday, 10 April 2024. Otherwise, Eid-ul-Fitr will be on Thu 11 Apr 2024.


There are several important guidelines that UUCSA would like the Muslim public to take into consideration regarding this sighting:


  • Regardless of the moon age, there are other factors that may render the visibility of the hilāl challenging in South Africa. Such factors include: low altitude; moonset lag; clarity of the western horizon, and elongation.


  • Astronomical information serves only as an aid in determining the possibility of a sighting.


  • Jupiter will be visible on the western horizon. It is important not to mistaken the planet for the hilāl.


In the event of a sighting, it is vital to note aspects such as the exact time of the sighting and the orientation of the hilāl. The sighting should be reported to relevant local Ulama, or the Ulama organisation closest to you.


In order to determine acceptability of a reported sighting, UUCSA shall apply Shari’ criteria that will take into account all relevant aspects. It is therefore important to note the following:


  • UUCSA’s announcement of its official decision may be subject to the latest time of moonset in South Africa. The official announcement shall be made as soon as possible, via designated channels.


  • The public is urged to refrain from relying upon, and broadcasting unofficial reports of sightings.


  • UUCSA accepts naked-eye sighting, within the borders of South Africa only.


May Allah accept the ibādah of each one of us, and grant us a blessed and joyous Eid. Āmīn.



Moonsighting Procedures


1. Note the condition of the horizon such as being clear, cloudy, or partly cloudy.

2. Record the actual time of the sighting.

3. Note the location of the crescent, whether it is to the right-hand side or to the left, of the area where the sun had set?

4. Note the shape/orientation of the new moon which could be as follows:



5. Record the number of individuals from the group that had physically sighted the crescent themselves.

6. If the Imam of your community is present at the place of sighting, he will promptly complete the required procedures for testimony [shahādah] .

7. If the Imam is not present then all the individuals that had sighted the crescent are required to proceed to the closest masjid and give testimony, in person in the presence of the Imam.

8. The Imam shall ask certain questions related to the sighting as well as personal details of the person(s) that sight the crescent. The details are required for the purpose of shahādah.