Muslims in Singapore to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri on May 3: Mufti

The announcement comes as Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei announced they would be celebrating Aidilfitri a day earlier. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Muslims in Singapore will celebrate Hari Raya Puasa, also known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, on Tuesday (May 3), the Republic's top Islamic leader said on Sunday.

In a statement, Mufti Nazirudin Mohd Nasir said that according to astronomical calculations, the crescent moon for the Islamic month of Syawal did not appear in the evening after sunset, as it had set earlier.

"This signifies that tomorrow (May 2) will be the end of 30 days of Ramadan," he said. "As such, I am pleased to announce that the first day of Syawal or Hari Raya Aidilfitri for year 1443H falls on Tuesday, May 3."

Dr Nazirudin also said in an Instagram post that a team from the Office of the Mufti had, after sunset on Sunday, conducted a moon sighting, but the crescent moon - which traditionally marks the start of a new month in the Islamic calendar - could not be seen.

"May God bless this effort to help us follow our Prophet's saying, which tells us to fast for 30 days if the crescent moon is not visible," he added in the post in Malay.

The post included a photo of Dr Nazirudin and his colleagues with astronomical instruments at Raffles Marina in Tuas.

In his statement, Dr Nazirudin wished all Muslims in Singapore Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, and sought their forgiveness for any shortcomings. He also urged everyone to continue taking safety precautions as they celebrate Hari Raya.

Singapore's announcement comes as Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei announced on Sunday night that they would be celebrating Hari Raya a day earlier, on Monday, after their religious authorities had sighted the moon.

The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) had, in October 2021, revised the date for Hari Raya Aidilfitri to May 3, 2022. This was based on revised criteria for astronomical calculations adopted by the Islamic authorities of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore to determine Islamic calendar dates from 2022 onwards.

In a statement last October, Muis said the agreement was reached among the countries after years of research, in the hopes that important dates in the Islamic calendar could be aligned in the region.

Muslim religious authorities in Bangladesh and India also announced on Sunday that as the crescent moon was not seen, Hari Raya in their countries would be celebrated on Tuesday.

Prior to the 1970s, Singapore’s top Muslim authorities would often trek up Mount Faber or set out by boat to Sultan Shoal to try and sight the new moon, which often could not be seen with certainty, before taking guidance from Malaysian religious leaders on festive dates.

Singapore has since adopted astronomical calculations to determine Islamic calendar dates, a move that drew some opposition in the early years but gained acceptance over time as the calculations were proven accurate.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.