One of the key responsibilities of Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta is to determine the beginning and end of each lunar month of the Islamic calendar. This work is carried out by seven distinct committees chosen from various government bodies and including a diverse number of professionals, such as Islamic scholars and astronomers. The committees undertake this task on the 29th of each lunar month to determine the beginning of the next month. These committees are spread in various locations all over Egypt. To appropriately determine sightings, these locations are carefully picked and must fulfill a certain description. For instance, locations must be dry and devoid of dust or other hindrances.
This task is not limited to months related to religious occasions or acts of worship; rather, it is to determine the beginning of all the lunar months to avoid any errors in identifying the beginning and end of the three most important months to the Muslim community.
Following the sightings, Egypt’s Grand Mufti analyses the results based on the information given to him by the committees and announces the beginning of the new month. Results can be found in our press releases section or below.