Muslims worldwide to celebrate Eid al-Fitr

Monday, October 23, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
Millions of Muslims from all corners of the world are beginning the celebration of the holiday of Eid al-Fitr Monday, commemorating the handing down of the contents of their holy book, the Koran, to the Prophet Mohammed about 1400 years ago and marking the conclusion of the month long fasting holiday of Ramadan.

However, several disputes have risen as to the exact beginning of the Eid and the end of Ramadan.

According to published reports, several countries in the Muslim world, including Jordan, Egypt, Syria, and Oman, have declared that they will begin celebrating Eid al-Fitr on Tuesday, whereas Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Yemen, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, Libya and Sudan will begin the holiday on Monday.

The problem arose this year due to disagreements among Muslim clergymen on the use of astronomical apparatus to decide the start and end of the fasting month, which directly affects the beginning of the Eid.

According to strict Islamic teachings, fasting of the Ramadan should start with the sighting of Ramadan's crescent and end with the sighting of the crescent of the next month.

To Muslims, Eid al-Fitr is celebrated with much joy as they dress in their finest clothing, fill their home with light, and feast together with family and friends.

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