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Indonesian 2022 Eid al-Adha Expected To Move By A Day

Source: Situs Resmi Kementerian Koordinator Bidang Kesejahteraan Rakyat (Jakarta)
Posted: Thursday, June 2, 2022

An astronomy researcher of the National Aeronautics and Space Institute-National Research and Innovation Agency (Lapan-BRIN), Professor Thomas Djamaluddin, has announced that the Muhammadiyah hilal criteria and the government's recently-reviewed MABIMS lunar crescent visibility criteria are likely to lead to a different date for the upcoming Eid al-Adha (July 9 and July 10, respectively).

Recall that, last autumn (2021-10-21), Singapore's MUIS (Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura) decided to move the 2 Muslim public holidays of Singapore in the calendar year 2022 (2020-01-13) and its accompanying communique stated that "The highest Islamic authorities of Brunei Darussalam, Republic of Indonesia, Malaysia and Republic of Singapore have agreed to adopt revised criteria of the astronomical calculation for the determination of the Islamic calendar from year 2022 onwards. The agreement was reached among member countries after new findings emerged over years of research." with the final aim being that "With this agreement, important dates in the Islamic calendar, such as the start of the Muslim new year, the fasting month and the Haj may be aligned in the region.".

Earlier this year (2022-02-23), this new method was confirmed by the Indonesian Ministry of Religion (Kemenag) in its announcement that, effective in 2022, it would use new criteria for determining the hilal at the beginning of the Hijri month, based on the aforementioned agreement between the Ministers of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

However, last month, the Indonesian Ministry of Religion's Hijri Calendar Unification Team declared Monday, May 2, 2022, as the first day of the month of Shawwal, despite that date not matching the new MABIMS criteria, in our opinion and despite their arguments to the contrary (2022-05-01).

Even more startling, Malaysia whose historical JAKIM criteria had initially led an Eid al-Adha 2022 date in line with these new hilal criteria (2021-09-22), later changed the date back to May 2 (2022-05-01).

Professor Djamaluddin's pronouncement was validated by the Calendar Unification Team of the Hijriyah Ministry of Religion, arguing that on June 29, the height of the moon will be less than 3 degrees and its elongation will be less than 6.4 degrees, so that the 1st day of the month of Zulhijjah should fall on July 1st, 2022, and Eid al-Adha on July 10, 2022.

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