Sri Lankan clerics association, the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulema (ACJU) decided that the country should fast the 29th of Ramadan, convening after breaking fast for the day.
But drama unfolded after that as public from different parts of the country started alerting the nearby mosques citing that the new moon was visible and therefore it was mandatory that the country needed to celebrate the Eid, the festival depicting the end of the Ramadan fasting month.
Last week one of the top Sri Lankan Islamic cleric Rizvie Mufti President of premier Muslim clergies association, the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulema (ACJU)said they will meet to decide if the country is to celebrate Eid and mark the end of Ramadan possibly early (after the end of 28 days of fasting) as there has been a growing consensus that the moon may not have been sighted correctly due to adverse weather to trigger the start of Ramadan.
The Mufti briefed the crowd in Kollupitiya Jummah Masjid, Colombo where he made a special ‘clarification’ on Friday that has startled many people in the country as it would mean that this year’s Ramadan could last only 28 days instead of the requisite 29 or 30 days.
After the initial decision was made on Thursday to fast the 29th, amid considerable pressure to make the correct decision the ACJU convened again later in the night with the Colombo Grand Mosque’s moon sighting committee.
After considering the evidences provided from various parties they decided to stand by the initial decision to fast the 29th.
This did not go well with the crowd which had gathered there leading to chaotic and tense situation with many of the committee members mobbed.
There were reports from other parts of island as well where angry mobs confronted Mosque leaders who were accused of failing to adhere to Islamic principles of accepting proof on Moon sighting.
Social media was abuzz with videos clips and voice cuts with alleged claims of moon sightings and the confrontations. This scene was claimed to from the Colombo Grand mosque.
Meanwhile the Sri Lanka Tawheed Jamath (SLTJ), an association with slightly different methodology announced that it was instructing people to celebrate Eid accepting the evidence presented.
The moon sighting committee will convene again tomorrow to decide if the country is to celebrate Eid on Saturday or Sunday depending on the sighting of the moon on Friday.