The Dhul Hijjah crescent moon in India, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and other countries, is crucial for determining the start of the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah, which is the twelfth and final month of the Islamic lunar calendar and holds great significance for Muslims worldwide, as it is the month in which the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca takes place and marks Eid ul-Adha (also known as Bakra Eid, Bakrid, Bakhreid, Eid al-Adha, Eid Qurban, Qurban Bayarami or the Feast of Sacrifice) on the tenth day of the month. The sighting of the moon to determine the beginning of Dhul Hijjah follows the traditional Islamic practice of relying on the physical sighting of the crescent moon to establish the start of a new month as Islamic months are based on the lunar cycle, which is approximately 29 or 30 days long.
In India, as in other countries, moon sighting committees or religious authorities are responsible for confirming the sighting of the Dhul Hijjah moon and these committees comprise of knowledgeable individuals who are tasked with observing the moon’s visibility after sunset on the 29th day of the preceding month, which is the month of Dhu al-Qidah. The committee members or religious scholars physically look for the new crescent moon in the sky shortly after sunset.
If they are able to sight the moon with the naked eye, it confirms the beginning of the month of Dhul Hijjah and the announcement of the moon sighting is then made or the start of Dhul Hijjah and the date of Eid-ul-Adha are declared. It is important to note that the moon sighting can vary from region to region, depending on various factors such as weather conditions, atmospheric visibility and geographical location therefore, the moon sighting announcements may differ for different parts of India or even within the same region.