The Crescent Moon (Hilal) observation process comprise of a number of stages, as explained below:
Stage 1: On the 29th day of each lunar month, people go out to look for the Hilal from a good location, which is away from inner-city light pollutions and high enough to see the sunset position down to the horizon/sea level. See “First day's moon on UK horizon” for more details.
Stage 2: The result of the Hilal observation (positive or negative) is then submitted to the ICOUK website with all the necessary details. To save precious time, it is highly recommended to complete the Membership Registration beforehand and then send the Observation Report on the day. Registered members will also receive regular reminders by email when to look for the Hilal.
Stage 3: Once the observation report has been successfully submitted on the ICOUK website, it will be automatically forwarded to (a) the ICOUK Moderator and (b) the local Hilal Committee (or a representative). From this point, the report is dealt with separately and independently, as explained in the next stage.
Stage 4: This is the final stage where the verified and moderated reports are published/announced as explained below:
- The Moderator will check the technical accuracy of the report (e.g. after conjunction and before moon set) and if found satisfactory, will publish it on the ICOUK website, under the relevant lunar month of the Observation Results page.
- The local Hilal Committee (or a representative) will verify the report for Shariah purposes (e.g. adult, good character etc) and pass it on to the Central Hilal Committee, who will make a final decision and announce the start date of the lunar month. The decision may be announced via the Hilal Committee website and/or Masjid Committees as well as the ICOUK website.
It is possible that an observation report is accepted by the ICOUK Moderator, but may not be sufficient for the Hilal Committees to base their decision on it (e.g. not enough sighting reports in clear-sky condition). It is also possible that the ICOUK Moderator may reject a local report, but the Hilal Committee make an announcement based on foreign news (e.g. Morocco). The above procedures are shown in the processes diagram below, which have to be completed within 1.5 - 2.0 hrs of UK sunset times (i.e. before Isha prayers).
The ICOUK website will publish both the observation reports and the decision of the UK Ulama (Hilal Committees) on the relevant page for the UK Muslims to make an informed decision regarding the start of the Hijri lunar months for Ibadah purposes. See “View Observation Results” for more details.
Checked by: Mufti Amjad Mohammed
If you have any comments or questions (or wish to nominate a local Hilal Committee for verifying observation reports), please do not hesitate to email us via our on-line Contact Us form.