Doubts have been raised by some about the decision of the Fiqh Council of North America and the European Council of Fatwa and Research about the date of Eidul Fitr this year on August 30, 2011.
On that backdrop, Fiqh Council of North America said it recognizes astronomical calculation as an acceptable Shar’i method for determining the beginning of Lunar months including the months of Ramadan and Shawwal. FCNA uses Makkah al-Mukarram as a conventional point and takes the position that the conjunction must take place before sunset in Makkah and moon must set after sunset in Makkah.
The Council added, that the Astronomical New Moon is on August 29, 2011 (Monday) at 3:04 Universal Time (6:04 a.m. Makkah time). On Monday, August 29, sunset at Makkah is 6:40 p.m. local time, while moonset is at 6:44 pm local time.
Additionally, the Council clarified that while it is claimed that the new moon will not be visible on August 29 anywhere in the world, this information is not correct.
In United States the birth of Astronomical new moon is on August 28, 2011 (Sunday) at 11:04 p.m. (New York), at 8:04 p.m. (California) and 5:04 p.m. (Hawaii).
On Monday, August 29, the Crescent will set 13 minutes after sunset in San Diego, California and 28 minutes after sunset in Honolulu, Hawaii.
On Monday, August 29 the Crescent should be visible in Hawaii by binoculars and telescope and in South America by naked eye.
The Shawwal Crescent of Monday, August 29 is acceptable according to Shari’ah for those who recognize the Global sighting as it is also acceptable according to the criteria adopted by the Fiqh Council of North America.
Upon this data, the Council said that Eidul Fitr is on Tuesday, August 30, 2011.