Ramadan moon sighting
Ramadan is the ninth month of Islamic calendar during which the followers of Islam fast between dawn and sunset, pray for peace and guidance, give back to the community in the form of charity, engage in humanitarian activities such as feeding the underprivileged and introspect to enlighten their souls. (Courtesy of Amber Iqbal)

On the evening of Tuesday, March 21st, the Muslim American Community center of Lexington (MACCLM) hosted a Moon sighting event to commemorate the beginning of the Holy month of Ramadan for Muslims. For thousands of years, humans have used the Moon to help mark time and seasons. The Moon’s regular cycle allows people to determine the number of months in a year, keep track of the changing seasons or mark the start of religious festivals.

In the Islamic calendar, a month begins with the sighting of the new crescent Moon. That makes astronomy a key part of Islamic events and festivals, including Ramadan and Eid. Modern science and astronomy has definitely changed the way the start of Ramadan is observed. Telescopes are used to aid moon-sighting and make more accurate predictions. For this purpose, “The Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston” (AtMoB) and their personnel were invited to guide the moon sighting.

Though it was supposed to be a partly cloudy sky, there was a small window where the crescent was clearly visible. (Courtesy of Amber Iqbal)

The event, which was planned and executed with the help of Afia Mirza, took place in the Harrington Elementary school field. It was a great success and there were about 100 people participating including men, women and kids of all ages. 

Wishing you all a Happy Ramadan!

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