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To Eat, or Not to Eat

Indonesian Moslems Debate When the Fasting Month of Ramadan Actually Begins

(6/16/2013) Indonesia’s second largest Islamic organization Muhammadiyah has declared that the first day of the Moslem fasting month of Ramadan begins on July 9, 2013.

Muhammadiyah have their own time-honored means of calculating the phases of the moon that fixed the start of the fasting month for Tuesday, July 9, 2013. Accordingly, according to Muhammadiyah calculations, Idul Fitri which ends the fasting month will fall on August 9, 2013.

This is one day later than the date formally declared by the Indonesian Ministry of Religion.

Muhammadiyah relies on modern astronomical calculations while other, more traditional, Islamist groups use visual alignments of the horizon and certain astrological bodies to determine the start and end of the fasting period.

Due to differences in astronomical calculations Muhammadiyah adherents often celebrates religious date at a different time from their other Moslem brethren in Indonesia

In an effort to seek a consensus, the Religious Affairs Ministry have called a meeting to seek a common date. Certain that they're right, Muhammadiyah representatives won’t be attending that consultative meeting.