The Fiqh Council of North America 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 the criteria of European Council of Fatwa and Research (ECFR), which are that somewhere on the globe, at the sunset, the elongation should be at least 8 degrees and moon should be at least 5 degrees above horizon. If these conditions are met, the new crescent will be visible somewhere on earth. Hence the new lunar month will start the next day, otherwise it will start on the day following next day.
On the basis of this method the dates of Ramadan and Eidul Fitr for the year 1441 AH are established as follows:
Ramadan 1441 AH:
The Astronomical New Moon is on Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 2:27 Universal Time. On that day, everywhere in North and South America at sunset the elongation is at least 8 degrees and moon is at least 5 degrees above the sun. Therefore, first day of Ramadan 1441 is on Friday, April 24, 2020, insha’Allah. Tarawih prayer will start on Thursday night.
EID UL-FITR 1441 AH:
The Astronomical New Moon is on Friday, May 22, 2020 at 17:40 Universal Time. On that day there is no place on earth where at sunset the elongation is 8 degrees and moon is 5 degrees above the sun. Therefore Shawwal 1441 cannot start the next day. Hence first day of Shawwal is on Sunday, May 24, 2020, insha’Allah.
May Allah (swt) keep us on the right path and accept our fasting and prayers. Ameen.