Pontianak – BRIN Public Relations. The Government has set that the beginning of Ramadan 1443 H to fall on Sunday, 3 April 2022. This decision was taken in an isbat – confirmation – session which was held on Friday (01/03).

In determining the start of Ramadan, the government considers the results of astronomical calculations (hisab) and the mechanism for observing the new moon (rukyatul hilal). To carry out observation of the new moon, the Ministry of Religion has determined 101 locations for monitoring the new moon in 34 provinces in the territory of Indonesia.

The National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) through the Space Observation Centers spreading across several parts of Indonesia took part in observing the new moon. One of such locations for observing the new moon is at Kakap Beach, in Sungai Kakap District, Kubu Raya Regency, Pontianak.

Coordinator of the Space Observation Center, M. Laode Musafar K., said that observing the new moon by the BRIN team in Pontianak is a routine activity performed in collaboration with the Regional Office of the Ministry of Religious Affairs of West Kalimantan Province. “The local Regional Office of the Ministry of Religious Affairs asked us to conduct observations for the Pontianak area, considering that BRIN has equipment in the form of a telescope which is ready to be used for observation,” said Musaraf.

Junior Associate Engineer, at the Space Observation Center, Hadi Rasidi, said that the Nahdlatul Ulama Executive Board (LF PBNU) has issued the criteria for rukyah hilal under LF PBNU Decree No. 001/SK/LF–PBNU/III/2022 regarding Criteria for Imkan Rukyah Nahdlatul Ulama. “The criteria for hilal – new moon- in the new regulation is the height of the hilal is at least 3 degrees and the elongation of at least 6.4 degrees,” said Hadi.

Meanwhile, observation by Hadi and his team shows that the position of the new moon is still at 1° 33′ 28″. Based on the new provision, the current position of hilal indicates that it has not yet entered the beginning of Ramadan.

“From observation using a telescope, the hilal is not clear. It is possible that the angle between the sun and the moon is narrow so that the sunlight or syafaq is too bright which causes the moonlight to not be caught in the telescope,” added Hadi.

The data from observation made by the BRIN team, continued Hadi, was then submitted to the Ministry of Religious Affairs for consideration when determining the start of Ramadan at the isbat session. Several Islamic organizations in Indonesia have determined the start of Ramadan long before the Isbat session is held, some of them has the start of fasting different from those set by the government.

Difference in the determination of the beginning of Ramadan, said the Head of the Regional Office of the Ministry of Religious Affairs of West Kalimantan, Syahrul Yadi, is not the first. This also occurred several years ago. “Differences in the beginning of Ramadan for some Islamic religious groups that occur today should not be seen as a division, but on the contrary, this is a diversity that occurs among Muslims, and we must respect it,” said Syahrul.

Syahrul appealed that this difference should further strengthen harmony between Muslims, and this difference is expected not to reduce the meaning of the implementation of fasting worship. “Although there are differences in starting Ramadan, hopefully this will not reduce our solemnity in fasting,” he concluded. (pur)