Idul Fitri to begin on Saturday October 13th 2007

muslimThe Indonesian government has decided today that Idul Fitri, the celebration for the end of the month of Ramadan, will begin on Saturday October 13th 2007. One would imagine that with millions of people heading home from the big cites to villages all over the country, in an Asian version of Thanksgiving, that this would already be worked out. But that’s not how they do things here. The Jakarta Post has more.

Government rules Idul Fitri on Saturday

The government ruled on Thursday that Idul Fitri will be celebrated in Indonesia on Saturday.

The decision is not binding and some Islamic organizations, including Muhammadiyah, have already informed their followers to celebrate the Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadhan on Friday.

The announcement, by religious affairs minister Maftuch Baisyuni, came after a meeting with representatives of major Islamic organizations to determine whether Ramadan ends Thursday or Friday.

The meeting reviewed reports from various regions on efforts to physically sight the new moon.

Baisyuni said the majority of the stations tasked with the job failed to sight the new moon, meaning that Ramadhan month will be completed 30 days.

For the umpteenth time, Indonesian Muslims are divided on when to celebrate Idul Fitri.

Muhammadiyah chairman Din Syamsuddin appealed to all Muslims to show tolerance and respect differences on when to celebrate Idul Fitri. His appeal came after the Indonesian Ulema Council, the umbrella group for all Islamic organizations, issued a fatwa obliging all Indonesian Muslims to follow on the government’s decision on when to end Ramadhan.

With this dualism, Muhammadiyah followers will hold the mass Idul Fitri prayers on Friday morning. The others will have their prayers on Saturday.