Monday 22nd April 2024 | Ithnain 13th Shawwal 1445 [?]
When is the start of the Islamic day and week?

By Eng. Qamar Uddin, ICOUK (Mar 2024/Shaban 1445)

The start of the lunar months is well-known, but the start of Islamic Day and Week is not so well known, and hence, it leads to confusion amongst the admins/calendar makers in various UK mosque committees.

Therefore, please realise that the night in Islam comes before the day, as Allah mentions the night before the day in the Quran (7:142). It is also clear that the day of Jummah starts from the sunset/night of Thursday as mentioned in the Surah Kahaf Ahadith.

Several UK Ulama groups (e.g., Jamiat Ulama, Wifaqul Ulama, etc) have informed us that they always make their moon sighting announcements after UK sunset/maghrib, even though they get foreign news a few hours beforehand.

It is essential to attempt local moon sightings after sunset (regardless of the local or global criteria adopted) and hence making any announcement for the start of Ramadan/Eid before local sunset is totally against Islamic principles.

The names of the week in Arabic are: Sunday (الأحد), Monday (الإثنين), Tuesday (الثلاثاء), Wednesday (الأربعاء), Thursday (الخميس), Friday (الجمعة) & Saturday (السبت). The first day of the week is a Sunday (Al-Ahad, the first day), and the last day of the week is Saturday (Al-Sabat, the seventh day) are also stated in Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Quran 7:54).

Day and week calendarHence, the Islamic week starts on a Sunday (i.e. not Friday) and ends on a Saturday (not Thursday). Therefore, making weekly calendars to start on a Sunday and to end on a Saturday is most appropriate. Weekends with different background colours may be used to differentiate from the working weeks (i.e., Mon - Fri in the UK).

In conclusion, the Islamic day starts from sunset and not from midnight. The Islamic week starts on Sunday and not on Friday. Any moon sighting announcements should be made *after sunset* (allowing time for local moon sightings), InshaAllah.