Saturday 27 May 2017 is the first day of Ramadan
The Juristic Office at the Institution of the late Religious Authority, His Eminence, Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra) declared in a statement that Saturday, May 27, 2017 is the first day of the month of Ramadan of the year 1438 AH. The declaration of the beginning of the holy month Ramadan has been based on the jurisprudential edict of the late Religious Authority, His Eminence, Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra).
The statement includes the followings:
The new crescent (central conjunction) for the month of Ramadan 1438 AH will be born on Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 19:44 pm (GMT) that is at 22:44 pm Beirut time. On the evening of this day (Thursday), the crescent cannot be sighted, neither by the naked eye nor by the aid of telescopes in any region in the world. Hence, Friday marks the thirtieth of the month of Sha‘aban, and Saturday, May 27, is the first of the month of Ramadan in the eastern and western hemispheres.
On the evening of Friday (Saturday eve), the crescent can be sighted by the naked eye easily in North America, South America and most of the regions of Africa, as shown in Figure 1. It can also be sighted by the naked eye, provided that the sky is clear, in some of our Arab and Muslim countries, and by the aid of telescopes in some others, as shown in Figure 1 as well[i].
We congratulate the Muslims on the beginning of this generous month flourished with mercy, forgiveness and spirituality. We invoke Allah, the Most Exalted, to bring about all the good, blessings and mercy to all Muslims and grant them all what is necessary to preserve their dignity and steadfastness and to guide them to what makes unity and peace prevail, He is All-Hearing and Responsive.
* This edited article is originally published in Bayynat in English (and translated by Manal Samhat).
 – It is impossible to sight the crescent in the red-zone regions, due to the fact that the crescent sets before the sun does or/and due to the occurrence of topocentric (surface) conjunction after sunset.
– The sighting of the crescent is only possible with the aid of telescopes in the regions situated in the blue zone.
– The sighting is possible with the aid of telescopes in the regions situated in the pink zone, and it is possible to sight it by the naked eye in case the sky was clear and a professional detector detected it.
– The sighting is possible by the naked eye in the regions situated in the green zone.
– The sighting is not possible, neither with the naked eye nor by the aid of telescopes in the regions situated in the uncoloured zone, although the crescent sets after sunset and topocentric conjunction happen before sunset, due to the lack in the crescent’s lighting and/or due to its closeness to the horizon.