International scholars agree on shared lunar calendar in Istanbul summit

The summit began on Saturday and concluded on Monday (Photo: Daily Sabah)

Islamic scholars from around the world gathered in Istanbul over the weekend to agree upon a shared lunar calendar for all Muslim majority countries.   

The International Hijri Calendar Union Congress (IHCUC) concluded on Monday evening with a unanimous agreement on shared lunar calendar, marking the end of a long-standing conflict dividing Muslims around the world.

The summit was hosted by Turkey’s state-run Presidency of Religious Affairs (DİB).

The landmark move is particularly important regarding the observance of religious holidays and especially dispute arising from Ramadan, which begins next week.

DİB President Mehmet Görmez told the Daily Sabah that the “a 60-year-old debate” had come to an end.

The event, started on Saturday, follows years of research by a Science Board composed of scholars and scientists from Turkey, Qatar, Jordan, the United States, European and several Muslim countries.

Scholars from Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and nearly 50 countries attended the congress, which hosted a similar event in 1979, only to see an agreement to reach a unified calendar fell apart in the following years.

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