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Moon Sighting Explained - By Sheikh Omar El Banna

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#91 omnichrono

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 01:17 PM

Just as there is barakah wa hikma behind non-sahih hadith, scholarly debate, and the night of laylatul qadr, there is barakat wa hikma behind the moon-sighting/Eid date.
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#92 Ted Cohort

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 01:42 PM


Great way to call for unity.....refer to all global moonsighters as ingenious and only pass off the view that local moonsighting is the only legitimate way. Seems to be the attitude with most local sighters.



ummm.....that exactly is global sighting mate. You wait for news from various countries and if the reports are rejected, you move on to the next. It's a bit like trying to sight the moon in sydney...if not sighted, you wait for sighting reports from perth, darwin etc. How can you criticise global sighting in that manner when you folks will be doing exactly that...just at a more regional level following the MINORITY opinion.


So did you wait for Chile, bro, or did you accept the apparent sightings in other locations?
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#93 Omar El Banna

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 01:44 PM

I think the key word is choice and will. Perth is further than Jakarta. The people local-sighters have links with in Perth did not pop out of the blue. These links and verification processes were established. And if it can be done for Perth, it can be done for Jakarta and other cities.


Brother Othman, the issue is not whether Perth is closer than Jakarta or not or whether we can or we can't have links with sources in Indonesia. The issue is where do you draw the line? if we accept sources from indonesia, then why not Malaysia? if we accept Malaysia then why not Thailand, Philippines, Burma, China, Bangladesh....? where will you draw the line??? how will define the boundaries of your region? And what will be the proof you use??
Political boundary in my opinion is the Ma'mool Bihi (practiced) boundary by our salaf. Try to picture Egypt and Sham for example in the mamluk time when they were controlled by different political authorities. The Imam or the Qadi, in each, received sighting reports from his political region and decided accordingly. There are some cities in sham like Ghaza (which was Askalan in the past) that is closer to Cairo than many cities in southern Egypt. But this had no influence! Sham made a decision and Egypt made a decision. And all this happened in front of eminent scholars, like Ibn Abd-assalam, al Nawawi, ibn as-salah, Al Qurtubi, ibn Daqiq etc... and after hours of my humble research i found no comment from any of them that this is wrong or has no basis or the like. Bare in mind also, that both Egypt and Sham put together in size are smaller in area than Australia.
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#94 Omar El Banna

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 02:11 PM



Absolutely not but it doesn't have to be implemented in that manner. Surely our ulamah are capable enough to come up with a mechanism that allows for them to implement global sighting. At the end of the day, if HT can implement it, it cannot be deemed as impractical....it just needs to be given priority.


There is only one mechanism :) it is not about the capability of Ulamah.
I am sorry for my choice of the word 'impractical'. Please forgive my humble linguistic skills. I did not mean that it cannot be actually practiced on the ground. I meant that it will be extremely hard to practice on the ground in comparison to Regional sighting. So i meant that in terms of Advantages/disadvantages and suitability it is not the preferred choice. I thought that is what the word 'impractical' implies ; (hard to apply).
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#95 Issaabu

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 04:39 PM

Assalamu alaikum Sheikh Omar,
Can you please shed some light on the role of the mufti in Australia. What position he is following and our obligations or non obligations towards his verdicts. I am a little confused as to what his role is in our community.
Was he chosen in agreement with the Ulama of Australia? is it purely a ceremonial role, representative role ? etc etc
Thanking you in advance wa jazakallahu khayran for your time and effort
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#96 ThUnDa4rOmDoWnUnDa

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 05:03 PM


So did you wait for Chile, bro, or did you accept the apparent sightings in other locations?


If I was to jump ships next year and follow global sighting, then the first confirmed sighting will suffice. In this instance, Saudi had a confirmed sighting and it resulted to them changing their Eid day from Wed to today...and many other countries followed their sighting. So no need to wait for Chile.

This discussion goes back to sighting claim from a country where astronomical data says is not possible.... Below is a response, which is approved by Mufti Taqi Uthmani, one of the highest figures, if not the highest figure, in the Hanafii madhhaab today regarding a similar question asked from the community in England. I will just paste his answer...to read the question, I have included the source at the bottom.

Answer:

The conclusion of the details and arguments raised within your question is that sometimes the announcement of the sighting of the new moon from the government of Saudi Arabia does not correspond with observatory calculations and often announcements are made at such times that according to observatory calculations sighting is impossible; examples and proof of which you have sent.
All these are correct and not without proof, however, the root question is that ‘Is testimony in odds with observatory calculations acceptable according to Shariah?’ In reality this question is debateable. One group of Scholars are of the thinking that this type of testimony is not acceptable but a very large group of scholars say that there is no reliance upon observatory calculations and in such a situation a testimony of sighting would be relied upon.

Accordingly a detailed Fatwah has been issued from Darul Ifta, Jaamia Darul Uloom Karachi with the signature of Mufti Rafi Uthmani; the conclusion of which is that the majority of the scholars from the four schools of thought are unanimous that when there is a conflict between testimony and observatory calculations then the testimony will be relied upon and no reliance will be placed upon observatory calculations. (Register of the copy of Fatawah 461/46176/85).
In answer to one question from Germany regarding the sighting of Saudi Arabia Hadhrat Mufti Sahab states, “The government of Saudi Arabia say that the judgement of the sighting of the new moon is based solely upon the principles of Shariah and according to sighting with the naked eye not upon observatory calculations. Although a lot of people are not content with this announcement of the Saudi government, however, there is no Shari evidence to refute this either. The reason for discontent they state is that many times the announcement contradicts observatory calculations i.e. a judgement of the sighting is taken when according to observatory calculations sighting is impossible in Saudi Arabia. However, as according to Shari principles, testimony is based upon sightings and not according to observatory calculations, therefore, if the people of Germany act upon the judgement of Saudi Arabia, according to Shariah there is scope for this.” (Register of copy of Fatawah 461/56)
Hadhrat Mufti Taqi Sahab also answers to a similar question coming from Britain, “To observe Ramadhan & Eid according to the sightings of Saudi Arabia is a debateable issue. It is true that sometimes they announce the sightings when it is impossible according to observatory calculations, however, a very large group of Jurists have relied upon testimony even in this state. If the Scholars of one country are unified upon this, the issue being debateable and to act upon this to create unity between the Muslims, there is no Shari obstruction although those who based their judgement upon Morocco moon sighting seems more cautious. However, to choose the more cautious option moving away from the majority and becoming a source of conflict in the eyes of this humble servant is not appropriate.” (Register copy Fatawah 706/58)
Therefore, the answer to your question is that if the majority there are acting upon the sighting of Saudi Arabia then there is no harm in observing Ramadhan & Eid with them, and it is obvious that when there is scope for this according to Shariah then no question arises of the fast or any other acts of worship not being accepted or them being nullified. Allah the All-Mighty knows best.
The answer is written by Muhammad Uthman Darul Ifta Jaamia Darul Uloom Karachi dated 15/04/1427.
The answer is correct.

Verified by:
Mufti Taqi Sahab (Mufti)
Muhammad Abdul Mannan (Deputy Mufti)
Mahmood Ashraf (Deputy Mufti)
Signed by the above three on 17/04/1427.
Stamp of Darul Ifta, Jamia Darul Uloom, Karachi
Fatwah No. 876/35 dated 18/04/1427.

Source: http://moonsightingd...hariah/#more-24
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#97 ThUnDa4rOmDoWnUnDa

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 05:09 PM


There is only one mechanism :) it is not about the capability of Ulamah.
I am sorry for my choice of the word 'impractical'. Please forgive my humble linguistic skills. I did not mean that it cannot be actually practiced on the ground. I meant that it will be extremely hard to practice on the ground in comparison to Regional sighting. So i meant that in terms of Advantages/disadvantages and suitability it is not the preferred choice. I thought that is what the word 'impractical' implies ; (hard to apply).


jazakallah khair Sheikh.
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#98 mgoolam

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 06:14 PM

From Al-Ghazzali - Australian National Crescent Sighting Coordination Centre (ANCSCC)



http://crescentwatch...ali.org/?p=1066


Shawwal 1432 Sighting Results


The crescent has been sighted at Raymond Terrace, hence tomorrow (31st August) is the 1st of Shawwal and Eid ul-Fitr. Eid Mubarak

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#99 Z

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 07:15 PM

Eid Mubarak.
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#100 Othman

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 09:45 PM

http://www.hizbulula...arak_1432ah.pdf (UK HT)

UK HU, not HT! :)

Brother Othman, the issue is not whether Perth is closer than Jakarta or not or whether we can or we can't have links with sources in Indonesia. The issue is where do you draw the line? if we accept sources from indonesia, then why not Malaysia? if we accept Malaysia then why not Thailand, Philippines, Burma, China, Bangladesh....? where will you draw the line??? how will define the boundaries of your region? And what will be the proof you use??

This is a different issue, shaykh. I was commenting on previous comments which were about the practicality/impracticality of verifying sightings from Indonesia. The brother was implying that because apparently it is more difficult to verify sightings from Indonesian and other countries, therefore local sighting is the wiser position. My comments were responding to this point in particular. What you are speaking of is how 'local' is defined in local-sighting. And I agree that a clear definition based on the texts need to be used.

Political boundary in my opinion is the Ma'mool Bihi (practiced) boundary by our salaf. Try to picture Egypt and Sham for example in the mamluk time when they were controlled by different political authorities. The Imam or the Qadi, in each, received sighting reports from his political region and decided accordingly. There are some cities in sham like Ghaza (which was Askalan in the past) that is closer to Cairo than many cities in southern Egypt. But this had no influence! Sham made a decision and Egypt made a decision. And all this happened in front of eminent scholars, like Ibn Abd-assalam, al Nawawi, ibn as-salah, Al Qurtubi, ibn Daqiq etc... and after hours of my humble research i found no comment from any of them that this is wrong or has no basis or the like. Bare in mind also, that both Egypt and Sham put together in size are smaller in area than Australia.

I think there are a number of issues with this reasoning, shaykh:

1. From the usuli perspective, one needs to assess where the ma'mul bihi position (one that does not, in this case, have any basis in the texts) stand in terms of strength and weakness with the mu'tamad, the dhahir, and like murajjah positions.

2. Also from the usuli angle, for a ma'mul bihi position that does not have a basis in the texts, one has to see whether it was used simply because of the circumstances of the time, which have now changed, and how this would affect it's proper application under changed circumstances.

3. With respect to the tahqeeq al-manat, is the 'political boundaries' you reference from Islamic history the same as the one you are now using? Arguably not. There is a big difference between a legitimate Islamic province where the qadis are appointed and have executive authority (sultan tanfeedhi), and a non-Islamic state (like Australia) where the muftis/scholars have no link with the state and thus no executive authority. They only have moral authority for those who choose to follow them, which means that a person from anywhere (not restricted by political boundaries) can seek their fatwa AND can choose to adopt or leave it. Thus the authority of the qadi under the khilafah is a political authority linked directly to, and restricted by, the political boundaries (i.e. everyone within the province must implement his ruling, and for everyone outside it is of no relevance), whereas the authority of the mufti or scholar under dar al-kufr is only a moral authority that has no relation with the political boundaries. This is a key consideration.

4. In terms of application, this idea would be particularly dangerous in the Muslim World where the political boundaries are nothing more than artificial constructs forced upon us by the kuffar.

5. Assuming that it is established that this is a ma'mul bihi position, the question is why should it be adopted in favour of the other definitions of 'local' provided in the madhhab of those who adopt local-sighting which have a clearer and stronger basis in the texts. Your answer to this so far has simply been 'practicality', which if that is the issue, than, as mentioned, it is more a matter of will than anything else.

In any case, this is a detailed discussion. Insha'allah we can continue in person once you have some time after Eid. Eid Mubarak! :)
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#101 Orion

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 11:02 PM

I have a solution which will unite local moonsighters, global moonsighters, and calculators...

We all migrate to Alaska! We will be at the extreme "West" of the planet and have best possible chance of sighting the crescent :) Whether it is feasible or not is another question...!?
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#102 Mosty

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 08:58 PM

Came across an ayah in the Qur'an, that summed up these entire state of affairs perfectly:

لَا تَجْعَلُوا دُعَاءَ الرَّسُولِ بَيْنَكُمْ كَدُعَاءِ بَعْضِكُمْ بَعْضًا ۚ قَدْ يَعْلَمُ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ يَتَسَلَّلُونَ مِنْكُمْ لِوَاذًا ۚ فَلْيَحْذَرِ الَّذِينَ يُخَالِفُونَ عَنْ أَمْرِهِ أَنْ تُصِيبَهُمْ فِتْنَةٌ أَوْ يُصِيبَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

Make not the calling of the messenger among you as your calling one of another. Allah knoweth those of you who steal away, hiding themselves. And let those who conspire to evade his orders beware lest grief or painful punishment befall them. (Surat an-Nur, verse 63)
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#103 omnichrono

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 09:54 PM

I have a solution which will unite local moonsighters, global moonsighters, and calculators...

We all migrate to Alaska! We will be at the extreme "West" of the planet and have best possible chance of sighting the crescent :) Whether it is feasible or not is another question...!?


Muslims all in one place? You certainly would make the West happy :)
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#104 Nowzad

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 10:24 PM

Came across an ayah in the Qur'an, that summed up these entire state of affairs perfectly:

لَا تَجْعَلُوا دُعَاءَ الرَّسُولِ بَيْنَكُمْ كَدُعَاءِ بَعْضِكُمْ بَعْضًا ۚ قَدْ يَعْلَمُ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ يَتَسَلَّلُونَ مِنْكُمْ لِوَاذًا ۚ فَلْيَحْذَرِ الَّذِينَ يُخَالِفُونَ عَنْ أَمْرِهِ أَنْ تُصِيبَهُمْ فِتْنَةٌ أَوْ يُصِيبَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

Make not the calling of the messenger among you as your calling one of another. Allah knoweth those of you who steal away, hiding themselves. And let those who conspire to evade his orders beware lest grief or painful punishment befall them. (Surat an-Nur, verse 63)

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#105 Nouhed 'Nev'

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 05:30 PM

People seem to like key words, so here are a few which you shall see why I have selected them: applicability, feasability/practicality, validity, unity.

Whether or not people agree or disagree with the article (or parts thereof) that Sh. Omar has written, you must admit he has gone to the effort of looking into the positions of the ulema, and has considered the practicality of different methodologies.

Although it does not count for much, my opinion that with time the differences will reduce and there will be more concensus, insha'Allah. You would think that as our beloved generations move on, this would happen, then again it may not and the differences may become more concrete. Nonetheless I can understand and appreciate why people want to do something about it now, in the pursuit of the application of Qur'an and Sunnah in the current time.

From the discussions in the community and on this forum, it seems that some people are willing to accept only one method which all people must follow, and there are others that agree there is more then one valid method that can be applied in one community. It would seem that the former is more feasible, however this would only create 'unity' in terms of determining the Islamic months. Regarding the latter, if the methodologies are inline with Qur'an and Sunnah as investigated by the a'imma then alhamdulillah, difference of opinion is a mercy (and only valid opinions - which is a contentious issue, then the next issue is the applicability of valid opinions). Although it would be 'nice' to have unity regarding determining the Islamic months, it would seem that we will not reach anywhere close to 100% consensus in Australia in the foreseeable future. Rather based on the fact that difference of opinion is a mercy (again I stress valid opinion), if the various valid opinions are applicable in Australia then for example two valid methodologies can be employed by different groups, and we can still have 'unity' in general sense (then again we have a few hurdles in that regard).

Let us see what happens next time, if Allah ta'Ala gives us life to that point in time.
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#106 Nouhed 'Nev'

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 05:41 PM

A question, from what I have read Imam Ramli's position is seen as a minority view in the Shaf'i school, and an opinion which quite often cannot be considered applicable, am I correct?

Another question is that there has been discussion regarding how the issue would be dealt with under Islamic governance i.e. Caliphate, Sultunate etc... How is that applicable to our current time and our current location, and would the best advice be to allow the highest Islamic body or individual i.e Mufti Fehmi, ANIC etc... to announce the commencement of Islamic months (and in turn indiviual organisation and learned people to present their cases so that a valid methodology can be followed)?

Please beware what you need to say regarding individuals or Islamic bodies, I have much respect for these people.
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#107 OmarR

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 10:11 PM

Could the calculators please explain to me how they determine the crescent- hilaal, not the new moon- conjunction, for each month.

According to the following website-

http://www.aussiesky...r/weather3.html

and it's associated link "lunar phases"-

http://www.moonconne...on_phases.phtml

the new moon- conjunction was August 29th 03:02 Mon UTC, +10 hrs time for Sydney.

Making for conjunction at August 29th 13:02 Mon. Sydney time.

In Sheikh Omar's article he states-

"The record for an early sighting of a lunar crescent, with a telescope, is 12.1 hours after new moon; for naked- eye sightings, the record is 15.5 hours from new moon. These are exception observations and crescent sightings this early in the lunar month should not be expected as the norm."

When added to the figure of new moon conjunction, for Sydney, of 13:02 Mon 29th August, a figure of between 01:08 Tue 30th August and 04:32 Tue 30th August is reached, for birth of the crescent- hilaal.

This is well past the viewing time of maghrib on the evening of the 29th August for a new month to commence on 30th August.

Do the calculators say that the crescent- hilaal is present, but not visible after maghrib?

As if these figures are correct, the crescent- hilaal would have only been visible on Tue 30th August maghrib time, to make for a new month on Wed 31st Aug.
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#108 ThUnDa4rOmDoWnUnDa

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 11:56 AM

I am not sure if this information is valid but I think the Turks, who are the primary followers of calculation, go with the possibility of the hilal being sighted anywhere in the world....imkan al ru'ya. Allah u a'lam

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#109 OmarR

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 11:59 AM

For those who are interested- some information on different Islamic calculated calendars:

The Turkish Islamic Calendar-
http://www.staff.sci...r_converter.htm

The Umm al- Qura Calendar of Saudi Arabia-
http://www.staff.sci...m/ummalqura.htm

The Arithmetical or Tabular Islamic Calendar (hisabi)-
http://www.staff.sci...slam_tabcal.htm

And finally one about Predicting the First Visibility of the Lunar Crescent-
http://www.staff.sci...slam_lunvis.htm

All-in-all an interesting read!
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#110 zemaire

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 09:57 PM

http://muslimvillage...post__p__936349

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#111 ThUnDa4rOmDoWnUnDa

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 06:22 PM

For those who are interested- some information on different Islamic calculated calendars:

The Turkish Islamic Calendar-
http://www.staff.sci...r_converter.htm

The Umm al- Qura Calendar of Saudi Arabia-
http://www.staff.sci...m/ummalqura.htm

The Arithmetical or Tabular Islamic Calendar (hisabi)-
http://www.staff.sci...slam_tabcal.htm

And finally one about Predicting the First Visibility of the Lunar Crescent-
http://www.staff.sci...slam_lunvis.htm

All-in-all an interesting read!


Jazz Allah Khair. Please check your pm
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#112 zemaire

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 04:38 PM

Australian National Crescent Sighting Coordination Centre - Official ANCSCC Statement

http://crescentwatch...azzali.org/?p=7


The Islamic Law has a clear methodology for determining the beginning of the lunar month for devotional purposes. Every month is to commence upon the initial physical sighting of the waxing crescent moon on the western horizon of the evening sky after sunset. The method for beginning the month of Ramadhan is no exception as the Messenger of Allah clearly said,“Begin your fast upon sighting [the crescent moon] and end your fast upon sighting [the subsequent crescent].” The four schools of Sunni Islam hold that this is an unambiguous, clear textual proof that is not open to subsequent interpretation.

ANCSCC adheres to this Prophetic methodology. With the assistance of an experienced international team of crescent observers, we endeavour to share with the Muslim community information concerning the beginning of the lunar months, with special attention paid to the months of Ramadhan, Shawwal, and Dhul Hijja. God willing, we will continue to provide this service to the Australian Muslim community.


As for establishing each month, including Ramadhan, based upon mathematical pre-calculation, we have found no convincing argument that this was ever a practice of the Muslim community, and truly believe, based upon the position of our great jurists and masters of Ijtihad, that the text supporting physical sighting is unequivocal and thus not open to any new Ijtihad. Furthermore, we understand the issue of pre-calculation not to be one of sound difference of opinion but rather innovation in the affairs of Islam and should be avoided. The Prophet said, “Beware of introduced affairs [in our religion], for every introduced affair is an innovation and every innovation is a type of going astray.” And Allah alone knows best.

ANCSCC accepts that scientific data, when factual, does have a permissible role in Islamic Law as evidence, in negating implausible claims of sighting. ANCSCC liaises with expert astronomers and Muslim Scholars when such a situation does arise, and takes such scientific data into account (when sighting is impossible) when making final decisions.

Click Here to understand the policy by which ANCSCC observes, collects and verifies sighting reports from all around Australia.
http://crescentwatch...org/?page_id=19

We never desire to see any divisiveness in our community and request that Muslims avoid slander, disputes and bitter arguments concerning the scholars, people and crescent sighting. Those who have put forward calculation as a method are doing so with their understanding that it is a way of facilitation for the Muslims in the West. They are scholars in their respective areas of expertise. And while we disagree with their attempts at a new ijtihad because it is incorrect, we believe their intentions are sound and that they should be respected. Rather, we encourage our brothers and sisters to consider the various arguments and then make a mature, objective and informed decision bearing in mind the prescient advice of our Noble Prophet, “Leave that which causes you doubt for that which eradicates doubt.”

May Allah bless us all with good and beneficial knowledge that pleases him, since success is from Allah alone. All praise is for Allah, the Nurturing Lord of all.

This official Statement was inspired by and adopted from Zaytuna Institute’s statement on establishing lunar months.
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#113 pepe

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 12:07 PM

Sight It, or Count It; A discussion on moon-sighting by Shaykh Mokhtar Maghraoui



Below you can find a research paper authored by Shaykh Mokhtar Maghraoui on the permissibility of using astronomical calculation to determine the month of Ramadan. Attached, as well, is a summary of the main arguments in the research paper. The recent 2006 decision by the Fiqh Council of North America on this matter has raised many concerns. The paper addresses those concerns. Shaykh Mokhtar was part of the Fiqh Council for about 5 years. He left last year. Shaykh Mokhtar, as you might know, is a much respected and loved scholar in North America. He is thoroughly versed in the Islamic sciences. And his doctorate joined between the fields of physics and engineering. This paper is an important contribution to the issue of astronomical calculation and moonsighting . The analysis is scholarly, balanced and compelling – and is offered with the hope of furthering a healthy and constructive discussion of this issue.




http://www.zawiyah.net/summary.pdf

http://www.zawiyah.net/paper.pdf

Controversies over sighting the crescent spoiling the joy of Eid
By Keysar Trad



I like young English speaking Imams, I don't care too much for their strand, I believe that they provide an essential service in English speaking countries.
Having said that, it is incredibly disappointing to see some of our young imams setting aside reason and the intent of our great faith in order to find justification for an extremely narrow interpretation of one Hadith and through that, set aside the most important aspects of our faith.
I am not an accredited Islamic scholar, I am a simple humble Muslim who has been honoured to serve our faith for a few years, six of which working as a personal assistant to the former Mufti of Australia. I have also been blessed to have been allowed to translate several books for the current head of ANIC NSW. In addition, I have been immensely humbled to make corrections to the Abdullah Yusuf Ali translation of the meaning of the Holy Qur'an (which has been printed twice and endorsed by the World Islamic Call).

Other than that, I am really the average ordinary Muslim struggling to make sense of the conflict we have in Australia amongst different strands of our faith over an essentially simple matter.

The Eid (festival) is meant to be an occasion of joy and celebration in unity, the start of Ramadan is meant to be an opportunity to gain a spiritual boost; but, it would seem, not in countries where Muslims are a minority. We have strands fighting with the mainstream over the simplest of issues.
The purpose of this article is not to add to the debate, but rather to appeal for a "sensible" resolution.
I appeal to your proclaimed faith in Allah Subhanah and to your "reason" to reflect and contemplate.
Ramadan is the month of fasting, Allah Subhanah says: Whoever amongst you witnesses (shahida), the month should fast it. (2:185)
Our prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him, in order to assist us, says: fast to its (the crescent's) sighting and break the fast to its sighting, but if it is obscured form you then complete the month to 30 days.
I submit to the words of Allah Subhanah and His messenger, peace and blessings upon him. I pray to Allah to make His words and those of His messenger, the guidance for every aspect of my life.
Is the sighting the goal for our important ritual of worship or is it the means to establish when the fast commences?
Does the sighting signify the birth of the new moon, or is it only one of the means to establishing that the new moon is born?
The fasting is described by Allah Subhanah as a countable or calculable period (Ayyaman Ma'dudat) lit. "days that can be counted" (2:184). He, in His infinite Wisdom also tells us with respect to the moon "We predetermined its stations" (Waqqadarnahu Manazila) and adds, very interestingly, until it returned like the (bent) old palm branch ('aada kal 'urjunil kadeem) (36:39). In another verse where Allah Subhanah mentions both the sun and the moon, He distinguishes between them by saying that the moon has been given predetermined stations and He gives us a reason for that: He determined its stations so that you may know the number of years and "calculation". (10:5) Then He, Subhanah, clarifies in the same verse that the creation of all this is the reality (Huqq) and "We elaborated in detail these signs for people with knowledge."
The moon has predetermined stations and positions and that when it returns, it returns like the old branch of a date-palm leads to the interpretation and conclusion that the moon, its positions and the crescent (old palm branch) moves in accordance with an exact calculated destiny (Taqdeer). This Taqdeer means that it has already been established, it is already set and determined, it will not deviate from its predetermined course and how can it, for it is a creature that fully submits to the Will of our Creator. It cannot and has not been given any power to change its course. Unlike the sun which seeks the permission of its Lord before rising until one day, it will rise from the West (as per the hadith) that is, it will retrograde in its motion. In contrast, the moon will follow a predetermined orbit that cannot be changed, it is an orbit set by Allah Subhanah as He refers the Taqdeer to Himself (Qaddarnahu).
Unlike human discourse, no word in the Holy Qur'an is there for the simple purpose of completing a sentence. Every single word in the Holy Qur'an is guidance for living things, every single word has meaning, wisdom and purpose.
To answer the first question, the goal is the fasting, this is one of the five core pillars or duties of every Muslim, the means to the fast are: the intention and a healthy body and a healthy mind. Without the intention, the fast is meaningless and without the sound mind and good health, one may not be able to fast. The means to fast is what enables you to fast. So the sighting is neither the direct means nor the objective, the sighting is merely a tool to use to assist us in establishing the start of the month.
As for the second question, the birth and the sightability are not the same, there are many hours in between them, for example, the new moon of the month of Shawwal is born at 1:05PM (Sydney time) on Monday 29th August but it is not sightable until 7:25PM (Libyan time corresponding to 3:25 am Sydney time) this is many hours later. This is not fortune-telling, this is not divination, this is based on an understanding of the "Taqdeer" or predetermination that Allah Subhanah has made (as per the verses I cited). It is not based on a human-being performing witchcraft or speaking to demons, it is based on an exact "science", a science that was brought to life by Muslim scientists like Al Khawarizmi and others. This is what the knowledge of "Alhisaab" or calculation cited in verse 10:5.
The birth of the moon is not particular to one location like the sightability, the new moon is born at 1:05, this birth is with respect to planet Earth around which the moon orbits. The first possible sightability is in Tripoli, Libya, we thank Allah for liberating Tripoli from the blood-thirsty dictator Qaddafi just a few days before the Eid, Alhamdulillah. It is not a coincidence that Tripoli will be the first city in the world to sight the new crescent of the festival of breaking the fast. But will we believe our brothers, who just sacrificed their lives for their faith and for their freedom when they tell us that they have sighted the new crescent?
I do understand that each region can have its own sighting, in an age where we did not have mass communication, that was the only way to do it, but today, when we can communicate instantaneously, and we claim to be one global Ummah, surely the sighting of any credible Muslim in any part of this globe that shares a part of the night with us is good enough for us! Are we one Islam, or a divided Islam? So this begs the question as to why some are sending invitations to look for the moon on the 30th with reference to their fellow Muslims in Tripoli? There is something wrong.
The sighting is not the act of worship, it is the advice from the prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him, who sought to give us a tool to assist us. He did not say: We will fast to its sighting. He issued advice to his followers: "You" fast to its sighting (Soomoo, not Nasoomoo). He did not specify that this sighting must be with the naked eye. He did not mention instruments because such instruments were not known in those days, he also, much more importantly, did not rule out the use of instruments. But if he was with us today, would he say that the proven part of science that God had ordained as a law for this universe is to be discounted and we can only rely on the fallible human eye? Would he? I will not insult our community with an answer to that, because you all know the answer.
I don't like to name and shame, that is not my style and it certainly is not the way of our messenger, peace and blessings upon him, who would normally set his criticism to the unknown third person as in "ma balu Qawmen" (why do some people). I know some Imams are naming, and in doing so, trying to shame other Imams and Muslim organisations. They are attacking others for acknowledging the important role of science to an educated Muslim community. This conflict betrays a war waging between a strand of our faith that is squatting in disproportionate numbers in some of our groupings and using "democracy of numbers" to implement their views over others and the mainstream Imams who are perhaps not fully cognisant of the scale of the challenge facing them at present and who have turned away from fringe groupings.
This strand thinks that it is reviving a Sunna of naked eye sighting. This boggles my humble mind, a Sunna? Where are the recorded instances of the prophet Muhammad himself, peace and blessings upon him, in person sighting the crescent or sending individuals to monitor its emergence from the horizon? When did he go or take a group to a mountain top to wait the appearance of a hair-strand-resembling crescent? He, peace and blessings upon him made sighting a simple tool, any credible Muslim can make the report during his blessed time.
I do understand why our ancient scholars were guarded with respect to calculations, that was a time long after the passing of our great prophet, peace and blessings upon him, when the science was still in its inception and the means and tools were not as accurate as those of today. They lived in a time where some people practiced forms of deception claiming to know the unknown, that is not the case today. The calculation of sightability of the new crescent is not a knowledge of the "unknown", it is not the hidden or shadowy domain of "diviners" or fortune tellers, it is a science that any person with a computer can verify. If these scholars were with us today, would they insist on that narrow interpretation?
It is strange that we are not arguing about the act of worship itself, the fasting which is obligatory on us as Muslims, but, rather, we are arguing about the day to start and the day to finish. And none of us has bothered to do the simple exercise, to check in hindsight, were the calculations for the past ten years wrong or right?
The command in the holy Qur'an is to fast the month if you are alive when the month arrives, the Hadith tells us that we know when the month comes through the sighting of the crescent. How could it be any simpler, if our prophet, the Mercy for all living things, Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him, had instead narrowly interpreted the verse as a requirement to fast based on the birth of the moon, he would have been asking for an impossibility because there were no means to do so back then, no one would know, no human could see when the new moon is born, the indicant to the birth is the sighting of the crescent. That statement was a permit, it was a reprieve, it was to give us humans a means to establish the start of Ramadan, even if this was to be a few hours after the birth of the new moon. In majority Muslim countries, there is an official who tells us, someone from the Awqaf makes a decision, we don't know and certainly have no authority to challenge the basis of the announcement, was it based on calculation or sighting? It matters little, we are bound by it, it is official. But where we are a minority, we tend to intoxicate ourselves with freedom to the extent that it leads us to become divided, each crowing over his own "roost".
We tend to forget the Qur'an again, where Allah, Subhanah, makes unity an obligation, we set aside that obligation for a very narrow understanding of "one" and only "one" Hadith! To whose benefit is that?
It certainly does not endear our educated professional children to our faith, those who need to apply for a day's leave in advance, it makes us a laughing stock in front of non-Muslims, in the age that they have landed on the moon, we still cannot see eye to eye with respect to the methodology of its sighting.
We cannot blame others for this one, we are putting ourselves in this precarious position that cannot be explained. We have allowed a means to an end to become the cause of much disputation, far more disputation than it warrants and this means to an end has become the battle ground of a new generation of Imams, who, rather than working with their elders, are vying to snatch the power from their elders, to take that for themselves, all in the name of our blessed Sunna. May Allah Subhanah forgive us if we are worthy of redemption and those beyond it, may He save us from their folly.
I pray for a blessed Eid for all, despite the division and confusion.
Keysar Trad


http://ktrad.blogspo...g-crescent.html


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The Monoculture’s complaint about Islam amounts to only one demand: Be like us!

#114 Othman

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 12:32 AM

Did you or Keysar actually read the paper by Sh. Mokhtar? It argues against calculations, not for it.
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#115 Ottoman

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 03:36 AM

I hav'nt read all the post above but dear brothers and sisters why do we have to change something when its been working perfectly for almost 1400 yrs. I've done some research into how the Ottomans have done the moonsighting. My research shows me that there was only Local moonsighting until the end of the Otttoman empire. I will try to translate my evidences on this topic later on inshallah.
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#116 CM786

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 09:23 AM

I am not sure if this information is valid but I think the Turks, who are the primary followers of calculation, go with the possibility of the hilal being sighted anywhere in the world....imkan al ru'ya. Allah u a'lam

:sad: It looks like some going to celebrate Eid Adha on Sunday 6th following their Diyanet Calendar.

as for me Ill be celebrating on Monday 7th according to moonsighting to reap the benefits of the first of 10 Dhul-Hijjah InshAllah.

I hav'nt read all the post above but dear brothers and sisters why do we have to change something when its been working perfectly for almost 1400 yrs. I've done some research into how the Ottomans have done the moonsighting. My research shows me that there was only Local moonsighting until the end of the Otttoman empire. I will try to translate my evidences on this topic later on inshallah.


bump* :)
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That which brings you closer to Allah (swt), is the greatest blessing of all.

#117 zemaire

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 08:36 PM

^ May the Almighty always guide our Ummah to what pleases Him (SWT).

The majority of the calculators and Globalsighters in Australia have already declared Sunday (6 Nov) to be the 10 Dhul Hajahh.

For the (local) moonsighers, Monday 7 of november will be the first day of the Eid ul adhaa. EnshAllah Khayr.

Wasalaams
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The middle course is the best.

" I am less concerned about getting people to the shahada than I am about getting people beyond the shahada". (Shk Abdullah bin Hamid Ali)

#118 zemaire

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 08:24 PM

Fasting on the 9th of Dhul Hijja: Local Sighting or Saudi Sighting?

Question:

If the moon of Dhul Hijja is sighted in one’s own country on a day different than the day on which it is sighted in Saudi Arabia, then should one fast on the 9th of Dhul Hijja according to one’s local sighting, or should one fast according to the Saudi Arabian sighting in order to fast on the day when the pilgrims are standing at Arafat?


Answer:

Answered by Shaykh Amjad Rasheed

Translated by Shaykh Hamza Karamali (SunniPath Academy Teacher)

Posted Image

In the name of Allah the most beneficent the most Merciful,

If the moon is sighted in one’s own country on a day different than in Saudi Arabia, then one should fast on the 9th of Dhul Hijja according to one’s local sighting regardless of whether this ends up being before the Saudi sighting or after it.

السؤال: إذا رؤي هلال ذي الحجة في بلد في يوم غير اليوم الذي رؤي فيه في السعودية فهل يصوم الشخص في ذلك البلد في التاسع من ذي الحجة على تقويم بلده أو على تقويم السعودية؟ هل المقصود من الصوم موافقة

الحجاج في اليوم الذي هم في عرفات أو صوم هذا التاريخ على تقيم بلده؟

الجواب: إذا ثبتت رؤية هلال ذي الحجة في البلد الذي يكون فيه الشخص فإنه يتبعُ حكم ذلك البلد فيصوم بحسب الشهر في بلده سواء سبق السعودية أو

تأخر عنهم



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The middle course is the best.

" I am less concerned about getting people to the shahada than I am about getting people beyond the shahada". (Shk Abdullah bin Hamid Ali)

#119 zemaire

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 07:45 PM

Mufti of Australia to follow local moon-sighting… except for Eid Al-Adha

by Mohammad Kandil

http://muslimvillage...or-eid-al-adha/

The office of the Mufti of Australia Professor Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, issued a statement that the official date for the Eid Al-Adha will be Sunday 6th of November 2011.

The statement which was released 4 days after the beginning of Dhul Hijjah explained that the policy of the Mufti’s office will be to follow moon-sighting for every lunar month.


"The Federal Council of Imams, including the Council of Ifta (Islamic ruling) have been lately keen to verify the sighting of the crescent with the beginning of every Arabic (Lunar) month"

This is with the exception of this month, the month of Dhul Hijjah

"This process will, God willing, continue with the beginning of every Arabic month throughout the year… with the exemption of the month of Dhul Hijjah."

This is to follow Saudi which administers the affairs of Hajj

"This exemption is because running the affairs in this respect is for the country where the rituals of Hajj… The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia"

It remain to be seen whether Islamic organisations that adhere to the local moon-sighting methodology will follow the Mufti in taking the exemption for Eid- Al-Adha

The Mufti's full statement can be seen at this website

http://cdn.muslimvil...dha-release.pdf

http://muslimvillage...post__p__939078
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The middle course is the best.

" I am less concerned about getting people to the shahada than I am about getting people beyond the shahada". (Shk Abdullah bin Hamid Ali)

#120 Othman

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 09:41 PM

May Allah preserve it? Did he mean may Allah destroy it? Subhanallah!
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"On the Day of Judgment there will be a flag for every person guilty of treachery. It will be raised in proportion to the extent of his guilt; and there is no guilt of treachery more serious than the one committed by the ruler of men" [Muslim]




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