Hadith about sighting - Soomu li-ru'yatihi

Even before the Prophet [peace be upon him (pbuh)], it was well known practice of using lunar calendar by the Arabs and Ramadan was one of the month. It was well known that lunar months were either 29 days or 30 days. When Qur'an Ayah (2:185) was revealed, it said, "When you witness the month of Ramadan, fast for it". Islam prescribed Ramadan for fasting month, because fasting was prescribed for the Ummah even before, so that Muslims can obtain piety (Taqwa) and Qur'an was revealed in this month, so it was chosen for attaining Tqawa and fasting.

Lunar calendar and Ramadan did not start in our Deen (Madhhab). They were known to Mushrikeen of Makkah. Fasting for the month of Ramadan started even when the practice of Nasi' (interjection or intercalation of a month) had been going on. ....... Read more
Turkey Congress On Hijri Calender Unity
President of Religious Affairs Of Turkey
Istanbul Conference, May 30, 2016

It is contrary to the spirit and traditions of a religion based on Tawheed (oneness of the Almighty) that Islamic countries and in fact even countries that are located in the same geographical area start fasting on different days and thus observe the Eid on different days. The Office of the President of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) of Turkey held worldwide conference in Istanbul on May 30, 2016. Scholars and astronomers from all Muslim countries participated in discussion and voting.

It is now expected that the Islamic world can celebrate their Ramadan and Eidain on the same day, adopting a single Hijri calendar worldwide. ....... Read more
We Muslims Need A Global Hijri Calendar
(Qur'an 55:5 "Ashshamsu wal-Qamaru bi-Husbaan")

After the major Muslim countries were occupied by foreign powers in the 19th and 20th centuries, Muslims started using the Gregorian calendar to meet all their needs, and only care about determining Islamic dates on momentous Islamic religious occasions. But, to this day, they regularly get puzzled at the inability of the Islamic calendar to predict precisely, well in advance, the day on which major Islamic events such as the first day of Ramadan, or eid al-fitr are to take place. They may even get annoyed because they cannot arrange in advance such ordinary things as taking a few days off from work on such occasions, making hotel bookings or flight reservations, or avoiding to take business or trip commitments on such dates.

The Islamic calendar lost its usefulness when it got disconnected from its astronomical, conceptual and methodological moorings, early in the 7th century, based on Muslim theologians' interpretation or mis-interpretation of a celebrated hadith of the Messenger on how to determine the first day of Ramadan.

Qadi Ahmad Shakir, President of the Egyptian Supreme Court of the Shari’ah, explained in an important 1939 study of the issues that there was absolutely no obstacle, on the theological level, to the establishment of such an Islamic calendar, using astronomical calculations. In 2004, jurist Yusuf al-Qaradawi announced his full support to Shakir’s analysis and conclusions. For its part, the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA), acting independently, presented in 2006 an ingenious, well thought-out methodology which permits the adoption of a pre-calculated calendar, while meeting all the traditional requirements of the Shari’ah.

Remember: Before the advancement of modern technology when communication was very slow even between different cities, it was OK to do locally. But observing Eid and Ramadaan on three, four or five different days in the 21st Century is absurd. With the availability of Modern Technology, we must calculate Global Hijri Calendar for the whole World and no one should look for the Moon Sighting in their backyard. Also keep in mind it will be hard to see the crescent moon in cities due to lights and pollution etc. We should take advantage of modern astronomy. Not only Global Warming BUT Global Dimming and other unknown factors may be causing difficulty in sighting the Crescent Moon. Global Dimming was discovered just after September 11, 2001, when all the US flights were grounded for three days.

Qur'an 2:189 says, "They ask you (Muhammad {Peace be Upon Him}) about the (visible) phases of the moon! Say, They are timing for Global People, and they determine the Time of HAJJ. In the above verses Allah is clearly mentioning that the Phases of the Moon determine the month, and not the visible crescent.

Global Hijri Calendar should be based on calculations based on astronomy knowledge such as Conjunction (New Moon birth), so that Muslims all over the world can start Ramadan or Eid on the same day and all the confusion of sighting, mistaken sighting, false sighting, or no sighting with cloudy conditions would go away.

The legal opinion of Egyptian Shari'ah Qadi Ahmad Shakir on Global Hijri Calendar

Egyptian qadi Ahmad Muhammad Shakir (who was to become President of the Egyptian Supreme Court of the Shari'ah at the end of his career, and who remains to this day an author of reference in the field of hadith), wrote a lengthy legal opinion in 1939 on the subject of the Islamic calendar, entitled, "The beginning of Arab months… is it legal to determine it using astronomical calculations?". According to him, the Messenger took into account the fact that the Muslim community of his time was "illiterate, not knowing how to write nor how to count". So, he recommended to its members to observe the new moon to carry out their religious duties at the time of fasting and hajj. But the community evolved considerably over time, and some of its members even became experts in astronomy.

According to the principle of Muslim law which states that "a rule is no longer applicable, when the factor which justified its existence has disappeared", the Messenger's recommendation didn't apply anymore to the Muslims, after they had learned to read and count and had ceased being illiterate. Therefore, according to Shakir, contemporary Ulamaa commit an error of interpretation when they give to the Messenger's hadith the same interpretation that applied at the time of Revelation, as if the hadith prescribed immutable rules. But, it has stopped being applicable to the Muslim community long ago, based on the principles of the Shari'ah themselves.

Furthermore, Shakir refers to the principle of Muslim law according to which "what is relative cannot refute what is absolute, nor can it be preferred to it, according to the consensus of the Ulamaa". The observation of the new moon with the naked eye is relative, and can be the subject of error, whereas the knowledge of the beginning of lunar months, based on astronomical calculations, is absolute, and belongs to the domain of certainty.

Shakir reaches the conclusion that there is nothing in the Shari'ah which opposes the use of calculations to determine the beginning of all lunar months, in all circumstances, and not only in special situations, as had been recommended by some Ulamaa. According to him, there can exist only one lunar month applicable in all countries of the world, based on astronomical calculations. The use of the same pre-calculated calendar in all Muslim countries will give them an opportunity to celebrate all major Islamic events on the same day, throughout the world, thereby increasing their feeling of solidarity and unity.

In the 73 years since their publication, Shakir's conclusions have not been refuted by any Muslim jurist. As a man of law, and as an expert on hadith, he continues to be highly considered by his peers, long after his death. Thus, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the well-known theologian and jurist, has lavishly praised Shakir in a 2004 article entitled, "Astronomical calculations and determination of the beginning of months" in which he expressed his full support to qadi Shakir's conclusions.

Ali Manikfan, explains the Global Lunar Calendar

THE MAN IN MILLION "A Journey through the life of a genius, ALI MANIKFAN"
- Official Full Movie

Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi Head of European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) Dublin, Ireland, proposed a Global Hijri Calendar

His criteria are that somewhere on the globe, at local sunset, the elongation should be at least 8 degrees and moon should be at least 5 degrees above horizon. If this condition is met the month starts the next day, otherwise the month starts on the day following next. The presence of moon above horizon is the basis.

Dr. Muneer Fareed on:

Moon Sighting and Calculations Part 1

Moon Sighting and Calculations Part 2

Dr. Jamal Badawi on Sighting or Calculation         

A Fiqhi Discussion
by Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah:

Moon Sighting Problems Video Part 1 of 3

Moon Sighting Problems Video Part 2 of 3

Moon Sighting Problems Video Part 3 of 3

1st Global Hijri Calendar Meeting in Morocco, 11/2006 Open Icon
Rabat Group 2006

A Suggested Global Islamic Calendar Proposed in
2nd Emirates Astronomical Conference, May 30, 2010
Khalfan Al-Nuaimi of UAE and Abdullah bin Sulaiman-Al-Manea of Makkah Mukarramah
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