Monday, June 24, 2013

Islamic Dates 2013: Avoiding multiple dates for Essential Events (Ramadhan and EIDs) in North America

Assalamu Alaikum (Peace be upon you)!

Please do forward to all your friends for awareness and knowledge sharing. 

"And say: My Lord increase me in knowledge."(Qur'an, Ta-Ha 20:114)

Ramadhan is only 2 weeks left. This year like previous years, would most surely witness different dates for Islamic Festivals.  Muslims are majorly bothered about the three major Islamic Events i.e. Ramadhan, Shawwal, Haj, whose starting dates are of paramount importance to them. Having said that, it needs to be stressed that this year in 2013, all these 3 events are most surely expected to be celebrated on 2 different dates this year 2013, in same geographical area particularly North America 
The Saudi Calendar & ISNA/FCNA Calendars are not based on calculations for Hilal Visibility, instead they refer "New Moon Dates" Chart. As per New Moon Dates Charts, ISNA has already declared these dates for  Ramadhan, Shawwal, Haj respectively i.e.

Now when we try to see Visibility Graphs of the night before these event Dates of ISNA, we see that there is almost negligible chances of visibility of moon on the previous nights in North America ( See below)
i.e. Nights for July 08 for Ramadhan, August 07 for Shawwal, October 5 for Haj

Above, if any layperson who can clearly see North America and the Red Curve around it, and who believes in the Astronomical accuracies, 
would certainly think twice, thrice or more, before celebrating an event at a wrong date.
   Alllah says in Quran   "Verily, your hearing, sight, and heart -- all of them will be called to account" (Quran 17:36).

Points to Ponder :- 
  • Islam is a strong proponent of using reasoning in every affair, considering the dynamics of issues, people face in different places and times.
  • Previous Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Bin Baz is reported to have ruled: As for those who say that it is necessary to follow the sighting of Makkah, then let it be known to them, that there is no proof or basis for this in the Qur’aan and Hadith”. (Sheikh Abdullah bin Baz RA AlBa’ath ul Islaaami Zil Hijjah 1399 Hijri)
  • Every year the astronomers, the people who know, publish their calculations that predict the first day of Ramadan or Eid with 99% accuracy, but mostly many countries (partiularly MiddleEast) start Ramadan or Eid, one day before the predicted day! Is it possible that the astronomers could be wrong every year? No as Allah has created the solar system subjected to precise calculations: "… The sun and the moon (are subjected) to calculations." (The Qur’an 55:5) 
  • "When you see the crescent (of the month of Ramadan), start fasting, and when you see the crescent (of the month of Shawwal), stop fasting; and if the sky is overcast (and you can't see It), then complete thirty days (of Sha'baan/Ramadhan)". This gives a Muslim the flexibility to wait instead of jumping to act upon and accept hasty sightings in Saudi or pre-calculated calendar. 
  • It is understood from Fiqh that any form of Ibaadah is unacceptable before the due time, but is accepted if it is performed later than schedule time due to any valid excuse and the responsibility of fulfilling that ibaadah is discharged. e.g. 
    • Zuhr Salaah 2 min before Zawal will not be accepted under any circumstances at all. But if it was prayed late close to Asar time, it would be accepted and no sin committed if there was a valid excuse.

    • Qurbani can be made on the 11th or 12th, but under no circumstances can it be made on the 9th.
    • If fast or Eid is celebrated before time it will not be accepted, but if there is a delay because of sighting failure of moon, this Ibaadah will be accepted and the responsibility discharged.
    • It's permissible for those who believe in the incorrect early date to still delay and pray Eid on "their second day", Insha'Allaah, since the Eid prayers are permissible on any of the 3 days ? But those who follow the correct date can't pray a day 1 day early after making sure, moon was not sighted.
         Consequences of premature announcements ( in Saudi or elsewhere)
    • Wrong Miqaat (Eid al-Fitr on the last day of Ramadan, and Adha on 9th D.Hijja)
    • Wrong Lailatul Qadr (Night of Power prayers). When do the possible nights of Laylatul Qadr (Nights of Power) fall (since one group’s odd days will be another’s even)? more->
    • Wrong day of Hajj (7th or 8th of D. Hijja, and Eid al-Adha on 9th of D. Hijja)
    • Missing the day of Allah’s forgiveness from Samaa-al-Dunya
    • Invalid sacrifice (on 8th or 9th of D. Hijja)
    • Wrong Tashreeq days (from 8th to 11th, instead of 9th- 13th)
    • Wrong Arafah day fast (on 7th or 8th of D. Hijja)

Why use Calculations in the first place?
JazakAllah Khayran