Crescent: Significance of the crescent

Q126 :What significance, if any, does the crescent moon have in Islam?

A126 : There is a verse in the Qur'an which answers your question. It is Verse 189 in Surah 2, which may be rendered in translation as follows: "They ask you about the new moon. Say: They indicate the periods for (various activities of) mankind, and for the pilgrimage." In his commentary on this verse, the late scholar Sayyid Qutb mentions that some reports suggest that the Prophet was asked about the new moon, its appearance as a thin crescent and its growth and shrinkage until it can be seen no more. A report suggests that the companions of the Prophet asked him: "Why has Allah created new moons?" Allah instructed the Prophet to tell his questioners that "the new moons serve as time markers indicating for mankind when to wear the ihraam garments in pilgrimage and when to put on ordinary clothes, when to start fasting and when to finish, how to calculate certain periods of time, such as a woman's waiting period if she is divorced or if her husband dies. "They may also be used to calculate different periods of time relating to people's business transactions and loan settlements. Any period of time which relates to matter of religion or human transactions may be calculated by the usage of the new moons." Apart from this, there is no religious significance to a new moon. We still make it a point of sighting the new moon in order to maintain properly the dates of different occasions, such as pilgrimage and Ramadhan.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )