Crescent: Significance of the
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 )