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Pillars of Islam
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semar
 
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Quote semar Replybullet Topic: End of Moon Fighting
    Posted: 28 August 2006 at 3:45pm
Salam/Peace,
Semar
The Prophet said: "Do not eat before you are hungry, and stop eating before you are full"
"1/3 of your stomach for food 1/3 for water, 1/3 for air"
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rami
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Quote rami Replybullet Posted: 15 January 2007 at 9:44am
Bi ismillahir rahmanir raheem

assalamu alaikum

Cesarean Moon Births
by Hamza Yusuf
 

Part 1 | Part 2 | Abridged Version

Article Abstract:

This paper will examine the issue of Muslims physically sighting the crescent moon as the basis for beginning the months that constitute their lunar calendar. The argument posed here is especially relevant in the United States and Canada where the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and its allied Fiqh Council of North America are attempting to establish a norm of using calculations as the basis for determining the beginning of the lunar calendar, and the timing of associated devotional acts such as the Fast of Ramadan and the Hajj.

This paper advances several arguments and rebuts others in an effort to prove that the only acceptable basis for determining the lunar month is the actual sighting of the dawning crescent. At the root of the problem is a failure to recognize that the crescent moon’s appearance is a legal cause (sabab) determined by God in the Qur’an and through His Prophet’s words. That being the case, no scholar in the history of Islam has ever permitted calculation in lieu of sighting until the modern era. Moreover, predicting the new moon’s visibility with absolute certainty is impossible, even by modern scientific calculations, as opposed to the degree of certainty that has been attained in predicting the astronomical new moon, which is invisible to the naked-eye. Furthermore, the ability to predict the new moon’s probable appearance has not increased greatly from premodern times. For these reasons, and others discussed in this paper, actual sighting poses difficulties in terms of the scheduling requisites created by a modern industrial or postindustrial society.

I argue that the actual naked-eye sighting is the standard demarcator for establishing the entrance of the Islamic lunar month based on the fact that the Qur’anic verse, They ask you about the crescent moons; say they are a means to measure your specific times and are also for the commencement of the Hajj (2:189), can only be interpreted literally. This conclusion ensues because the verse is decisive in its evidentiary nature and unequivocal in meaning. As far as the fast of Ramadan, it is only validly begun on the basis of affirming the entrance of the month by sighting the crescent moon. I will present the textual and linguistic evidence to substantiate this position. In the eventuality of an obscure horizon on the twenty-ninth day of the month, the overwhelming majority of scholars argue that the month should be completed by fasting a thirtieth day. There are a few divergent opinions from this ruling. However, they do not establish the basis for standardizing a lunar calendar based on calculations, as I will show.

I will also establish that observational astronomy has advanced little during the last 2000 years. Premodern people had extensive knowledge of the calculations needed to make advanced calendars, predict eclipses, and ascertain with certainty the births of new moons based upon separation after the point of lunisolar conjunction. The Arabs in the pre-Islamic period, during the prophetic epoch, and thereafter made both lunar and solar calendars. The Arabs were using a sometimes calculated and intercalated lunar calendar in the pre-Islamic period, until its abolition by the Prophet, peace and blessings of God be upon him, who replaced it with a calendar based on actual sighting. Hence, I argue that, far from being an advancement, moving to a calculated lunar calendar is a reversion to pre-Islamic (jahili) custom. Similarly, I will show how the Jews also used a lunar calendar based on actual sighting until political developments forced its abandonment.

In addition to advancing proofs showing that none of our scholars advocated standardizing the determination of the beginning of the lunar months based on calculations, I will show how the opinion of Ibn Daqiq al-‘Id has been misrepresented by the advocates of such calculations. This section of the paper will also present the brilliant explanation of Imam al-Qarafi for the divergent methodologies in establishing prayer times by calculations and the beginning of the lunar months by actual naked-eye sighting. In this section of the paper, I will advance the methodological proofs that demonstrate the flaws in Ahmad Shakir’s argument, which posits that the end of widespread illiteracy and innumeracy in the Muslim community lead to ending a reliance on actual crescent sighting to establish the entrance of the lunar months. I conclude my argument by presenting the opinion of the four Sunni schools and the Ja’fari Shia school that the norm for establishing the beginning of the lunar month is the actual naked-eye sighting.

I have endeavored in this paper to adhere to the highest standards of Islamic scholarly discourse. Although my conclusion on the issue under discussion differs from that of the scholars whose works and opinions have informed ISNA’s decision, I retain my respect for them and their accomplishments. I also recognize their sincere efforts in facilitating acts of worship for the Muslims, which is a noble endeavor. We should understand that a lack of uniformity in our opinions around this issue should not affect our overall unity. At the end of this paper, I present a series of policy prescriptions that should help us to move forward constructively.

------------------------------

"The Zaytuna Institute website has a talk given by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf on the subject of sighting the actual moon. Click here to listen. While you’re at it, check out Shaykh Hamza’s article Reflections on the Heavens and the Earth on Sacred Astronomy."




Edited by rami
Rasul Allah (sallah llahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "Whoever knows himself, knows his Lord" and whoever knows his Lord has been given His gnosis and nearness.
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rami
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Quote rami Replybullet Posted: 15 January 2007 at 10:03am
Bi ismillahir rahmanir raheem

Outcry against ISNA Fiqh Council Moon Sighting Decision (Part 1&2)

As many of you might have heard by now ISNA recently endorsed the Fiqh Council’s justification to base the start of the Islamic lunar month solely on astronomical calculations. They have announced a 5 year Islamic Calendar in advance. This has forced numerous mosques around the country to convene specials meetings to determine if they should follow this decision and of course, there has been intense opposition from various Muslim scholars and scientists. The opponents of this latest Fiqh Council decision in a nutshell are saying Islamic law has made clear the necessity of an actual sighting of the moon to determine Islamic dates, however astronomical data can be used solely to assist and guide in determining the probability of a moon sighting.

The arguments presented by the Fiqh Council are part of a 52 page article written by Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah. Following are several answers from traditional ulama (scholars) and non-ulama on this latest issue:

(*) North America Hilal Committee finds the Fiqh Council decision flawed- Signed by a diverse group of ulama (scholars) including deobandis, barelwis and a shi’a scholar (That’s quite an accomplishment - in my opinion - in itself). The ulama (scholars) who signed this statement are as follows: Mawlana Muhammad Nadvi (North American Ulema Council, California), Mawlana Abdullah Kapodrawee (Jami’atul Ulama Canada), Mufti Ruhul Amin (Shar’ah Board of New York), Mufti Mumtaz Qasmi (Islamic Shari’ah Council of California), Mawlana Muhibur Rahman (Ulama Council of America), Imam Ashrafuz Zaman (Ulama council of America), Mufti Hidayatullah Farooqi (Jamat Ahle Sunnat of America), Mufti Muhammad Jamaluddin (Darul Uloom NY), Mawlana Muhammad Tayyab Qasmi (Islamic Shari’ah Council of B.C., Canada), Mufti Noman Vazir (Shari’ah Board of New York), Shaikh Syed Muhammad Rizvi (Shi’a Association of America) and Mawlana Khaleel Ahmad (Hilal Committee of Metro Toronto).

(*) Inaccurate decision of ISNA’s Fiqh Council creates controversy - The ulama of the Chicago Hilal Committee

(*) Answer from Mufti Desai (Full version coming soon) - “We have studied the research of ISNA as prepared by Zul Fiqar Ali Shah of Milwaukee and found it to be flawed from many angles.” - Mufti Ebrahim Desai (db)

(*) Axing of Methodology - “… I would appeal to my fellow Muslims, that if you have plans of buying a pair of shoes or a diamond ring, then you would do due diligence, before buying. Islam is much more than a pair of shoes or a diamond ring and far greater in consequences, please consult with the scholars and it’s time that you take control of things. Let not one individual or select group individual take you for a ride.” - Dr. Hafiz Abdur Rahman Aejaz (Santa Clara, California) 

(*) Moon Sighting for the month of Ramadan - “… it is not possible nor has the Shari’ah allowed the Islamic lunar calendar to be based on calculations.  This has never been permitted and has been the consensus of the Ummah.  Though, this much can be said that Islam does allow using astronomical calculations to aid in moonsighting.  For example, it can be helpful in providing us the approximate timings to when the moon will be most likely visible, or the age of the moon at the time of the setting of the sun, or at what time the moon will set.” - Shaykh Ibrahim Memon, Darul Uloom Al Madania (Buffalo, New York)

More shuyukh have spoken against the ISNA Fiqh Council moon sighting decision to base the Islamic lunar month only on astronomical calculations (derived by their own scientists) and disregard the sunnah of sighting the actual moon with the naked eye.

I have obtained the following answers lately (InshaAllah I’ll add others as they come in):

(*) ISNA’s Recent Decision Regarding the 1st of Ramadan and the ‘Id- “… The Ulama Association of North America (UANA) unequivocally declares that lunar months should begin with sighting and not with calculation. This is the ruling of Shari‘ah and we must abide by it. ISNA’s Fiqh Council has created confusion in the minds of Muslims before due to its decisions and we implore that that they avoid doing this.” - Ulama Association of North America (UANA)which comprises of various ulama across the United States, including esteemed ulama such as Moulana Abdullah Saleem (Institute of Islamic Education, Elgin, Illinois), Imam Tahir Anwar (South Bay Islamic Association, San Jose, California), Moulana Khaja Shuaibuddin (Salt Lake City, Utah), Mufti Abdurrahman Ibn Yusuf (Islamic Society of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California) and others.

(*) Islamic Shariah Council of California (USA) refutes ISNA’s fatwa on moon calculation- “The setup of a new criterion for the start of Islamic month that the moon is born before 12:00 Noon GMT is contrary to Islamic sources, practice of ummah and views of the majority of the Islamic Scholars and Ulama throughout Islamic history.” - Islamic Shariah Council of California (Signed and endorsed by the more than 40 plus prominent scholars and imams)

-------------------

ICNA released a statement today [September 22nd, 2006] declaring they will not be siding with ISNA and their Fiqh Council on their moon sighting decision. They said:

“The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) has traditionally adopted the opinion of sighting the moon in North America . On the advice of ICNA’s Scholars Committee, we have decided to continue following our existing approach and will not be adopting a calendar which is primarily based on calculations.”






Edited by rami
Rasul Allah (sallah llahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "Whoever knows himself, knows his Lord" and whoever knows his Lord has been given His gnosis and nearness.
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