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  #1  
Old October 26, 2003, 08:55 PM
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Default Ramadan Mubarak

Hopefully Ramadan is starting from tomorrow in Toronto but yet I have no confirm news. Best Wishes on Ramadan.
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  #2  
Old October 26, 2003, 10:21 PM
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It is being confirmed, Ramadan starts from tomorrow; that is you'll have to take the 'saehri' tomorrow morning.
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  #3  
Old October 27, 2003, 10:55 AM
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Ramadahan Mubarak to you too.
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  #4  
Old October 27, 2003, 03:06 PM
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Ramadan started on Sunday Oct 26, 2003. The new moon came up on OCT. 25, 12:50PM GMT. In USA it was 8:50AM EST and 5:50AM PST. Therefore the first day of Ramadan was Oct 26 for all of USA. If you didn't fast on Oct. 26 in USA, you missed one day.

Please check US Naval Observatory for the dates of New Moon at 2003 Moon Phases

Last day of Ramadan for Eastern USA is Nov. 24 and for Central and Western USA is Nov. 23.

It is funny that at this day and age of scientific knowledge we still are all confused how to observe our religion. Our molla's are all confused and so are we. God has given us wisdom and knowledge we fail to apply it.

Ramadan mubarak to all.
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  #5  
Old October 27, 2003, 03:31 PM
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One quick refresher for nasif. With moon, there is nothing like "come up". Its either birth or visibility. Islamic events revolves arround the visibility (not the birth) of the cresent moon. After a new moon is born, certain amount of time (>16 hours, don't remember exactly) must pass by before it becomes visible with or without equipments. While the birth of the moon can easily be CALCULATED with a very HIGH degree of certainity in advance, the visibility can only be PREDICTED with SOME degree of certainity. Hope this will clear up some of your confusion.
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  #6  
Old October 27, 2003, 03:45 PM
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China bhai I know about the visibility issue. This again is a tradition that has no Quranic basis. Moon is there for precise calculation. It doesn't matter whether we can see the new moon or not. Once new moon is born a new month has started.

If the birth of the new moon is before the sunset then new month starts right after the sunset and next day will be the first day of the month. If the birth takes place after the sunset then new month starts after the following day sunset. In lunar system a new "day" starts at night (after sunset).

God tells us that both sun and moon is there for calculation. And one cannot calculate anything precisely if input is left to subjective data as "visibility".

Quote:

[Quran 10:5] He is the One who rendered the sun radiant, and the moon a light, and He designed its phases that you may learn to count the years and to calculate. GOD did not create all this, except for a specific purpose. He explains the revelations for people who know.

[Quran 17:12] We rendered the night and the day two signs. We made the night dark, and the day lighted, that you may seek provisions from your Lord therein. This also establishes for you a timing system, and the means of calculation. We thus explain everything in detail.
It is quite understandable that previous generations used the visibility because of lack of precise calculation. But now we possess the ability and thus visiblity of moon has no value.
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  #7  
Old October 27, 2003, 04:25 PM
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It is quite understandable that previous generations used the visibility because of lack of precise calculation. But now we possess the ability and thus visiblity of moon has no value.
Pure futile comment with no historic basis that I'm aware of. Visibility (weather permiting) is required by several Hadith including the famous one that says something like this:
Start fasting after seeing the moon and stop fasting after seeing the moon. (Sorry I don't have the reference right now, I'll provide it in a day or two, insha Allah)
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  #8  
Old October 27, 2003, 05:13 PM
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I am aware of the hadith. But you have to understand the context of it. If prophet was with us today, rest assured he would have told us to use mathematical calculation rather than eye observation.

Hadith cannot supercede Quran and neither can it be the final world. The final word comes from Quran, where God tells us that moon is there to be used for calculation. Calculation means the use of mathematics, the scence of precision. Therefore, we must use the mathematical approach to know the birth of new moon.

God orders us to use our knowledge to analyze issues objectively.

[Quran 17:36] You shall not accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brain, and you are responsible for using them.

Consistently in Quran, we are encouraged to acquire knowledge and try to understand God's creation. Because the more we understand God's creation the more we can be appreciative of God.

If one adhears to old tradition and do not accept new knowledge then one stands still in time. This is another reason for general decline in science and knowledge in Islamic world. We must remember that at one time when Eupore was in complete darkness Islam was the light of the world, leading in all areas, science, math, medicine, technology...

But something radical happened that made Islam stagnant. That radical approach was holding fast to tradition. Whereas, God orders every muslim to go on a mission to explore the world and find new knowledge, muslim started doing quite the opposite. They held fast to age old knowlege and refused to accept anything new. Thus we see the general decline in muslim world. Now, probably we are at the "epitome" utter decline. It probably is not possible to go any more down. We are the laughing stock of the world.

Every year Ramadan time everyone is utterly confused about its start. As long as I can remember here in US every year there is 2 groups and 2 days to start Ramadan. For non-muslim this is quite amusing, probably thinking and talking to themselves, "Look at these fools, they don't even know how to count their days of the month." Again, we are making ourselves the laughing stock.

Islam calls for unity among the believers. But where is the unity? Certainly, we don't have unity when we observe the Ramadan. All of this is because we are holding strongly to traditions and we forgot to hold onto God's system.

For our own sake this is the time that we hold fast onto God's rope.

[Quran 3:103] You shall hold fast to the rope of GOD, all of you, and do not be divided. Recall GOD's blessings upon you - you used to be enemies and He reconciled your hearts. By His grace, you became brethren. You were at the brink of a pit of fire, and He saved you therefrom. GOD thus explains His revelations for you, that you may be guided.

A renaissance of knowledge in the muslim world is overdue. Blind faith and tradition will lead us nowhere but down.
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  #9  
Old October 28, 2003, 02:23 AM
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Before considering what the Prophet would have told us if he were with us today, we must consider what he had already said to us. Before going into the next topic, please tell us why you think we should use birth instead of visibility of the moon for Ramadan and Eid etc. It's a very teaching discussion. So please stick to the point and use relevant proof and reference only. Once we finish that point, hopefully we can move on to the next (to calculate or not to calculate etc.) Thank you.
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  #10  
Old October 28, 2003, 04:26 AM
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happy Ramadan to you all....and don't forget to set your alarm clock!
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  #11  
Old October 28, 2003, 05:31 AM
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Default Hasn\'t Nasif already told us why he thinks birth is more important than visibility?

I don't really understand what more he can explain. He has argued that the calculation of birth gives us greater precision and that God tells us that he has given us the ability to use mathematical and scientific methods and hence we should. I am not educated enough on this to present my own argument but Nasif's argument sounds pretty reasonable to me.

[Edited on 28-10-2003 by Sham]
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  #12  
Old October 28, 2003, 06:08 AM
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Default Confusion About Moonsighting: Search For Solution

Once again, we find ourselves in the unfortunate disarray of celebrating the Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr in a very divided way. Division among the scholars on various issues is anything but new in the long and glorified history of Islam. However, the divisions were thoughtful and dignified alike and we learned to live with it peacefully. Moreover those divisions lead us to clear paths so that we can use our own judgment to choose the path of our likeness. But today's division does not show us any clear path. Indeed it adds complexity to confusion. What should have been a day of joy becomes a day of distraught. Isn't there a solution for it? We sure do believe so, but we must work together in good faith to satisfy none but Him to find it. In this article, we will try to look for a solution, but first, we must study the potential causes for the disagreement.

Many questions could be asked regarding the beginning of Ramadan, dates of two Eids and other religious observances. A close look would reveal that all the questions revolve around "Lunar Month" which itself revolves around "Actual Moon sighting or it's calculation". If we get the answer for any one of the questions, it would shed definitive light to the rest of the answers. To make the discussion plain and simple let's isolate the question "Why do we celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr on two separate days within a given community?" Following discussion will mostly be focused on this particular question.

Potential Causes of disagreement

1. Human sighting vs. astronomic calculation

Many hadiths could be cited to both generally and explicitly directs moon sighting for the purpose of starting and ending of Ramadan but none could be found to prescribe for calculation alone. Astronomic calculations were not used (whether available or not) by our prophet (SAW). Some simple calculation (enumeration) was permissible however. Some present-day-scholars have advocated the use of the calculation exclusively, however it is yet to be adopted by a community. Interesting to note that, one or more Gulf State do adopt the astronomic calculation officially; but the calculation is based on "Birth of the new Moon" and not on "Crescent sighting". A crescent is the visible new moon and proceeds the later by some fifteen hours or more. For clarity, from this point on we will use the term crescent sighting instead of more general term moon sighting. Neither the moon sighting (which generally implies the seeing of the moon at any time) nor the birth of the moon is linked to the determination of ramadan, Eid, lunar months etc. It is the Crescent sighting that determines all that. While astronomic calculation is able to predict the birth of the new moon with remarkable accuracy and precision and even determine the possible time frame when the crescent sighting is possible, the fact remains, calculation can not SEE the moon.

The might of calculation could be used to either bolster or reject a claim of crescent sighting. Indeed, it is being used for this purpose today. It is safe to say that if we opt not to replace crescent sighting with calculation, some souls might be disheartened but nonetheless there will be no mass disagreement.

2. Sighting by one person vs. two persons

While differing narrations from the hadith could be called upon by the supporters of both sides of the isle, the issue rarely surfaces at present days. Recent advancement in technologies in the fields of astronomy and communication make it possible to see and report crescent sighting in no time. We can not recall when was the last time a community was divided solely on this issue. Moreover, the general consensus is that, for an otherwise suitable day, affirmative testimony from two people is the way to go. Though there are rooms for debate, multiple positive reporting usually put an effective end to it before it even get a chance to develop.

3. Sighting in any place vs. local places

This is a point on which scholars have differed for ages. In general, according to Shafii school of thought, the sighting is not a binding; while the Hanafi, Maliki and Hambali schools express the sighting to be a binding. There are even more references within these espressions that support the opposite view. For our discussion, lets not make a new school of thought. The above schools are very distinct and clear on their respective stands and views. If one chooses to hold on to one school over the other, let it be so and if one mosque or community chooses to hold on to one school over the other, let them express it (so that an individual may judge for himself) and let it be so as well. Moreover, this issue comes into play only after the report of crescent sighting.

Having said that, let's revisit the issue in the light of the advancement of our knowledge and science. Like any other issue, the first place to look for a solution is the Quran and we will look into the Hadith and elsewhere only if we could not find it in the holy scripture or if the Quranic solution is too complex for us to appreciate at this time.

4. Saudi tradition and it's implication

This is a rather unsuspected cause. Certainly, Saudi Arabia enjoys some prestige within the muslim world for obvious reasons. And for the same reasons, whether Saudis want it or not, some islamic communities are very inclined to follow their tradition. There's nothing wrong with it unless of course the followed tradition is deviated from sunnah. Let's take a closer look at the Saudi practices and traditions in determining and observing islamic events.

The Saudi traditions has known in some details to the world only recently. For civil and official purposes the Saudis use lunar months and accordingly developed a calendar known as "Umm-ul-Qurah" based on some given criteria. The Institute of Astronomical & Geophysical Research at King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology is the official Saudi authority which prepares the Umm Ul-Qurah Calendar which is implemented throughout the country. The criteria upon which the umm-ul-qurah is based on, has undergone revisions and modifications at least twice in the last five years. There is also report of a forthcoming modification to be adopted in near future. We will not discuss here every details of the criteria and it's modifications, rather, we will focus on the very basics. The Saudi criteria is based explicitly on the birth of the new moon totally ignoring the actual sighting of the crescent. Saudi scholars and news organizations are quite aware of the issue. Some would say that the umm-ul-qurah is for civil use only and that, there are official crescent sighting committees at work. But the fact remains that the official Saudi announcement about ramadan and Eid differs from the suggestions of such committees and goes in parallel to that of umm-ul-qurah. Can we fairly conclude that, determining the starting and ending of ramadan following Umm Ul-Qurah Calendar which ignores the actual sighting of the crescent is deviation from sunnah? And can we follow a tradition that is deviated from sunnah?

Some recent reports about the 1st Sawaal

1. None of the six Saudi official committees for crescent sighting reported to have seen the crescent on Wednesday December 04, 2002. An effort using a computerized 10 LX-200, GPS, telescope also failed to visualize the crescent. However, Royal announcement was made that some people saw the crescent on that day despite the fact that the age of the crescent at sun set was less than 7 hours with an angular separation of less than 4 degrees. Eid-ul-Fitr was celebrated on December 05, 2002. On December 05, 2002 a very thin crescent was seen in Saudi sky only with a computerized 10 LX-200.

The crescent was also not seen in Jordan from a plane dispatched for this purpose at 3800 meters above the sea-level on December 04, 2002; but a very fascinating and thin crescent was seen by naked eye the following day.

2. In Nigeria at about 11:30 p.m on Tuesday December 03, 2002, some people from the North [Birnin Kebbi, in Kebbi State] and south [Benin, in Edo State] claimed to have seen the crescent and majority of the muslims in Nigeria celebrated their Eid-El-Fitr on Wedneday, December 04, 2002.



3. On January 06, 2000 Saudi announcement confirms the crescent sighting despite the fact that it was impossible to see the crescent due to various conditions and the official moonsighting committees didn't have a positive sighting report. Later a Fatwah was decreed confirming the error and urging people to make up for the lost day of ramadan. There are reports of more errors in other years as well.

4. There are reports that the Saudi announcement of crescent sighting is based on a certain group of people who testifies the sighting year after year and at times, even before the sunset and during solar eclipses. Are those people empowered with devine vision or just part of a cheap Royal trick? There sure is ample room for a true believer to cast serious doubt about the Royal practice.

Summary

We can blame the astronomic calculation for causing the confusion because, in the absence of astronomic calculation we would not know that the crescent is impossible to see on certain situations. But we can not ignore the scientific facts. Only the science can prove that it is impossible to see something when it is actually not there. We must apply proven scientific facts to either confirm or reject human observation which is subject to humanly error.

The people in North America who celebrated the Eid-ul-Fitr on December 05, 2002, rejected the Nigerian claim over the Saudi claim of crescent sighting. Rejection of Nigerian claim confirms the application of astronomic knowledge and calculation by them. Why they did not apply the same reasoning to reject the Saudi claim also? The answer is plain and simple, they blindly follow the Royal announcement, year after year since the availability and advancement of modern communication.

From the above discussion we clearly see that, it is the dubious Royal declaration and the blindful following of that declaration by some communities and states, that is causing most of the unfortunate disarray, confusion and divition among the muslims over the sacred events. Isn't it wise to put aside the Royal announcement to show and lead the muslim community the right direction, the direction without a doubt? May Allah, the Most Merciful forgive us for our sins and show us the siratul mustakim.
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  #13  
Old October 28, 2003, 07:19 PM
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Nasif Nasif is offline
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Thanks for posting the informative article. The writer here iterates what I was trying to say.

Quote:
From the above discussion we clearly see that, it is the dubious Royal declaration and the blindful following of that declaration by some communities and states, that is causing most of the unfortunate disarray, confusion and divition among the muslims over the sacred events. Isn't it wise to put aside the Royal announcement to show and lead the muslim community the right direction, the direction without a doubt? May Allah, the Most Merciful forgive us for our sins and show us the siratul mustakim.
This is exactly what I was saying. The way to be doubt-free is the way that God points us to. The "siratul mustakim" is in the Quran, declared by God. The so called scholars and mullahs can't point to any siratul mustakim. Watching the sky for moon with desired angular seperation is certainly not the siratul mustakim.

God's revelations are always simple to follow because He doesn't want to make religion hard for us. He is the only One who can show us siratul mustakim.

[3:108] These are GOD's revelations; we recite them to you, truthfully. GOD does not wish any hardship for the people.

[22:78] You shall strive for the cause of GOD as you should strive for His cause. He has chosen you and has placed no hardship on you in practicing your religion - the religion of your father Abraham.


None can give better laws than what God has given in Quran. Where, He repeatedly tells us to use the moon for calculation and timing. He declares the precision of sun and moon in 55:5 (given below). And still, we insist on our own ways to look at the sky, completely dumb-founded. This is how satan tricks people to deviate from the path of God. God's path is always simple to follow. Hardship befalls on those who deviates.

Please refelct on the following verses. In 2:189 God warns us not to beat around the bush regarding moon's phase. It seems our generation is doing exactly that.

[2:189] They ask you about the phases of the moon! Say, "They provide a timing device for the people, and determine the time of Hajj." It is not righteous to beat around the bush; righteousness is attained by upholding the commandments and by being straightforward. You shall observe GOD, that you may succeed.

[6:96] At the crack of dawn, He causes the morning to emerge. He made the night still, and He rendered the sun and the moon to serve as calculation devices. Such is the design of the Almighty, the Omniscient.


[55:5] The sun and the moon are perfectly calculated.
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  #14  
Old October 29, 2003, 11:03 AM
chinaman chinaman is offline
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I'm still having difficulties following you. Apparently you seems to agree with my article but again you distance yourself when you write:

"And still, we insist on our own ways to look at the sky, completely dumb-founded"

In the Holy Quran, Allah mentioned the purpose of the sun and the moon many a times (you already quoted); but nowhere you'll find a single reference that specifically dictate us to use the "Birth of Moon" to determine or calculate the months (and other events like Eid, Hajj). In the absence of quranic references in this regard, Hadith becomes our logical next source of reference. And we are all aware of what Hadith has to say.

For the purpose of Ramadan and Eid, are you saying:

1. To use scientic calculations to determine the "Birth of Moon" or
2. To use scientic calculations to determine the "Visibility of Moon"

Please do clarify your position.
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Old October 29, 2003, 12:34 PM
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The article that you posted does not propose any solution to the problem, rather the writer just points out the problems step by step. That is what I agreed to.

We do not have to go to hadith book for the simple reason that God tell us to use calculation. And if you are to calculate then you cannot rely on subjective data as visibility. If visibily was a required aspect of start of the month God would have specifically ordered us to see the cresent before the start of the month.

It is mind boggling that after 1400 years we still couldn't come up with standard Hijri calander. Its different in every place. All of this is created because of stretching a simple issue of new moon.

Visibility of cresent is a tradition and now its obsolete. When a system is obsolete we must change ourselves to something new. Obvisouly no one uses a 1990 386 CPU for computing now a days.

There is a difference between tradition and what is required. Visibility is just a tradition passed down onto us from generation to generation. Now we sub-conciously think that its part of our religion. To satisfy this sub-concious logic we come up with execuses that "religiously" we are required to see the new moon before new month starts.

When God orders to calculate we should forget everything and just simply calculate. Verse 10:5 specifically orders us to use moon for calculation. Thus, we are obligated to calculate now because we have the means. If one doesn't have the means of calculation, then visibility can be substituted.

[Edited on 29-10-2003 by nasif]
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  #16  
Old November 2, 2003, 11:24 AM
Kalbaisakhi Kalbaisakhi is offline
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Late but happy ramadan to all of u.


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  #17  
Old November 14, 2003, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by nasif
And if you are to calculate then you cannot rely on subjective data as visibility. If visibily was a required aspect of start of the month God would have specifically ordered us to see the cresent before the start of the month.


Visibility of cresent is a tradition and now its obsolete.

There is a difference between tradition and what is required. Visibility is just a tradition passed down onto us from generation to generation. Now we sub-conciously think that its part of our religion.
Hope this will help you:

002.189
YUSUFALI: They ask thee concerning the New Moons. Say: They are but signs to mark fixed periods of time in (the affairs of) men, and for Pilgrimage...
PICKTHAL: They ask thee, (O Muhammad), of new moons, say: They are fixed seasons for mankind and for the pilgrimage...
SHAKIR: They ask you concerning the new moon. Say: They are times appointed for (the benefit of) men, and (for) the pilgrimage;..

The Quranic word here to describe the moon (New Moons) is Ahillah. Quran mentioned Qamar, Muneer and Noor elswhere to describe the moon (and it's property) but used Ahillah only once. There must be a reason to choose Ahillah over Qamar, Muneer and Noor. What is the reason?

Ahillah is the plural of hilal. Hilal comes from the root word halla meaning 'it appeared'. Also, in ancient arab, Hilal was refered to the new moon which just become visible. Now we can clearly see that Ahillah was chosen to associate "visibleness" to the new moon to make a clear distinction.

"Fixed periods of time" or "fixed seasons" or "times appointed" and "for Hajj" all leads to the determination of month.

Birth of the new moon (Conjunction or Astronomical new moon) is never visible. So we must determine the months using the new moon which is visible and not with the invisible event of conjunction.
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Old November 15, 2003, 01:33 AM
rafiq rafiq is offline
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As with all great philosophical questions, the answer to this one ultimately eludes us! Well done, to both of you for compelling evidence from both sides!
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  #19  
Old November 15, 2003, 01:36 AM
Shubho Shubho is offline
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It's funny how we only bother about petty details of our religion, and ignore (or fail to see) the big picture. This is precisely how Muslims render Islam ineffective. Who cares whether we go by visibility of the moon or some other indicator? Is this really a topic worth debating? Let those who want to start Ramadan according to visibility of the new moon do so. Others can follow their own interpretation. Squabbling about such trifling matters is a pain in the neck and clouds the true message of Islam: being a good human being and submitting to the Creator.
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Old November 15, 2003, 02:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Shubho

... being a good human being and submitting to the Creator.
Submitting to the Creator do require to follow His directions and follow it right.

And it is never funny to discus even the smallest details of the Creator's words.

As for Nasif,

I'm sorry, it took me two weeks to get back to you. In fact your thought caught me in a surprise. Because, nowhere in the net, even after extensive search, I could not find a single soul that express any inclination to "Birth of moon (conjunction)" over "New moon sighting (crescent)". However, many scholars advocate to use astronomic calculation to determine crescent visibility. Conjunction and crescent are two distict events; perhaps you wanted to use calculation for crescent instead on the conjunction for islamic purpose.

Conjunction vs crescent for islamic events is a dead issue to say the least. Quran settled it.
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Old November 15, 2003, 02:17 PM
Banglatiger84 Banglatiger84 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by chinaman
Quote:
Originally posted by Shubho

... being a good human being and submitting to the Creator.
Submitting to the Creator do require to follow His directions and follow it right.

And it is never funny to discus even the smallest details of the Creator's words.

As for Nasif,

I'm sorry, it took me two weeks to get back to you. In fact your thought caught me in a surprise. Because, nowhere in the net, even after extensive search, I could not find a single soul that express any inclination to "Birth of moon (conjunction)" over "New moon sighting (crescent)". However, many scholars advocate to use astronomic calculation to determine crescent visibility. Conjunction and crescent are two distict events; perhaps you wanted to use calculation for crescent instead on the conjunction for islamic purpose.

Conjunction vs crescent for islamic events is a dead issue to say the least. Quran settled it.
May Allah reward you for clearing this matter up. I found it very compelling evidence that it is the visibility and not the birth that matters. That said, I think such topics do not warrant the amount of debate that goes into it
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Old November 15, 2003, 09:42 PM
Shubho Shubho is offline
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alright, if you want to show off your 'piety', go right ahead...but call me when you have an answer to the real ills facing muslim society: our economic backwardness, our social backwardness, our infighting, our terrorism, our educational backwardness, our lack of altruism, our...

...and please don't tell me they stem from a dispute about the visibility of the moon...because they don't thank you very much.
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  #23  
Old November 15, 2003, 09:51 PM
chinaman chinaman is offline
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Better yet, why don't you start up a new thread with your vision. Someone, hopefully, might come up good. You never know!
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  #24  
Old November 17, 2003, 08:27 PM
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Nasif Nasif is offline
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china bhai sorry for being late in replying. Came to this forum after 2 days , was quite caught up in other stuff last few days. Anyway, let me get back to the topic.

I have already mentioned the verse that you quoted. It is this very verse that forces us to use calculation. Let me specify the points:

1. Lunar month starts with a New Moon and lasts until the next New Moon. The idea of "New Moon Sighting" errorneous. We cannot sight a New Moon. The New Moon stays invisible for a specific period of time. After that period it will appear as the first cresent. US Naval Observatory describes phases of moon:
http://aa.usno.navy.mil/faq/docs/moon_phases.html

2. Translation of the verse specified:
Quote:

Arabic Transliteration: Yas-aloonaka AAani al-ahillati qul hiya mawaqeetu lilnnasi waalhajji walaysa albirru bi-an ta/too albuyoota min thuhooriha walakinna albirra mani ittaqa wa/too albuyoota min abwabiha waittaqoo Allaha laAAallakum tuflihoona

Yusuf Ali: They ask thee concerning the New Moons. Say: They are but signs to mark fixed periods of time in (the affairs of) men, and for Pilgrimage. It is no virtue if ye enter your houses from the back: It is virtue if ye fear Allah. Enter houses through the proper doors: And fear Allah: That ye may prosper.

Pickhall: They ask thee, (O Muhammad), of new moons, say: They are fixed seasons for mankind and for the pilgrimage. It is not righteousness that ye go to houses by the backs thereof, but the righteous man is he who wardeth off (evil). So go to houses by the gates thereof, and observe your duty to Allah, that ye may be successful.

Shakir: They ask you concerning the new moon. Say: They are times appointed for (the benefit of) men, and (for) the pilgrimage; and it is not righteousness that you should enter the houses at their backs, but righteousness is this that one should guard (against evil); and go into the houses by their doors and be careful (of your duty) to Allah, that you may be successful.
Before we consult the meaning of the word "al-ahillati" we must focus on the verse. Prophet was questioned by the followers about "al-ahillati" of which he did not have an answer for. Thus God intervenes and answers the question. The second part of verse "it is not righteous to enter house from back" is a figure speech (proverb). Dispute regarding "al-ahillati" probably created some disagreement among the followers and thus God is ordering everyone not to dwell on the trivial issues of "al-ahillati" but rather follow straight simple path (enter house through proper door) and obey His laws. It is telling the followers that quarrelling about the "al-ahillati" won't do any good. This is the whole point of the verse.

The direct meaning of the word "al-ahillati" is The New Moon. The root word means "to appear". During prophets time they obviously lacked tools and technology to calculate the precise new moon and they had to rely on the first crescent appearence, which created few disagreement and thus God gives the revelation in Quran which addresses this issue. This does not mean God is saying that "we must visibly verify the moon for the start of lunar month." Now that we have the precise way to know the New Moon there is no need to look for "the back door to enter the house". The front door is wide open.

3. Please focus on other verses that specifically states the pupose of the moon. I have posted these verses already that stages the moon is to serve as device for calculation. I will focus on one verse here from 10:5
Quote:

Transliteration Huwa allathee jaAAala alshshamsa diyaan waalqamara nooran waqaddarahu manazila litaAAlamoo AAadada alssineena waalhisaba ma khalaqa Allahu thalika illa bialhaqqi yufassilu al-ayati liqawmin yaAAlamoona

Yusuf Ali: It is He Who made the sun to be a shining glory and the moon to be a light (of beauty), and measured out stages for her; that ye might know the number of years and the count (of time). Nowise did Allah create this but in truth and righteousness. (Thus) doth He explain His Signs in detail, for those who understand.

Pickthal: He it is Who appointed the sun a splendour and the moon a light, and measured for her stages, that ye might know the number of the years, and the reckoning. Allah created not (all) that save in truth. He detaileth the revelations for people who have knowledge.

Shakir: He it is Who made the sun a shining brightness and the moon a light, and ordained for it mansions that you might know the computation of years and the reckoning. Allah did not create it but with truth; He makes the signs manifest for a people who have knowledge.
Regardless of what the translators translated, we can infer the meaning from the highlighted words.
"manazila = stages/sequence/descent (Bangla Manzil)
"AAadada" = numbers
"hisaba" = calculate (Bangla Hishab = calculate).
Thus simply put, the purpose of the "stages/phases" of the Moon is to help us "number" the years and "calculate" time. Therefore, if we are ordered to work with number and calculation we cannot look up at sky dumbfounded and think where is the moon?

Please consider the ending of the verse, "God explains the revelations/ayat/signs for those who have knowledge". By God's grace we now have the knowledge to precisely calculate moon's position at any given time. And yet, every year during Ramadad muslim en-masse act like fools as they are completely clueless to this simple truth.
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Old November 17, 2003, 08:33 PM
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Nasif Nasif is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Shubho
alright, if you want to show off your 'piety', go right ahead...but call me when you have an answer to the real ills facing muslim society: our economic backwardness, our social backwardness, our infighting, our terrorism, our educational backwardness, our lack of altruism, our...

...and please don't tell me they stem from a dispute about the visibility of the moon...because they don't thank you very much.
No Shubho it doesn't stem from moon visiblity

The current Islam of the world has nothing to with the Islam proclaimed in Quran. Muslims are utterly lost in void!

[25:30]The messenger said, 'My Lord, my people have deserted this Quran.'
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