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Who is Abdullah al-Khodairi

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 30th May 2017 09:31

A very well known figure amongst the Moon sighters. A very controversial figure amongst the moon sighthers. Seen as the one one who claims the unthinkable, the impossible. Here's his side of the story (from last year)

 

Article from 2016




The man who sights 
the moon in Saudi deserts



Abdullah al-Khodairi

Article from last year: 6 June 2016

A few weeks ago, as Abdullah al-Khodairi was travelling along the desert road that connects his small town of Hotat al-Sudeir, in northern Saudi Arabia, to the capital, Riyadh, he asked his friends to pull over. On that windy night, in the pitch darkness, they sat on the sand waiting for the silver moon to rise. For the next hour, Khodairi, armed with pen and paper, recorded the movement of the moon.

The 55-year-old Saudi’s life has long been in sync with the moon. He knows when and how it rises, falls or turns, for Khodairi observes the angles of the shadows that fall on the moon’s craters at every stage in its cycle.

The moon, he says, is his life. As well as being an object of fascination, it offers him a daily reminder of God’s greatness. “No one can really capture the magnificence of the universe unless you follow the orbits as they move in the sky in an immaculate system, with each orbit having a precise path,” he explains.

But as the Islamic month of Ramadan, when Muslims around the world fast during daylight hours, nears, Khodairi begins to feel the weight of the world on his shoulders. Entrusted by Saudi authorities with observing the new crescent, which signals the beginning of Ramadan, his understanding of the moon helps to determine when many of the world’s Muslims begin their fast.





The new moon


The rotation of the moon around the earth drives the Islamic or Hijri Calendar. The lunar month lasts 29.5 days. A new moon is born when it becomes perpendicular between the sun and the earth. At that point, called ‘conjunction’, the moon is completely invisible to us because all of the sun’s radiation is reflected back by the moon and none reaches the earth. The time passed after the moment of conjunction is called the age of the moon. Once the moon is visible, the month of Ramadan is declared.







Wrong sighting:................................... True sighting:

The crescent sets before the sun................ The crescent sets after the sun 



In order to declare the beginning of Ramadan, Saudi Arabia depends on the testimonies of Khodairi and others like him as to whether or not they have spotted the moon. The Judicial High Court makes a decision on when Ramadan begins based on the testimonies it receives.

A number of countries follow Saudi Arabia, meaning that the testimony of Khodairi can determine when tens of millions of Muslims will fast.

“Only God knows the amount of pressure that falls on me.
It’s a responsibility that no one can imagine,” Khodairi says.


Khodairi’s venture into the world of astronomy was inspired by a nomadic childhood in the deserts of Saudi Arabia. With no electricity in his household until his high school years, Khodairi learned to observe the changing radiance of the moon.

“Until 1398 Hijri (1978), we depended on small lanterns,” he explains.

His strong sense of direction, he says, was inherited from his father, who was famed for being able to observe and follow the tracks left by animals or people in the sand.

“Whenever livestock was lost, my dad would be called upon to try and find it,” Khodairi remembers. “He was a well known guide in the desert, often accompanying people from the village to the holy city of Mecca.”

He recalls climbing a sand hill with his father and grandfather in 1399 Hijri (1979), when he was in high school, observing the moon and then running back to his family to declare the beginning of Ramadan before the radio did.

 

In 1404 Hijri (1985), when Prince Sultan Bin Faisal, a cousin of the Saudi king and an astronaut, declared the end of Ramadan after claiming to have seen the new moon from his vantage point aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery, 350km above the earth, Khodairi’s fascination with astronomy skyrocketed.

While he only had the opportunity to study physical education at the local college, he read every astronomy book that came his way and sought the help of three professors at King Saud University in Riyadh.

Khodairi is now the head of the observatory at Majmaah University in Hotat al-Sudair and the author of a number of books on the moon, astronomy and Islam.

 

But despite his knowledge of astronomy, science and moon calculations, the scholar maintains that seeing the moon with the naked eye should be the criterion for declaring the start of a new month. This, many religious authorities say, has been the tradition since the times of the Prophet Muhammad.

For those who opt for the most literal interpretations of sayings attributed to the prophet, mere cloud cover can prolong the fast by another day.

This, says Sharaf al-Sufiani, the head of the Horizons Society for Space Sciences in Jeddah, has meant that the declaration of Ramadan has been haphazard on many occasions.

"Sometimes the moon was declared visible when it was astronomically impossible to declare it visible," he insists.

“I don’t see why we have to depend on people in the desert when astronomy can accurately tell the time of birth of the new moon with the accuracy of seconds, whether the crescent will be visible or not.”


A scientific approach

The actual visibility of the crescent depends on factors like atmospheric conditions, cloudiness, and most critical of all, the distance between the sun and the moon on the horizon.

If the sun and the moon are too close to each other, there is a high chance that the moon will be invisible because of the glare caused by much brighter sunlight.

Achmed Rasch, the 35-year-old managing director of Vista Rasch GmbH, the company overseeing the launch of an observatory and astronomy exhibition centre in the holy city of Mecca, says studies show that about 80 percent of the time, Saudi Arabia’s declaration of Ramadan has been inconsistent with astronomical calculations.

The observatory centre, built in the enclosure of the Mecca Clock Tower, the largest clock tower in the world, hopes to provide the most accurate crescent sighting through high-end technologies and instruments.





The view from the lunar balcony in the Mecca Clock Tower (Images: Vista Rasch)



A robotic telescope network, lunar telescopes, and an instrument perched on the balcony of the 600-metre-high tower are expected to minimise crescent sighting errors.

The Saudi government-funded observatory is yet to open to the public, pending the approval of the highest authorities.

Although astronomy told us that Ramadan would begin on June 6 this year, Khodairi still camped at the top of a hill hours before sunset, waiting to see the silver crescent with the powerful eyesight he inherited from his father.


http://interactive.aljazeera.com/aje...16-moon-sight/

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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 30th May 2017 13:11
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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 31st May 2017 14:55
Is he the same person who was giving testimony of moon sighting even when moonset was before sunset in Makkah. Saudia criteria at that time was conjunction anywhere in the day, even if it was moonset before sunset at Makkah on that day.
Then they changed the criteria to Conjunction in the day AND moonset after Sunset at Makkah, even if it is 1 minute delayed.

This I recalled from a article read years back. Error exists in recalling, can some one can post that article.
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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 31st May 2017 15:00
Br abu mohammed, are those 2 pictures real. When moon sets along with sun, then also the phase of moon will be less that 1%, very think, hair thin crescent, cannot be seen with naked eye in the dark. And in the picture we are seeing a thick illuminated moon. Wallahu A'alam
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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 31st May 2017 16:00
Guest-30098 wrote:
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It is possible they have just been used for educational purposes or it could be of the 27th/28th lunar day (waning crescent). Allah knows best. Confirm using link above and use the interactive slides too.

Otherwise, as far as I know, the new moon would be black before the crescent (Hilal) can be seen.
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#6 [Permalink] Posted on 31st May 2017 18:35
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abu mohammed wrote:
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I quote from that article
Quote:
Though astronomy told us that Ramadan would begin on June 6 this year, Khodairi still camped at the top of a hill hours before sunset, waiting to see the silver crescent with the powerful eyesight he inherited from his father


In technical terms we may call that (sighting thinnest crescent before sunset), an 'ILLUSION'. Many a times a billion muslims look at the sky, no one from East or west, sights the moon. And one person sees it. (Once it happened to me, I was seeing thin crescent in the western sky wherever I looked at (illusion) ). This was because, that day, astronomical calculations predicted positive sighting.
For clear sky, madhabs demand moon sighting from large group. Not one person.
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#7 [Permalink] Posted on 31st May 2017 18:42
Guest-30098 wrote:
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I did start the topic with:
A very well known figure amongst the Moon sighters. A very controversial figure amongst the moon sighthers. Seen as the one one who claims the unthinkable, the impossible.
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#8 [Permalink] Posted on 1st June 2017 06:12
abu mohammed wrote:
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Miracle eyes were introduced to us, now we have miracle photography. Crescent is searched in the sky, round the globe, in deserts, seashore, calm forest terrain etc by millions of muslims, in the dark sky, moonsets 40 minutes after sunset, but crescent is not visible. Here miracle photography, captures thinnest crescent before sunset itself. Allahu Akbar, miracles do happen.

My request is, if crescent was visible in sunlight, then it would have been more clearly visible after sunset, we don't have pictures of crescent which sets minutes after sunset.
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#9 [Permalink] Posted on 1st June 2017 12:12
Notice that he has posted a picture of Ramadhan Moon from Saudi Astronomical society

Loading tweet


People are already asking the obvious question as to why he doesn't do it for all his other claims when all this sophisticated equipment fails.

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#10 [Permalink] Posted on 1st June 2017 15:29
Muadh_Khan wrote:
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Here are the parameters of makkah city on 26th May 2017, 19:00 hrs local time.
Phase of moon 0.34% ,
moonset-sunset 45 mins
Elongation 7.629
Moon age 7.53 hrs

In The picture, posted by Br Muadh, time could be atleast 15 to 20 mins after sunset.
We see a faint moon, hair thin.
But in the picture what br Abu Mohammed posted from khudairi's site, there is thicker, clearly visible
crescent even before sunset, in day light. Contradicts!!!

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#11 [Permalink] Posted on 1st June 2017 15:57
Pardon me!! Kindly ignore my post before this.
Moon parameters were wrongly included in earlier post.



Here are the parameters of makkah city on 26th May 2017, 19:00 hrs local time.
Phase of moon 1.3% ,
moonset-sunset 45 mins
Elongation 12.175
Moon age 20.28 hrs.

In The picture, posted by Br Muadh, time could be atleast 15 to 20 mins after sunset.
We see a faint moon, hair thin.
But in the picture what br Abu Mohammed posted from khudairi's site, there is thicker, clearly visible
crescent even before sunset, in day light. Contradicts!!!
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#12 [Permalink] Posted on 3rd June 2017 07:23
Let us wait for this year's Shawwal hilal. Moon data for Saturday, 24th June, 2017, (local 29th Ramadhan) at 19:00 hrs, for Makkah city is;

(Moonset - Sunset) is 22 minutes
Less that 1% of moon is visible, Moon Phase =0.0058 (1.0 for full moon)
Moon Elongation is 8.091
Moon Age is 14 hrs.

Wallahu A'alam
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#13 [Permalink] Posted on 5th May 2019 11:25
Let's see his performance today at sunset .... forget about Endgame, box office stuff this'll be !
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#14 [Permalink] Posted on 5th May 2019 11:37
Daywalk3r wrote:
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But today is the 30th of Shaban in Saudi Arabia is it not?

The announcement to sight the moon was made earlier for yesterday. (Let me double check in case I read it incorrectly)

I didn't post it in the Makkah news thread as to not create confusion :(
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#15 [Permalink] Posted on 5th May 2019 11:47
I did read it correctly!

Roukaya19 wrote:


3 days ago
Supreme Court asks to look for Ramadan crescent Saturday

2019-05-02

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court on Thursday called on all Muslims in the Kingdom to look for the crescent of the holy month of Ramadan on Saturday evening, Shaban 29, according to Umm Al-Qura Calendar, corresponding to May 4.

In its announcement, carried by the Saudi Press Agency, the Supreme Court called on whoever sights the crescent by naked eyes or through binoculars to report to the nearest court and register his testimony, or report to the authority of the region’s center in his area where he sighted the crescent to facilitate reporting to the nearest court.

In the event of not receiving any testimonies about sighting of the Ramadan crescent on Saturday evening, the 30 days of Shaban will be completed on Sunday and that was in line with the Saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and the fasting month will begin on Monday.

saudigazette.com.sa/article/565421/SAUDI-ARABIA/Supreme-C...
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