In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh
How to create a Farce?
1970s (Saudi Arabia):
In the 1970’s Saudi Officials decided to create a Calendar called “Ummul-Qura”, they were at pains to point out that this is for civil purposes and not for religious acts of worship. Shaykh Syed Abul-Hasan Ali Nadwi (RA) one of the prominent Ulama of that time saw the repercussions of this upon the Islamic world and articulated his opposition.
Today, the entire world is affected by Saudi Arabia who habitually and regularly try to sight the moon on the 29th Sha’baan (according to Ummul-Qura), fast in Muharram according to Ummul-Qura Calendar.
We just witnessed the end of another conference with a similar aim of creating a Calendar but this time it’s even worse:
- They were no pretensions that this is for civil use, it is meant to be for religious duties.
- They want to create it for global use and not just Turkey
This time the place was Istanbul and conference was conducted between 28-30 May 2016. From the outset it became abundantly clear that a global unified calendar cannot be based on Moonsighting. Its common-sense that the world has multiple time zones and the Moonsighting for various parts of the world will be difference.
Moonsighting was dropped to be an inconvenience!
A resolution was adopted to propose the creation of a global Calendar based on Astronomical calculations. These Astronomical calculations are not based on the ability to sight the moon (they cannot be)! Details of what criteria was adopted will become clear in coming days…
Opposition from Ulama:
The first to lead the charge against this foolishness was Shaykh Yusuf Qaradawi (HA) and his views are expressed in the Arab Media.
Shaykh Sa’ad Bin Turkey Al-Khathlaan (HA):
Headed the delegation from Saudi Arabia and agreed with Shaykh Yusuf Qaradawi (HA) in opposition to his plans.
Shaykh Mufti Taqi Usmani (HA):
One of the favourites of some experts is CCD imaging. This isn’t the real moon and no Observatory reports CCD images as the pictures of the moon. Every year we have CCD images circulated on the Internet to confuse laymen into thinking that the moon was sighted at a location.
Mufti Taqi Usmani (HA) clearly articulated his reservations about CCD.
Voted “No, Thank You!”
Dr. Abdurrazak Ebrahim (South Africa):
Gave a talk on the history and tradition of Moonsighting in South Africa (particularly Cape Town) and why it cannot be overlooked.
Shaykh Suliman Gani (Britain):
Muadh Khan: Asslamo Allaikum Maulana
MK: What were the details of your trip?
SG: It was a last minute decision. I went there with my family. It was not a sponsored trip but I thought it would be good to attend. I had to book and stay in the same hotel as the conference to make sure that I could attend. I paid for the expenses myself.
MK: What is your opinion about Jamiatul-Ulama statement and about Moonsighting?
SG: I fully support the statement of South African Ulama. I also support Moonsighting as the basis of establishing Islamic Months. Even the criteria which was agreed at the conference is subject to discussion because it doesn’t take naked eye sighting into consideration at all.
MK: How did you vote?
SG: I had to leave a day earlier to an appointment so I didn’t get to vote. I would have voted “No” if I had the opportunity.
So there you have it folks…A first class farce “Made in Istanbul” and no doubt you have people backing this attempt to rationalise a global Islamic Calendar. You know what they say:
- First, create a problem
- Second, attempt to solve the problem