How to start the Hijri months on the correct day ??
Dear Brothers & Sisters
Assalaamu Alaikkum wa Rahmathullaahi wa Barakaathu hu
As you all knew Qur'an 2:189 says that the moon-phases are the dates for the mankind - not just for Muslims, but for the whole mankind. It mandates all of us to keep observing the moon throughout the month, throughout the year.
How can we find-out the dates from the moon-phases?
For that we have to first find-out the start of a month. Some among us say that the month starts after seeing the crescent on the Western sky. Some others say that we can fix the start of the month on the basis of sunset-moonset difference. Many think that the start can be fixed correctly by finding the time of Conjunction. Some say that if refer astronomical data of Makkah we can start the month correctly.
Let us analyse and findout the correct method.
1) Sighting of crescent on the west sky: Those who seek this method say that the new month starts on the appearance of the crescent on the West after sun-set. This method was advocated and practiced by Jews. They start the month after two persons witness the sighting of crescent. Majority of Muslims too follow this method.
Many among them do not understand that the crescent which they see on the West is actually the SETTING one and not the rising one. On the first day the moon rises a few minutes after the sun-rise, it follows the Sun and appears on the western sky after setting of Sun. So, these people start the month, in fact, after the day-light part of the first day is over.
As you are perhaps aware, it is in this day-light part , the fast of the first day has to be observed (in case of Ramdhaan) and it is in this day-light part we have to celebrate the Eid (in case of Shawwal). If one starts the month after seeing the hilaal, one stands to lose the first day's fast (in case of Ramdhaan) and one commits the sin of fasting on a Eid day (in case of Shawwal) which is haraam.
Hence, this method cannot be taken as the correct method.
More over, ther is no authentic hadeeth which says that the Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) has ever went in search of the hilaal on the western sky in order to start the new month or asked the Sahaba (RA) to do so.
Hence, searching for the hilaal on the West is not a Sunnah too.
2) Sunset-moonset difference: Many think that the sunset-moonset difference can be used as a criteria to ascertain the start of the new month. They believe that if the moon sets after the setting of the Sun, the new month starts at that place. This concept is wrong as Islam is a Universal one and not restricted to a particular region and also because Islam prescribes only one calendar and not 3 or 4 as propagated by many. Some people feel that if we calculate the setting time of Sun and Moon, the start can be fixed correctly. But this method cannot be taken as a fixed criteria.
To illustrate, we are are stating as follows:
The conjunction occurred on Monday (15th Oct 2012) at 12:02 UT. On Monday (15th Oct 2012), the day of Conjunction, the sun sets before the setting of moon at many places of the earth like South Africa, Mozambique etc,. (Moon sets after Sun)
But in India and at Makkah (Saudi Arabia) the moon sets before the setting of Sun. (Sun sets after moon)
Whereas at Maputo in Mozambique, which lies on 32.57 degree East Longitude, the moon sets after 7 minutes of the setting of the Sun. (Sun set at 18:56 hrs and Moon set at 19:03 hrs.) on Monday (15th Oct)
On the same day, at Cape Town in South Africa which lies at 18.41 degrees East Longitude, the moon sets after 12 minutes of the setting of the Sun. (Sun set at 20:00 hrs and Moon set at 20:12 hrs)
As moon sets after the setting of Sun, the hilaal is established on Monday, though invisible due to the glare of the sun, the new month starts at Fajr on Tuesday.
More over, from a tall building, one will be seeing the sun which is yet to set whereas for the people at the sea-level, sun would have set already.
It was in this context, the Ulema gave a fatwa that those who are on the top floors of Burj Dubai must break the fast a few minutes late.
The sunset- moonset difference is not the correct criteria, as per Astronomy,
to ascertain the start of the new month nor it is reliable at all times. But, it is understood that many countries consider this as an yard-stick to ascertain the start of the new month.
On the last day of the month, sun does not set earlier throughout the world.
Only at certain places it occurs; whereas the rest of the world will see the
moon setting before the Sun.
Hence, Astronomically also this concept is wrong and will never give the correct
start to the new month.
3) Makkah as Prime Meridian: Some are of the opinion that Makkah has to be taken as the prime meridian and start the new month depending on the astronomical data compared with Makkah local time.
Let us see how compatible it is with Sharia and Astronomy:
The Saudi Authorities want the Conjunction to occur before 12:00 UT (15:00 hrs Makkah Time) and the Moon to set after Sun at Makkah on Conjunction Day so as to start the new month on the following day. If the Conjunction takes place after 12:00 UT (15:00 hrs Makkah Time), the new month starts only on the second day after conjunction.
Makkah Hijri Calendar as well as many others including Br. Khalid Shaukat have fixed 12:00 UT (15:00 hrs Makkah Time) as the cut-off time for the conjunction to occur to consider the following day as the 1st of the new month. This criteria is wrong - astronomically and also it is against the Sharia.
Let us assume that Conjunction takes place on a Friday at 12:30 UT ( 15:30 hrs Makkah Time). The day of Jummah has not been over at many places West of Makkah and the Jummah prayer will be performed at some place in the world even after nearly 9 hours of Jummah prayer at Makkah. So the Day of Jummah is not yet over in the world when Makkah clocks show 15:00 hrs. Then how can Saudi Arabia and others fix the cut-off time as at 12:00 UT (15:00 hrs Makkah Time) and end the Jummah Day? What about those people who have not performed the Jummah prayers or those who may perform it after about 9 hours?
Let us now consider the cut-off time as 00:00 hrs UT. The corresponding Makkah Time will be 03:00 hrs - which is around Fajr time in Makkah.
On a Friday no-where in the world, Jummah prayers are observed till Makkah enters into Friday !!! Nor Saturday starts anywhere in the world till Jummah is prayed throughout the world !!
Truly Makkah is - the Ummul Qura !! Subhaanallah !!
4) By Observation of moon-phases: The best way to findout the end of the present month or the start of the new month is to keep watching the moon as was done by the Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam)
After the full moon if one keeps watching it at Fajre prayer time, one can easily find out the correct week-day in which the new month starts.
In the last quarter, we have to find-out on which week-day the moon takes the shape of a big crescent, with distinct horns and well-defined concavity. If it occurs on a Wednesday, the following Wednesday will be the first day of the new month.
We found out this fact t from our research spanning a few decades. If anyone has
any disagreement with this statement, may please prove us wrong.
If we keep on watching the moon on the following days, we can observe that the illuminated part of the moon becoming thinner and thinner and the position of the moon also coming closer and closer to the horizon day-by-day.
At last it becomes so thin and so close to the Eastern horizon, which Noble Qur'an 36:39 describes as "al Urjoonal qadeem". Seeing this last visible phase, the observer is assured that moon will not be seen on the next day. This day is the Day of Conjunction/Ghummah/Ghubbiyah and it is the last day of the month.
No one will have any problem to start the new month if one identifies"al Urjonal qadeem".
In short, the new month starts after nearly 48 hours of seeing the "al Urjoonal qadeem".
With the development of technology, Almighty Allah has bestowed on us the knowledge of calculating time and day of conjunction. Alhumdulillah !! We have this data for thousands of years. Using these data True Hijri Calendar can be made which will have dates tallying with the moon-phases (2:189).
According to the Sharia as well as Astronomically, the Universal day in
which Conjunction takes place has to be considered as the Last day of
the month and the new month must start from the fajr of the following
day, irrespective of the time of Conjunction and/or the sunset-moonset
difference at Makkah or anywhere else.
Only then the dates will tally with moon-phases as directed by Quran 2:189.
In this context we would like to explain the origin of present Hijri calendar:
Umar (RA) started the Hijri Calendar with 1-1-1 as Thursday
and on the previous day, Wednesday there was a Solar Eclipse.
This was recorded by Al Biruni. One should be aware that
the Solar eclipse occurs on the last day / Day of Conjunction.
We all knew that it was during the period of Umar's (RA)
Caliphate the Hijri Calendar was formulated. That was with
retrospect effect of about nearly 17 years. They (RA) calculated the months backwards and reached at the beginning of Muharram of the year in which the Hijra occurred !!! SUBHAANALLAH !! How tedious it would have been?
More over such a tabulation backwards for nearly 17 years crumbles down the allegation of majority that the Sahaba (RA) were illiterate and do not know calculations !!! They (RA) even knew that on the day of Eclipse/day of conjunction no hilaal will be seen.
So, the very first month of the Hijri Calendar was started
on the next day of Conjunction and not by seeing the hilaal.
Sheik Albani has rightly said that for a Truth seeker one evidence is enough. But for a person with "hawa", even thousands will not suffice !!!!!!!!.
We request all to ponder on our earlier statement :
According to the Sharia as well as Astronomically, the Universal day in which Conjunction takes place has to be considered as the Last day of the month and the new month must start from the fajr of the following day, irrespective of the time of Conjunction and/or the sunset-moonset difference at Makkah or anywhere else.
We request all those who are striving hard to have a Single Calendar for the whole mankind, as directed in Quran 2:189, to seriously study the subject and realise the truth that only if we consider the Day of Conjunction as the last day of the month, we can have a Calendar with dates tallying with the moon-phases (Quran 2:189).
We request all to join hands with us and to propagate the True Calendar prescribed by Almighty Allah in Noble Qur'an - the one followed by the Prophet (Sallallaahu alaih wa sallam) who lived 100% as per Qur'an.
May Almighty Allah forgive all our sins, errors and faults and may He, the Almighty
provide all of us with a place in Jannathul Firdouse. Aameen
For HIJRI COMMITTEE OF INDIA
S. N. Mohamed Sultan
HIJRI COMMITTEE OF INDIA
7/858 B, AWH Building
S. M. STREET
KOZHIKODE - 673001. INDIA
S. M. STREET
KOZHIKODE - 673001. INDIA