செவ்வாய்க்கிழமை, 28 ஜனவரி 2014 10:29

The misinterpreted Hadhees regarding the Hilaal

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The misinterpreted Hadhees regarding the Hilaal

 In the name of Allah the most Gracious the most Merciful.

  The misinterpreted Hadhees regarding the Hilaal: #1

  وقال عبد الرزاق، عن عبد العزيز بن أبي رَوّاد، عن نافع، عن ابن عمر قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: “جعل الله الأهلة مواقيت للناس فصوموا لرؤيته وأفطروا لرؤيته، فإن غم عليكم فَعُدُّوا ثلاثين يومًا”.

  ‘Soomoo li ru’uyathihi wa afthiroo li ru’uyahihi fa’in gumma alaikum fa uddoo salaaseena youman’.

  This Hadhees  has been reported from many sources and people without knowledge in the subject  believe that the month begins after seeing the Hilaal. They interpreted it as ‘Begin fasting when you see the Hilaal and end fasting when you see it again and if it is clouded you count the month as 30 days’.

 

 

This interpretation may look as if it is a very convenient and easy method of fixing the lunar months. Islam is easy to practice and beginning Ramadan when you see Hilaal and ending it when you see it again and if it is clouded counting the month as 30 days may appear to be very easy and practical.

 

 ‘Fa’in gumma alaikum’ means if it became difficult and doubtful. The translation ‘clouded’ will license people to make it 30 whenever it is clouded and this is contrary to Quran and Sunnah. The Prophet SAW warned: The month is 29 so do not fast without consulting the Hilaal and do not observe Eidul Fitre without seeing it, but if it became difficult and doubtful complete 30 days.

 

 Let us see what happens when we begin fasting after seeing the Hilaal. The ayaths of the Quran and the Ahadhees  which explain this tells another story.

 

 “Soomoo li ru’uyathihi…..” is a portion of the Hadhees  which explains the verse 2:189,   “Yas’aloonaka anil Ahillathi qul hiya mawaakeethu linnasi wal hajji”, meaning “They ask you about the phases of the moon, tell them they are dates for the people and Hajj”. Thafseer Ibn Kathir explains quoting the Hadhees  “Ja’alallahul ahillatha mawaakeetha linnasi fa soomoo li ru’uyathihi wa afthiroo li ru’uyathihi, fa’in gumma alaikum fa uddoo salaaseena youman”. “Allah has appointed phases of the moon as dates for the people, so fast according to its view and celebrate Eidul Fitre according to its view and if it became doubtful for you then count the month as 30 days. This is a very clear explanation regarding phases of the moon and lunar dates depicted by them. But some people who have no idea about the moon phase, the moon age, moon’s manaazil etc have mistaken Ahillah for Hilaals which are seen to the naked eye on the first day of every month. They believe that Ramadan begins when they see it without worrying whether Hilaal they saw was the first , second or third according to the height and size of the crescent. They do not realize that the word ‘Hilaal’ itself is not used in this Hadhees and in the Quran as well.

 

 Quran which came to lead people from darkness to light will not lead them to darkness. We can see how Dr. Qaradawi explains this Hadhees.  He says: “In the language of the faqeeh, we might say that the hadith both indicates an objective and specific means for achieving it. The objective in the hadith is clear, to fast the entire month of Ramadan without missing a single day, or without fasting in a month other than Ramadan, like Sha’ban or Shawwal. And that is to take place through ascertaining the beginning of the new month, and the end of the old one, by any means possible, so long as such means are available to the general populace without causing them hardship or difficulty in their religion.”

 

 

So it is very clear that compulsory fasting must be in Ramadan only. Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar. Ramadan cannot begin on two or three days. It will begin only on one day. In all calendars a month begins only on one day.

 The first of Ramadan of 1430H should be Friday for all people. It should not be Saturday for some people and Sunday for some others in the world. This condition will be created if everyone began Ramadan according to his sighting of the Hilaal. The Prophet SAW  ordered us to fast when the people fast. It is a ritual performed all together beginning in one day and ending in one day. Fasting on the day of feasting is Haraam in Shariah. Then how can the people in the world do it on two or three days? It will be wrong and ignorance which is contrary to the spirit of Islam, which has no crookedness.

 

Therefore “Soomoo li ru’uyathihi….” does not mean that we should begin fasting whenever we see the hilaal and end fasting whenever we see it again as generally believed.

 

 What is the meaning of Ahillah and how is it important for the dates (“Mawaakeeethu linnaasi wal hajj”)?

 

 Quran translated in different languages render “Ahillah” as ‘new moons’. I have examined Quran translations in eight languages. All give the same meaning. Ahillah does not mean ‘new moons’ even though it is the plural of Hilaal. Tabari, Ibn Kathir, Kurtubi etc give clear explanation. People wanted to know how the moon waned and waxed and they asked the Prophet SAW about it. It is clearly known from this that they did not ask about the Hilaals seen on the first day of every month. They asked how the moon waned and waxed. Allah SWT ordered the Prophet SAW  to tell them the purpose behind it. So he SAW  tells them they are dates for people and Hajj.  People need dates to record and plan their activities of daily life. They were not a community like us using paper and pen. Very few of them knew that art. So their dates were not in calendars as we have today. They looked at the moon for their date. Their true calendar was hung in the sky while our false calendars decorate our walls deceiving us in our dates.

 

The Mufassireen say that Quran should be interpreted from Quran. One ayath explains the other. So we should look into Quran, not into man-made dictionaries for understanding the meanings of the words used in the Quran.

 The word ‘Ahillah’ is used in Quran only once in 2:189. It is not used again anywhere else in Quran. People say that Ahillah is the plural of Hilaal. But ‘Hilaal’ is not found in Quran. Then, how can we know the meaning of this word? In Surah Yaaseen this word is explained in the verse 36:39, “Wal qamara qaddarnaahu manaazila hatta aada kal urjoonil qadeem”. “We have appointed stages for the moon till it returned like an old urjoon (date stalk)”. Moon does not remain in one place or stage in the sky always as sun is seen to us. It changes its position or stage as well as its shape everyday and at last it comes back as it began and resembles like an old urjoon (date stalk). This is another form like Hilaal which is one of the phases of the moon seen on the first day of the month. So it is clear that the word ‘ahillah’ means different shapes of the moon seen to us in different stages of its travel. We call them ‘phases’ in English.

 The other word is ‘Mawaakeeth’. This is plural of ‘meekath’ which is found in many places in Quran. It means date. “Inna youmal fasli kaana meekathan” “the day of harvesting is a fixed date“. Now we get the meaning of “Hiya mawaakeethu linnasi wal Hajj” from Quran as: “they are dates for people and Hajj”.  So we know that phase of the moon show us our dates for our daily needs as well as for our religious observances. This tells us that we should not use different calendars for civil and religious purposes. We must use the phases of the moon for our dates in all purposes. This ayath forbids use of any other calendar. But without realizing this we have chosen the Gregorian calendar, invoking the wrath of Allah SWT upon us by disobeying His order! May Allah SWT save us!

 

 What does Ru’uya mean?

 

 The word ‘Ru’uya’ is from the verb “ra’aa” which means ‘to see’ or ‘understand‘. The word ra’aa is used in many places in Quran in different meanings, to see, to know to understand etc. ‘Ru’uya’ the noun form of “ ra’aa ”  can be translated as “sight, view, appearance” etc in English. In Quran it is used in both the meanings “to see” as well as to “understand“. The Quran explains Ra’aa in its different meanings beautifully in verse 37:102  “And when his son was old enough to walk about with him he said: Oh, my son. I have seen (Araa) in a dream that I am slaughtering you. So look, what do you think (tharaa)! He said: Oh, my father! Do what you are commanded, you shall find me Insha Allah among the patient”.

 

 We must interpret words in Hadhees  without contradicting Quran.

 

 “Soomoo li ru’uyathihi and afthiroo liru’uyathihi“, what does it denote?

 

 It means begin fasting according to its view and celebrate Eidul Fitre according to its view. We must find out the dates by observing the moon phase which denotes the date and find out the beginning of the months exactly by observing the waning and waxing phases of the moon. If the observation failed due to clouds and it became doubtful complete 30 days to make it sure. This is not a sanction to make a month of 29 into 30 whenever a cloud covered the crescent.

 

 What was the custom of great Sahaabas like Ibnu Abbas RA and Ibn Omer RA in practicing the same Hadhees…

 

 They knew how to find out dates by observing the Ahillah, phases and Manaazil, stages of the moon. It is very simple and they would have found out their dates without mistakes. But we firmly believe: ‘the month begins after we see the Hilaal’! This is a lie that has been told many times and perpetuated till all people have believed that Hilaal is seen on the last day of every month! In fact Hilaal, the waxing crescent becomes visible only on the first day of the month, never on the last day on which moon has no phase. Vide. Ibn Kathir 36:39

 

 Is it possible to fast on the first of Ramadan and observe Eid on the first of Shawwal by sighting  the hilaal through naked eye? What are the problems in that method?

 

It is impossible to catch the first day by the method of Hilaal sighting,  because the month begins after seeing the crescent.  Hilaal is seen only on the first day of the month after sunset and if you fasted after seeing it you would certainly fast on the second day of Ramadan and would miss the first day!

 

 The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) will not give us an order which cannot be practiced. We have given a wrong meaning to the sayings of the Prophet SAW without knowledge about the moon and its phases. Translating “Soomoo li ru’uyathihi…” as: “fast when you see the crescent…” is not appropriate. The words ‘li ru’uyathihi’ means “according to its view“. Someone without knowledge in the subject interpreted it as “begin fasting when you see it” and all others have blindly repeated it again and again till the idea that month begins after Hilaal is seen got established in the minds of the people.

 It is impossible to begin the fasting on the first of Ramadan if one waited till the Hilaal is seen. Then fasting will begin on the second or third day of Ramadan as it happens in India, Pakistan and other countries always and they do not realize the mistake. They blame, un-necessarily,  Saudi Arabia for beginning the month one or two days in advance!

 

 

The misinterpreted Hadhees  regarding the Hilaal  : #2

 

 

عن عبد الله بن عمر رضي الله عنهما , أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : ” الشهر تسع وعشرون ليلة , ولا تصوموا حتى تروا الهلال , ولا تفطروا حتى تروه , فإن غم عليكم فاقدروا له

 

 

“Laa thasoomoo hatta tharawul hilaala walaa thufthiroo hatta tharowhu”

 

 This Hadhees  is reported by Ibn Umar RA. The real Hadhees  is “Asshahru this’un wa ishroona lailathan, walaa thasoomoo hatta tharawul hilaala walaa thufthiroo hatta tharowhu” meaning “The month is 29, do not fast without consulting the Hilaal and do not celebrate Eidul fitre without consulting it.” What does this mean? Does it mean that we should give 30 days to a month which has only 29 days according to the phases of the moon? It cannot be so.

 

 

Here the Prophet SAW who knows that particular month is of 29 days through ‘wahi’ orders the Sahaba to observe the moon and find out the month correctly for themselves. He SAW was teaching them how to find out dates and months by observing the moon. ‘Wahi’ will not come after him and they should know how to find out their dates and months correctly by observing the Ahillah (waning and waxing crescents). It is not an order to see the Hilaal and then begin the month whenever they see it, which is impractical. It is also not an order to complete 30 whenever the Hilaal is not seen due to clouds. We must use our discretion. We are not permitted to change the limit of the months as we like.  Allah SWT has assigned 29 days to some months and we should not give them 30 days.

 

 It is narrated about Ibn Umar RA who reported this Hadhees  that he would send someone to see if the crescent is seen on the 29th of Sha’ban, because people believed that it is seen. He was seeing whether it was a fact. If it is reported cloudy Ibn Umar RA would fast the next day without completing 30!  So it is clear that the Hadhees  is not about seeing the Hialaal and beginning the month after seeing it. Ibn Umar RA had his own method of finding out the month which he learnt from the Prophet SAW. He must have been trying to find out whether the Hilaal is seen on the last day of the month as believed by the laymen. He himself did not dare to go and search the Hilaal because the Prophet  SAW never did it.

 

 During the regime of Omar RA the Shia raised the demand that the month should begin only after seeing the Hilaal with the naked eye quoting the same Hadhees  and blamed Omar RA for beginning the month without seeing the crescent and Ijma rejected it. Vide fat’hul baari.

 

 حدثنا محمود بن خالد وعبد الله بن عبد الرحمن السمرقندي وأنا لحديثه أتقن قالا ثنا مروان هو بن محمد عن عبد الله بن وهب عن يحيى بن عبد الله بن سالم عن أبي بكر بن نافع عن أبيه عن بن عمر قال   تراءى الناس الهلال فأخبرت رسول الله   صلى الله عليه وسلم أني رأيته فصامه وأمر الناس بصيامه –  أبو داود 16920

This is another Hadhees  which says: “Tharaa’annasul hilaala fa akhbarthu Rassolallahi SAW innee ra’aithuhu, fa saamahu wa amran’naasa bi siyaamihi. “People were discussing about the Hilaal and I reported to the Prophet SAW that I have observed it. The Prophet  SAW fasted next day and ordered people to fast”.

All these Ahadhees  tell us that they observed the Ahillah and found out the months correctly. They did not begin the fasting after seeing the first crescent just as people do today. The interpreters of the Hadees do not know anything about the Hilaal. They believed that sahaba RA also were like them.

 

 A critical examination of this Hadees will tell us that Ibn Umar RA has not seen the crescent that evening. The people who were discussing about the hilaal did not see it. This must have been after praying Magrib. Will the Hilaal that appears in the western horizon on the last day of the month remain so long after the sun set? It will set within a few minutes and people cannot see it. Then what is the meaning of the words of Ibn Umar RA “Innee ra’aithuhu” “I have seen it”?

 

 It does not mean that he has seen the crescent just then. It means he has observed the crescents and found out that hilaal must appear that night in the western horizon. If he had seen the Hilaal he would have shown it to others and they too would have seen it. This is not there in the Hadees.

 

 

The misinterpreted Hadhees  regarding the Hilaal  : #3

People may ask, “Is it not true that the Kuraib’s episode itself proved that dates can differ in different cities because it was so in the period of Sahabah RA? ”

 

 عن كريب

 

 

: أن أم الفضل بنت الحارث بعثته إلى معاوية بالشام قال فقدمت الشام فقضيت حاجتها واستهل على رمضان وأنا بالشام فرأيت الهلال ليلة الجمعة ثم قدمت المدينة في آخر الشهر فسألني عبدالله بن عباس رضي الله عنهما ثم ذكر الهلال فقال متى رأيتم الهلال فقلت رأيناه ليلة الجمعة فقال أنت رأيته ؟ فقلت نعم ورأه الناس وصاموا وصام معاوية فقال لكنا رأيناه ليلة السبت

 

 

فلا تزال نصوم حتى نكمل ثلاثين أو نراه

 

 

فقلت أو لا تكتفي برؤية معاوية وصيامه ؟ فقال لا

 

 

هكذا أمرنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وشك يحيى بن يحيى في نكتفي أو تكتفي

 

 

صحيح مسلم    [ جزء 2 -  صفحة

 

 Ummul Fadle RA sent Kuraib for an errand to Sham (Syria) for getting some information from Mu’aawiya RA. He finished his mission and returned to Madeenah in the last days of Ramadan. He began Ramadan while he was at Sham. When he came to Madeenah he knew that the people of Madeenah began fasting on Saturday. But according to him he had begun fasting on Friday! Ramadan beginning on Friday at Damascus and Saturday at Madeenah was not in keeping with the Sunnah. The Prophet SAW said: “Fasting is on the day people fast, Eidul fitre is on the day people celebrate Eidul fitre and sacrifice is on the day people sacrifice”. All people must do it on the same day. Prophet SAW had forbidden to fast on the day of feasting Eid.  So, according to him people in Sham fasted on Friday. People in Madeenah too should fast on Friday. Have they missed one day of Ramadan? Sham and Madeenah beginning Ramadan on two different days is contrary to the Sunnah and the orders of the Prophet SAW.

 

Ibn Abbas RA who was the Governor of Madeenah enquired from Kuraib when they began fasting in Sham. He said: “We began fasting on Friday”. Ibn Abbas RA asked, “When did you see the Hilaal?” Ibn Abbas RA wanted to know whether they had begun Shaban on the correct day. In Madeenah they had begun Shaban correctly on Friday after obseriving the Ahilla of Jumadil Akhir and Rajab. They had begun Shaban on Friday. Not only Ibn Abbas RA, but all people of Madeenah also know this very well. When Shaban begins on Friday, then the 29th of Shaban will also be on Friday. But Kuraib’s reply: “we saw the Hilaal on Thursday evening” was unbelievable. This was impossible because Hilaal will not appear on 28th of Shaban, Thursday. Ibn Abbas knew that some thing was wrong with Kuraib.

 

 He again asked Kuraib: “Did you see the Hilaal yourself on Thursday evening at Sham?” Kuraib’s repy to this question was not to the point. Kuraib said: “yes, people too saw it and they fasted, Mu’aawiya also fasted”. Ibn Abbas RA replied: “But we saw it on Friday evening” meaning that the people of Madeenah and Ibn Abbas RA assured that Shaban 1st was on Friday and so the 29th of Shaban should also fall on Friday and they began fasting on Saturday depending on that. How could Kuraib and others see the Hilaal on Thursday which was only the 28th of Shaban? And he further added: “and we will continue fasting till we complete 30”. This shows that Ibn Abbas RA knew that,  the particular Ramadan was a month of 30 days by his observation of the ahillah and manaazil of the moon. “Or till we see it” means we will now verify whether Ramadan is of 29 or 30 days by observation.

 

 Then Kuraib asked: “Is not Mu’aawiya’s seeing and fasting enough for you?”. Ibs Abbas RA retorted: “No, the Prophet SAW ordered us like this”. The Prophet SAW had ordered them to see the Ahillah properly and begin or end fasting accordingly. That is “Soomoo li ru’uyathihi wa afthiroo li ru’uyathihi….”. They have done that and begun Ramadan correctly. Now they cannot change their right view and admit that they have omitted the first day of Ramadan. This was the stand of Ibn Abbas RA and all the people of Madeenah. He rejected it as it was a single report which was unbelievable to them. So the episode of Kuraib does not establish the view that Muslim Ummah could differ in dates.

 

 The Hilaals or Ahillah show people their dates. The crescents seen from Syria and Madeena are not different. They knew it very well. The moon which Allah has appointed to show people their date cannot show different dates for Syria and Madeenah. The date shown by the moon for Syria and Madeenah should be same. The full moon viewed at Madeenah and Syria will not be on different days. So, 15th of Ramadan must be Saturday for both towns Damascus and Madeenah. According to Kuraib, 15th of Ramadan would be Friday for Syria!

 

 

This ridiculous state of affairs will not be the rule of Islam which is  the Right way. Some people use this tradition to establish that lunar dates must be different for America  and Arabia. This  is absurd and pathetic. Such wrong and un-Islamic concepts must be rejected.

 

 I am giving below the quoting from translation of Sahih Muslim into English. The translator has no knowledge in the subject he is dealing with. He says that Ummul Fadle sent her son Fadle to Mu’awiya! Such careless translations mislead even the educated elite.

 

 Book 006, Number 2391: Kuraib reported that Umm Fadl, daughter of Harith, sent him (Fadl, i. e. her son) to Mu'awiya in Syria. I (Fadl) arrived in Syria, and did the needful for her. It was there in Syria that the month of Ramadan commenced. I saw the new moon (of Ramadan) on Friday. I then came back to Medina at the end of the month. Abdullah b. 'Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) asked me (about the new moon of Ramadan) and said: When did you see it? I said.: We saw it on the night of Friday. He said: (Did) you see it yourself? -I said: Yes, and the people also saw it and they observed fast and Mu'awiya also observed fast, whereupon he said: But we saw it on Saturday night. So we would continue to observe fast till we complete thirty (lasts) or we see it (the new moon of Shawwal). I said: Is the sighting of the moon by Mu'awiya not valid for you? He said: No; this is how the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) has commanded us. Yahya b. Yahya was in doubt (whether the word used in the narration by Kuraib) was Naktafi or Taktafi.

 

 

The misinterpreted Hadhees regarding the Hilaal  : #4

 

 People may also ask, “Is it not true that the Islamic day and month starts after seeing Hilaal at Magrib?”

صحيح مسلم    [ جزء 2 -  صفحة 765 ]

 

29 – ( 1088 ) حدثنا أبو بكر بن أبي شيبة حدثنا محمد بن فضيل عن حصين عن عمرو بن مرة عن أبي البختري قال

 

: خرجنا للعمرة فلما نزلنا ببطن نخلة قال تراءينا الهلال فقال بعض القوم هو ابن ثلاث وقال بعض القوم هو ابن ليلتين قال فلقينا ابن عباس فقلنا إنا رأينا الهلال فقال بعض القوم هو ابن ثلاث وقال بعض القوم هو ابن ليلتين فقال أي ليلة رأيتموه ؟ قال فقلنا ليلة كذا وكذا فقال إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم

 

قال إن الله مده للرؤية فهو لليلة رأيتموه

 

 

الخسوف بالحساب

 

 When we examine the history of the past and present, there is not a single report that the Hilaal is seen on the last day of the month. People claim to have seen it. But the Hilaal that appears on the western horizon on the last day evening will set almost with the sun and will not be visible to the naked eye. Even with powerful telescopes it cannot be seen because the thin and faint crescent cannot emit enough light to become distinct against the bright glare of the sun.

People have come to believe that the month begins after they see the hilaal after Magrib. Since the preparations for fasing begins after magrib and people are informed, at the time of Magrib, about the decision  of fasting next day, they have believed that the month begins at Magrib. This is only a layman’s view. Months are counted in days. The first date will begin with the first day of the month. It will not begin at Magrib before the daily routine of the 5 prayers have not ended. The Prophet SAW taught that 5 prayers make a day and the first prayer of the day is the Fajre. It is not Magrib. Asar is the middle prayer (Salaathal wustha) according to many Mufassireen.

 

  “Hilaal is seen on the last day of the lunar month” is a rumour spread among the people in very early times, may be just after the period of Khulafa ur Rashideen. A lie repeated many times becomes like truth. People believe it. The Prophet SAW has warned us about telling lies. All people of our generation believe that the months begin after the Hilaal is seen to the naked eye. Even at the time of Umar RA they wanted to attack Umar RA  saying that Umar AR begins the month without seeing the Hilaal. They quoted the Hadees “Laa thasoomoo hatta tharawul hilaala…..” out of context giving it a wrong meaning. We have already explained it above quoting Fath’ul Baari.

People believe that the Prophet SAW has ordered to begin the month  after seeing the Hilaal. They do not want to verify whether the Prophet SAW has ever issued such an order. But this hadees mentioned above reported by Ibn Umar RA clears the doubts.

AlBakhthari said: “We set out for Umra  and when we camped at ‘Bathni Nakhla.’ We discussed about the Hilaal. Some people said it is aged three days and some people said it is two days old. He said, we met Ibn Abbas RA and we said to him: “We saw the Hillal, some of the people said it is three days old and some of them said it is two days old. Then he said: “On which day did you see it?” We replied on such and such day. Then he said that the Messenger of Allah SAW said: “Verily Allah has arranged it for observation, so the one you saw is for the day you saw it.”

It is clearly known from this Hadees that the Hilaal that we see denotes the date for that day. It is not the date for the next day. People have the wrong idea that day begins at sun set and the crescent they see shows the dates for the next day. If the day begins at sun set when will the night begin? Will it begin at sun rise? Quran refutes such wrong ideas of the Jews and Christians  by  “Walallailu saabiqun nahaari” “night is not the forerunner of the day”.

I have seen this Hadees in the English translation of Sahih Muslim. It is written in it:” Verily Allah has deferred it till the time it is seen. So, it is to be reckoned from the night you saw it”. These translations which are carried out by people without knowledge in the subject mislead the readers. “Defer” means ‘delay’  which is not congruent with Allah SWT. The Heading of the chapter itself is misleading. These people have no idea about the wonderful arrangement of Allah SWT – the moon and its phases which show the mankind the dates fixed by Allah SWT  on the very day of creation. They never see the moon, then how can they admire the wonders of Allah which Galileo saw and for which the Christian clergy punished and tortured him.

 

 I quote below the English Translation of the above Hadees:

 

  Chapter 6: IT IS IMMATERIAL WHETHER THE NEW MOON IS LARGE (ON ACCOUNT OF APPEARING AFTER THIRTY NIGHTS) OR SMALL (ON ACCOUNT OF APPEARING ON THE THIRTIETH NIGHT) ; AND ALLAH DEFERS IT TO MAKE IT SUITABLE FOR SIGHTING AND IF THE SKY IS CLOUDY, THEN THIRTY (FASTS) ARE TO BE COMPLETED

 

 Book 006, Number 2392: Abu’l-Bakhtari reported: We went out to perform Umra and when we encamped in the valley of Nakhla, we tried to see the new moon. Some of the people said: It was three nights old, and others (said) that it was two nights old. We then met Ibn ‘Abbas and told him we had seen the new moon, but that some of the people said it was three nights old and others that it was two nights old. He asked on which night we had seen it; and when we told him we had seen it on such and such night, he said the Prophet of Allah (may peace be upon him) had said: Verily Allah deferred it till the time it is seen, so it is to be reckoned from the night you saw it.

 

Mistakes in the existing Ummul Qura Calendar

The present Ummul Qura calendar from 1420 to 1450AH is calculated based on the hypothesis of ‘Imkaane ru’uya’ or possibility of visibility which is not found in the Quran and the Sunnah. It  is built upon the superstition that the Hilaal is seen to the naked eye after sun set on the last day of every lunar month.

The research conducted on sighting Hilaal for a century proves that the Hilaal is not seen to the naked eye on the last day of the month. Even the old records such as Thafseer Ibn Kathir, Thabari, Kurthubi etc. state that Hilaal becomes visible after sun set on the first day of the lunar month.

 

 The moon seen on the last day at daytime under certain circumstances such as solar eclipse and  Hilaal that is seen miraculously before or after noon on such occasions is not for that day but for the following day which will be the first day of the month. If it happens in Ramadan one need not break the fast because that day belongs to Ramadan. From this it is clearly known that a solar eclipse marks the end of the lunar month and next day belongs to the new month.

A solar eclipse occurs only on the day of conjunction. So, the criterion for calculating the lunar month is ‘conjunction’ or new moon which can be accurately calculated by astronomical rules. This will give us the true lunar dates and months.

 

 When the months are calculated by ‘Imkane ru’uya’ criterion, the measure of the months is changed. The dates which must tally with phases of the moon do not go with phases  (2:189). Allah SWT has fixed the months, some as 29 and some as 30 days on the very day of creation. (9:36). The Imkaane ru’uya method changes months of 29 into 30. No one has a right to interfere in the Nizam of Allah SWT.

Changing the months of 29 as 30 is Haram and comes under Nasie (9:37).  For example last year 1429H fasting began in Haramain on the 2nd of Ramadan! The first day was neglected. Fortunately, The Eidul Fitre was observed on the right day. Again the Arafa was observed on the wrong day! How can we say that we do not know calculations? All this happens because of the defects in the calendar. All of a sudden the date is changed according to the whims of the people. Others are made to believe that Islam is not practical now and this prevent them from embracing Islam!

Allah SWT has entrusted the change of dates with the moon. Clouds or people have no right to change the fixed dates of Allah SWT. Ramadan 1430 H begins on Friday according to Nizam of Allah SWT, but the present Ummul Qura calendar puts it as on Saturday. According to the phases and stages of the moon Ramadan 1430 begins on Friday and ends on Friday (29 days) and Eidul fitre falls on Saturday.

 

 Zul Hijjah 1430 begins on Tuesday. These could be verified with naked eye observation of the Ahillah and Manaazil of the moon. But the present Ummul Qura puts it on Wednesday!

 

  Such serious mistakes which mislead the people are found in the present Ummul Qura calendar. Printing and publishing true lunar calendars based on the Quran and Sunnah is the need of the hour. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia should take the lead first and then Insha Allah others will follow. May Allah bless us all and lead us to the Truth!

 

The root cause of the present confusion in the Islamic dates is the misunderstanding of the Quran and Hadees.

 

  The  Quranic  Ayaths  2: 183 to189, 9:36,37, 10:5, 36:37 to 40, 55:5 and other related ayaths, which deal with the calendar need thorough examination and appropriate interpretation of the Ulema.

 

 Points to Ponder

1.   There is no confusion in the religion of Allah SWT, the Great Islam. So there should not be the confusion of Hilaal and Dates in the Muslim world. All Muslims must follow the Great Religion of Allah.  Allah SWT has perfected our religion and completed His Ni’amah. If anyone believes that there is confusion in the dates of Islamic calendar which depends on the Ahillah and Manaazil of the moon and that this calendar is not practical in the present world, doubts about the perfection of Deenul Islam. He doubts Allah and HIS apostle (Naudubillah).

2.   “Soomu Li ru’yathihi….” does not mean that we should see the Hilaal by naked eye at Magrib and begin Ramadan fasting on next day. If we waited till we see the Hilaal which is seen only after the sun set of the first day of the month we certainly will miss the first day.

3.   There is only one Yawmul Jumu’a in a week, i.e. Friday. There are no 2 or 3 Jumu’a days in a week. There is no possibility of 2 or 3 days coming under a single date. This is absolutely wrong. Then how can there be 3 days for  Eidul Fithre in a year? And how could Ramadan begin in 3 days? There are no 2 or 3 days of lailathul Qadr. Quran tells us about one lailathul Qadr repeating every year.

4.   Quran and Sunnah clearly explain that our day starts before dawn. All creations of Allah get up at dawn when  sun rays fall on the atmosphere of the earth, indicating that we must begin the day at the time of dawn. Then how do the Muslims start their day from Magrib. If so, when will they begin their night? Will they begin their night in the morning?

5.   Days should be counted systematically for calculations beginning at a date line according to the Nizam of Allah SWT. A place where Muslims must perform  Jumu’a for two days on the earth is inevitable. This means that there must be two Fridays at one locality or zone in the world. This must be separated by a boundary of sea so that people cannot reach two sides without travelling. Here lies the Islamic date line. Here alone Eid also will be performed for two days like the Jumu’a. But there will not be difference in the name of the day of Eid. In both sides people will celebrate Eid on Saturday only. Subhanallah! How wonderful is the Nizam of Allah.

6.   This date line was perfected and declared as “International Date Line” in 1886. So, lunar datelines created by hypothesis of Imkaaane Ru’uya and Makkah date line with an intention to make Makkah the capital of the world are impossible and impracticable.

7.   Saudi Arabia, where the two Haramain are situated and blessed land of Islam must come forward to implement the true lunar calendar of Allah SWT. The Custodian of two Holy Mosques has the responsibility of carrying out this task of establishing this calendar in the Islamic world for the good of humanity at large.

 

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