I strongly believe that the above report is false as it is contrary to Astronomy and to the established astronomical findings and also contrary to Sharia.
I am giving below, for your perusal, my reasons to prove that the above report was false:
1) In the visibility curve developed by you for Thursday, 30 Jan, published in ICOP site, it was shown that there were much greater chances of seeing the waning crescent in New Zealand and Australia. But it was not seen there.
The waning crescent was “seen” at Iran when 18h38m were left for Conjunction. In Australia and New Zealand, one could have “seen” it much earlier and the moon too would have been brighter at these places when the time left for Conjunction would be 22 or 23 hours or more. But no one saw it !!! Is it not surprising that it was “seen” at Iran which as per your own visibility curves falls on the far west of the Green band (ie. on the border-line within which it can be "seen" with naked eye) ???
2) The photograph taken by Br. Alireza is also not convincing. In the morning, at Sun-rise, the sky (upper part) would be dark whereas the lower horizon would be lit up. But in this photograph, it is the other way around. The lower horizon (bottom part) is darker and the sky is lit up !!
This rises a doubt that the photograph was not genuinely taken at 06:30 am !!!
3) If you look at the bottom of this photograph, you can see the city lights and above that but below the crescent, you can see the out-line of the mountains too. If the camera is focused on the moon, in an upward angle, how come the city-lights come within the frame, when the observer is at an altitude of 1849 metres ??
The moon in the photograph is a zoomed one. How can moon alone can be zoomed out leaving the background to remain the same?? How come the city-lights are seen when the moon alone is zoomed in ?? The city-lights would have gone out of the photo-frame, Is it not ??
Hence, I strongly believe that this photograph is not a real one but a concocted one.
4) The Temperature was 1 degree Celicius and the observer Br. Alireza Mehrani says that he was at an Altitude of 1849 meters and the humidity was 80%. Hence, there would have been all possibilities of formation of Fog/mist and his statement that the visibility was 10 kms is also not convincing. The fog/mist would have reduced the visibility considerably and even restricted to incredibly less. It is not possible to see, with naked eye, the waning crescent with just 1% illumination through the fog/mist.
5) He has written that the Moon Age as 18 hours 38 minutes before conjunction. This expression itself is wrong. Moon Age means the age of the moon after Conjunction and starts immediately after the moment of conjunction. . It is not “before” Conjunction. This shows that the person is not well versed with Astronomical facts.
Hence, it is now crystal clear that the report of Br. Alireza of seeing the waning crescent on the Conjunction day is erroneous, unacceptable and incorrect.
More over, you must note that Makkah which is the Ummul Qurrah is the base for all the muslims in the world with regard to not only facing while prayer (Qibla) but also to maintain a base for Universal Calendar. As you are aware, only after the day starts at Makkah, or in other words, only after the Fajr of Friday at Makkah, the first Jummah of the week, is prayed anywhere in the world. So, Makkah should be the check-point in counting the days.
I am requesting you to check, in future, the details given by these reporters and publish the reports only if the details provided are tallying with the established Astronomical findings.
You are also requested to publish in your site that the above mentioned report of Br. Alireza Mehrani was false, in order to avoid confusion among the Ummah.
In this context, all are requested to give attention to what the Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) has said about conjunction. He (PBUH) used the words, Ghubbiya, Ghummah, Ghaffiyya, Ghammiyah. All these words do not mean “clouds” but clearly say that on one day of EVERY month, the moon will not be seen from the earth, it will be shadowed /veiled/covered. Those who know Astronomy will vouch that such shadowing / veiling / covering is not happening due to clouds. They also know that on the Day of Conjunction, the waning crescent will not be seen with naked eye, from earth.
In Tafsir Ibn Kathir also the Imam (Rah) while explaining verse 71:16, clearly says that :
(Allah has created the seven heavens in tiers and has made the moon a light therein, and made the sun a lamp) meaning, He made a distinction between them (the sun and moon) in reference to their lighting. He made each one of them in a set manner with a distinct quality so that the night and day may be known. They (the night and day) are known by the rising and setting of the sun. He also determined fixed stations and positions for the moon, and He made its light vary so that sometimes it increases until it reaches a maximum, then it begins to decrease until it is completely veiled. This shows the passing of months and years”.
All must also note that the Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) taught us a very easy method, to ascertain the start of the new month – a method which can be followed by any lay-man with his NAKED EYES, without depending on costly equipments like Telescopes, Binoculars etc. The method was to observe the moon-phases throughout and to identify “al urjoon al qadeem” - the last visible phase of the moon for that month and to make sure that waning moon was not seen, with NAKED EYES, on the following day which is the Day of conjunction or the LAST day of the month and to start the new month on the following day.
All muslims must believe in what the sayings of Prophet (PBUH) imply about a day of every month, on which the moon will NOT be seen - the day of EVERY month on which moon is shadowed / veiled / covered.
I do not understand why all are bent upon proving the Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) as wrong. NAUDUBILLAH !!
It is the bound duty of all Muslims to believe that whatever the Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) has said, done or approved are 100% in accordance to what Almighty Allah has instructed and that whatever Allah has decreed is true.
If anyone harbours any doubt, even an iota of doubt, on the authentic sayings of the Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam), then he must repent and seek forgiveness from Allah SWT.
May Almighty Allah keep all of us in the Right Path. Aameen. Wa Salaam.
ICOP member Mr. Alireza Mehrani from Esfahan City in Esfahan State mentioned that the sky was clear, the atmospheric condition was clear, the crescent was seen by naked eye, the crescent was seen by binocular, the crescent was not sought by telescope, the crescent was not sought by CCD Imaging
Mr. Alireza Mehrani said: "New Moon
= = = = = =
Location: Esfahan, Iran
Latitude: 32° 35' 41.44" N
Longitude: 51° 38' 55.64" E
Elevation: 1849 meters from sea level
Time zone: +3.5
Observer & photographer: Alireza Mehrani
Date: Thursday January 30, 2014 (Bahman 10, 1392-Iranian Calendar)
Barometer: 846.6 mb
Visibility: 10 km
Topocentric and local time values from "Moon Calculator" (Refrac off)
Crescent first observation through 15x80 binoculars:
Time: 06:15 LT (02:45 UT)
Moon Alt: 0° 36' 07"
Sun Alt: - (9° 45' 38")
Moon Phase: 1.16%
Crescent first observation through naked eyes:
Time: 06:26 LT (02:56 UT)
Moon Alt: 2° 42' 06"
Sun Alt: - (7° 31' 40")
Moon Phase: 1.14%
Crescent last observation through naked eyes & 15x80 binoculars:
Time: 06:30 LT (03:00 UT)
Moon Alt: 3° 27' 39"
Sun Alt: - (6° 43' 11")
Elongation: 11° 15' 37"
Rel Azi: 4° 49' 12"
Moon Width: 0.32'
Moon Phase: 1.13%
Moon Age: 18h 38m before conjunction