Moon Sighting

All of the Moon Sighting News and Resources You Need

Home Introduction Calendars Slideshow Eid al-Adha Moonsighting FAQ Hilal Pictures Articles Why Confusion Updates Volunteers Links Archive

Islamic Dates – USA or Saudi Arabia

 

 

Home
Up

Slideshow

 

Get all of your town's daily sun & moon information:

 

Home
Introduction
Calendars
Slideshow
Eid al-Adha
Moonsighting FAQ
Hilal Pictures
Articles
Why Confusion
Updates
Volunteers
Links
Archive

Islamic Dates – USA or Saudi Arabia

In 1976, MSA Religious Affairs Committee reaffirmed that for the USA and Canada:

            a)    Islamic dates will be fixed by a “sighted moon within the USA”; and

b)   For the sake of unity, a visual naked-eye sighting anywhere in 48 contiguous states will suffice to       declare Ramadan and Eidain dates for the whole of the USA and Canada.

The Committee extended the local visibility to areas where a crescent moon could not be seen the same evening. This extension of visibility horizon to cover all of North America was in clear violation of the required local visual sighting as was originally understood from the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and the consistent practice of the Ummah. However, the new rule became the norm in the name of “Muslim Unity.”

From 1978, the Islamic calendar discussions revolved around the “earliest lunar visibility” (Abdali: al-Ittihad (1979) v.16: 1+2) vis-à-vis the authenticity of Saudi announced Islamic dates because the crescent moon could not be seen 8-11 hours later in North America on the dates Saudis announced its sighting there.

In 1979, following Kahf (al-Ittihad (1980): v. 17: 2) the Fiqh Council (earlier MSA Religious Affairs Committee) changed its “Sighted within the USA” criterion to the “News from any Muslim country” (essentially from Saudi Arabia). Since then, ISNA has relentlessly imposed Saudi dates in North America.

The Fiqh Council persisted in denying that Saudi witnesses could be mistaken, if they claimed a sighting before the conjunction, or Saudis count of 30 days was a tactical manipulation to start the month a day early. It is a well-established fact that a crescent moon is always visible on the 30th evening west of Saudi Arabia (within the lunar visibility parabola) 8-11 hours later. ISNA also blindly accepted Saudi-fixed Hajj dates when Dhul Hijja moon was not seen in North America or anywhere in the world.

ISNA attempted to silence its critics (Chicago: 1982) by insisting that it went by Ittihaad al-Mataali (global horizon) whereas others followed Ikhtilaaf al-Mataali (local) Fiqhi position, despite clear assertions that the whole world was a unified Matla, and most of the world would observe a Hilal within 24 hours.

The bickering continued for another five years. The next attempt to sort out the Islamic dates issue (IIIT, Herndon VA: 1987) convinced ISNA that the Saudis did not commence the Islamic month by the “Sighted” moon. The Council reluctantly agreed to switch back to its “visible within 48 contiguous US states” rule for Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr. However, it insisted on keeping Eid al-Adha in North America on the “Day after Arafah” in Makka. In practice the Council always found some way to follow Saudi dates by spurious sighting claims here in North America.

In 2001, the Fiqh Council issued a lengthy statement admitting that there is no basis in Shariah for Eid al-Adha on the day after Saudi-fixed Hajj date (which is 7th or 8th of Dhul Hijja by the actual sighting in Makka). But a year later, the Council reverted back to its groundless position.