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How Muslim Organizations Stumble?

By celebrating Eid on Thursday, Nov.3, 2005 most Muslims did miss the last day of Ramadan. Shawwal moon WAS NOT and COULD NOT BE SEEN in N. America or anywhere in the world on Wednesday, November 2. All astronomical experts were unanimous on this point.

Some Muslims might say: We had already fasted 30 days by Wednesday, Nov. 2. Why should we fast 31 days? The simple answer: Because Shawwal Hilal was NOT SEEN on your 30th  day. Ibn Abbas (RA) asked Kuraib to fast 31 days, because the moon was not seen in Medina. Only sighted moon determines the end of Ramadan (Blugh-ul-Maraam).

ISNA Phoenix Witnesses: Three or One?

ISNA Fiqh Council says that its unanimous decision to celebrate Eid al-Fitr on Thursday was made after its two out of three “Consultants” (Salamah and Mohib) authenticated sighting claims of three Muslims in Phoenix.

Were There Three witnesses or only one?

 ISNA consultants checked only with one witness. He sent a written statement: he saw an “illusive” moon for a few seconds. He also reported that another Br. … also saw it. The third witness (the Imam) disowned his sighting.

Do ISNA Muftis know how to count?

Salamah’s Dubious Theory about moonsighting - A wild conjecture

 Salamah’s e-mail a month ago to ISNA FC told them:

         “…if there were any sightings he would not reject them outright.”

 ISNA Muftis never asked Salamah: What is the ground for your such a wild guess? Did he have any confirmed sighting data to support his theory?

It was specially important after all astronomical experts (RGO London, US Naval Obs. and two of ISNA’s own) were unanimous that the whole of N. America was outside all visibility curves, and the moon will not be seen with a telescope?

If Salamah could not back his theory with a solid data then it was just his imagination. ISNA should have rejected it.

Durrani’s Expertise?

 ISNA statement also mentions: “Dr. Durrani expressed his total surprise at the positional accuracy of the sighting reports from the Phoenix witnesses.

 Yes. Only one witness described the crescent that extended from 7:00 to 2:00 on a clock. Only Dr. Durrani could authenticate the “positional accuracy” of a crescent moon. Last year he authenticated another upside down 10-12-2 on the clock Ramadan moon. He did not ask the second witness anything, and the third witness (Imam) recanted his statement.

It shows how incompetent is Dr. Durrani to evaluate a sighting report. Dr. Salamah talked only to the first witness and did not care to evaluate his statement.

 As long ISNA has consultants like Mohib and Salamah, Muslims in N. America will continue messing the last day of Ramadan, and celebrate Eid al-Adha on 8th or 9th day of D. Hijja.

Jim Stamm as Supporting Evidence?

ISNA also listed Jim Stamm’s claim of a telescopic sighting on Nov. 2, 2005 to make naked-eye Phoenix sightings ’Credible’.

Jim told Mohib and ISNA that naked-eye Phoenix sighting claims are not credible as it was IMPOSSIBLE. Jim’s own claim is still debated by astronomical experts, especially after the fact that he was unable to show it to other four (out of nine) observers with him at the same spot.

Moon Not Seen in S. Africa and South America on Nov. 2

Observers in South Africa, Caribbean and South America (where telescopic sighting was possible) were UNABLE TO SEE a moon on Nov. 2. It creates strong doubts about Jim Stamm’s claim as well because all of North America was outside telescopic visibility zone whereas S. Africa and South American countries were inside.

CHICAGO Hilal Committee

Chicago Hilal Committee added to the chaos created by ISNA.

Earlier in the evening they had rejecting three witnesses. The two witnesses appeared before the Ulema committee and affirmed that they saw a crescent moon fifteen minutes AFTER the sunset for another 5-6 minutes. They accepted the two as “credible”.

In Chicago, the moon had set eight minutes after the sunset. How could anyone see its crescent 15-20 minutes later when there was no moon above the horizon to see?

The faulty reasoning of the Chicago Hilal Committee was that the “witnesses are known persons, and are “Adil”. Therefore, the Committee should ignore the calculations and go for the Islamic requirement of “Adil”, Muslim witnesses.

How Islamic is their acceptance of grossly wrong testimony?

Chicago Committee’s decision opened the floodgates. Masaajid and Islamic centers that for years insisted on a credible sighting, changed to Thursday Eid by mid-night.

ICNA shares the blame

ICNA shares the blame equally for the blunder. It used to be cautious and often differed from ISNA. ICNA representative in National Shura Council could vote “No”, along with the Warith Deen group. However, later ICNA Executive overruled and fell for the “unity” argument.