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Qaradawi Saw Ramadan Moon at Mid-Day

DOHA , October 2, 2005 (IslamOnline.net) – Yusuf Al-Qaradawi said Muslims can sight the new moon in the afternoon on Monday, October 3, when the sun reaches its zenith. "If the moon is sighted after noon, Muslim scholars agree that the following day marks the beginning of the new month (Ramadan).”

Qaradawi, the head of the Dublin-based European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), said calculations indicate that a partial eclipse will occur after 12:30 p.m. on Monday.  "At that time, the Ramadan moon will be born and could be seen in the Gulf region using special glasses." He expected a better sighting in both Libya and Sudan .

"Therefore, the beginning of Ramadan will fall on Tuesday, October 4."

If what Islamonline quotes from the Sheikh is true, then it is a shameful example of any Alim’s ignorance, and his misuse of Islamic text for his wrong position. Let us see how many blunder’s Qaradawi committed. According to him:

  1. The New Moon (at conjunction) can be “SEEN”.

  2. The moon that eclipsed the sun in the afternoon on Monday, October 3, 2005 was the Hilal of Ramadan.

"At that time, the Ramadan moon will be born, and could be seen in the

Gulf region using special glasses."

  1. This ‘birth’ fulfilled the “sighting of Hilal” requirement.

  2. The invisible New Moon was the Hilal of Ramadan 1426.

  3. The Hadith  "If the moon is sighted in the after noon…”could be interpreted to mean beginning of Ramadan 1426 by the astronomical New Moon.

He expected a “better sighting” of the New Moon in both Libya and Sudan.

Qaradawi is wrong on every point. The Muslim Ummah has reached the low point where Ulema like Qaradawi take on the lead and nobody cares to challenge the nitwit.

Qaradawi advocates fixing the Islamic dates by the invisible “New Moon” only because it can be accurately “calculated”.

In 1987, when I was asked to review his chapter on moon sighting in his newly published book “Kaifa nata’amalu…” I sent him (through IIIT, in English) a detailed rebuttal of his position. The main points were:

  1. The New Moon is NOT HILAL (the crescent moon of the Qur’an and the Sunnah).

  2. The New Moon is always INVISIBLE (even through a powerful telescope). Its crescent formation does not start until its elongation reaches at least 7 degrees. Its visibility depends on many other factors.

  3. The New Moon occurs at all times of day and night. Therefore, it cannot determine the beginning of an Islamic month (Hilal is the “Meeqat”, not the conjunction).

  4. An Islamic month / day / date begins with a visible crescent moon at sunset.

  5. A crescent moon’s visibility now can also be calculated. What is needed is a lunar dateline to make a fixed global calendar based on the Hilal of the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

Qaradawi’s use of the Hadith in this context is very unfortunate and proves his utter ignorance. The same Hadith tells that a moon “seen before noon” is to be taken for the previous evening. Had the eclipse on Oct. 3, 2005 occurred before noon (only 31 minutes earlier at 11.59am) would Qaradawi issue a fatwa telling the Muslims that they missed a day of Ramadan by not fasting on Oct. 3?

As long as the Ulema (and Muslim leadership) keep on issuing senseless Fatawa on issues they don’t have the basic knowledge of, there is no hope the Muslims will ever come out of the sorry state they are in now.