Shawwal has 31 days?
Islamic lunar month is
never more than 30 days long. But many Muslims, by celebrating Eid-al- Fitr on
Nov. 3, 2005 in N. America faced the reality that their Shawwal became 31 days
The moon WAS NOT BE SEEN in
most of the USA on December 2, 2005. From Boston and New York to Chicago, all
the way to Vancouver in Canada it WAS NOT SEEN. It proves beyond doubt that Eid
on Thursday, Nov. 3 was WRONG.
ISNA, ICNA and other
Muftis and Imams who succumbed to the public pressure should realize that Fiqh
position of “a large number of witnesses from a large city”, advocated by Imam
Malik, Imam Ahmad, Imam Abu Hanifa (later expanded to five hundred in Balkh) is
the only reliable way not to missing the last day of Ramadan. Casual slick
Muslim witnesses pass dubious claims as of “Adil” Muslims.
ISNA Muftis and Consultants Failed Muslims:
ISNA consultants ratified a
“naked-eye sighting” claim by a single witness from Phoenix, AZ on 2 November
2005 against a unanimous declaration of astronomers that such a sighting is
ISNA Muftis readily approved
this claim as Islamically “credible” against overwhelming odds and declared Eid
on the last day of Ramadan.
What happened to the scientific
rule of “repeatability” before accepting a claim? Why did ISNA experts fail to
consider the simple fact that all observers who were present at the same
location with this person were unable to see any moon?
Why did ISNA Fiqh Council throw
the “Ghalabat-al-Yaqeen” (Near-certainty), and “Jam-un Azeem” (a large number of
witnesses from a town, if the sky is clear) Shariah requirements out of the
window for ending Ramadan month?
Obviously, ISNA was desperate
for Thursday Eid with those who had started Ramadan on Tuesday Oct. 4, 2005.
Nov. 2 was their 30th day, and many of ISNA Fiqh Council members,
including its president, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqui and Dr. Jamal Badawi,
AdamElSheikh, etc. had to lead the local congregation. They did not care if
other Muslims who started on Oct. 5 by ISNA’s own decision might miss a day of
obligatory Ramadan fasting.
Durrani established his
expertise in ISNA by certifying 1989 and 1990 claims of sighting by casual
Muslim observers. However, he is known among astronomers for certifying totally
erroneous Hilal shapes. It is evident from what Dr. Schaefer et. al wrote about
Durrani’s 1989 and 1990 sightings:
reported orientation of the crescent was from 2 to 8 and 2 to 7 p.m. whereas the orientation
actually was from
5-11 pm so the reports are roughly 90
degree in error." (Q.J.R. astro. Soc. (1993), 34, 53-56)
ISNA statement mentions
Durrani’s total surprise at the positional accuracy of Phoenix
witnesses.” Of course, only Durrani could authenticate faulty “positional
accuracy” of a crescent moon that the witness described from 7:00 to 2:00 on a
clock.. Last year also he authenticated another upside down (10-12-2 on the
clock) Ramadan moon.
Durrani did not ask the second
witness about the shape of the crescent, and the third witness (The Imam) was
not sure if he even saw a moon.
Dr. Salamah has no expertise in
evaluating a witness. Years ago he accepted a sighting claim when it was raining
heavily in the area. He 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 Fiqh Council’s dishonesty
is evident when it listed (Dr. Muzammil Siddiqui’s statement of Nov. 6, 2005)
Jim Stamm’s telescopic sighting claim on Nov. 2, 2005 to make the naked-eye
Phoenix sightings look ’credible’.
Jim had told Mohib and ISNA FC
that the naked-eye Phoenix sighting are not credible as NO naked-eye sighting
was POSSIBLE in North America. Jim’s own claim is still debated, especially
because he was unable to show the crescent moon to other nine observers with him
through the same telescope from 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.
Incompetent ISNA Astronomical Consultants
Let us analyze the role of
ISNA’s two astronomical consultants (Mohib and Salamah) in Eid fiasco and their
ISNA, until 10:00pm on November
2, 2005 has been proclaiming: All Muslim astronomical consultants are
unanimous that with NAKED EYE it is IMPOSSIBLE to see it anywhere in North
At 10:00 pm ISNA declared:
Tomorrow, Thursday 3 Nov 2005 CE is the first day of Shawwal (Eid al-Fitr).
How did this miracle happen?
ISNA consultant, Khalid Shaukat, ruled that naked-eye
sighting claim from Phoenix is NOT CREDIBLE. As usual ISNA FC ignored him. The
two other ISNA consultants assured the Muftis that the lone witnesses ISNA could
find in whole of N. America were “Credible”. The written statement of this
witness on Mohib’s web (Nov. 3, 2005) reads:
In Phoenix Arizona… out of a large group… (ONE
witness) saw illusive Hilal at 5:42 …for a few seconds … to the left of … the
sun – (Hilal) spanning the distance from the seven o'clock and two o'clock hand
of an analog clock.…continually observe it until about 5:41pm (??)…One other
brother … was able to see it…Our Imam saw it at first sight but… was not certain
of his sighting.”
It is amazing how ISNA
consultants found NO fault with this account.
Why did all in the "large" group NOT SEE
what only one could see
How a 29-day-Hilal could be visible within 4
minutes of the sunset
Why was it visible only for “a few seconds”?
Why was the Hilal upside down - extended from 7 to 2 on a clock
Why did the second witness not provide details to corroborate the claim?
Why did the third person (Imam) abandon his claim of sighting?
Why nobody from Phoenix to the Pacific coast could see this moon?
From his description of the
observed object as “illusive” the witness himself appeared doubtful. The
unfortunate tragedy lies with the two experts who accepted it. Note that there
was no second witness’s statement in support of this faulty evidence, and ISNA’s
third expert totally rejected the sighting claim.
ISNA experts have to answer all
these questions with solid observational data to back their recommendation.
Visibility Establishes Witnesses Mistake
“Among our jurists was al-Subki,
who was unequivocal when addressing a case where Fiqh and Falak appeared to be
in conflict: “if one or two witnessed sighting the crescent, whereas the
judgment of computation is that it is impossible to sight the crescent”; he
says: “this testimony is not accepted, since astronomical computation [hisab] is
definite [qat‘i] while testimony and report are probable [zann]. There is the
fiqh rule]:‘the “probable” cannot contradict the “definite” [al-zannu la
yu‘aariDu l-qaT‘a]” [Subki, 1:226; cf. Mughni, 2:143 and I‘anat, 2:216]”.
This is further explained by
Shaikh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti's: What Imam Ibn Hajar (and Imam al-Subki, Imam
Ibn al-Qasim al-‘Abbadi, Imam al-Qalyubi, the Muhaqqiq al-Kurdi and other
jurists, for example) mean by unquestioned astronomical computation [hisab
qat‘i], that which is strong enough to reject the testimony of a non-tawatur
sighting (i.e., an example of a primacy in hisab over ru’ya), is astronomical
data such as the times for moonset or the conjunction of the sun and moon
[ijtima‘ al-nayrayn; for non-astronomers: this is the time when the new moon is
‘born’], which are a question of fact and not prediction.
ISNA FIQH COUNCIL IGNORED SHAHADAH RULES
ISNA Muftis must explain which
Fiqh principles did they apply to accept only one witness (the second and the
third in Phoenix cannot be counted as the real witnesses). All Fuqaha specify
Ghalabat-al-Yaqeen rule for ending fasting month. Some might require only two,
but the majority require a larger number, ranging from 50 to 500 from a town to
abandon fasting after 29 days of Ramadan.
How could ISNA FC justify that
only one witness from a whole continent was sufficient?
Phoenix observer later
“corrected” his written statement later: He said the Hilal was visible to him
till 5:51 pm (and not 5:41). It makes his claim more doubtful. If he could see
it for nine minutes then how could his large group, including the Imam, not see
Obviously, ISNA Fiqh Council and
its consultants proved again that they are INCOMPETENT for determining Ramadan
and Eidain dates. They also bear the responsibility of all those MUSLIMS who DID
NOT FAST ON THE LAST DAY OF RAMADAN as a consequence of their faulty decision.
ICNA’s rep., like Imam Warith
Deen’s rep. did not agree with ISNA Fiqh Council’s decision. However, ICNA
president later succumbed to the “Unity” pressure, and declared Thursday Eid.
ICNA’s error created panic among many groups that generally do not follow ISNA.
CHICAGO HILAL COMMITTEE’S FIASCO
Chicago Hilal Committee added to
the chaos created by ISNA and ICNA.
Earlier in the evening the
Committee had rejected three faulty witnesses. Later two other witnesses
personally appeared before them and swore that they had seen a crescent moon
fifteen minutes AFTER sunset for another 5-6 minutes.
In Chicago, the moon had set
eight minutes after the sunset. How could anyone see it 15-20 minutes later
when there was no moon to see on the horizon? The faulty reasoning of the
Chicago Hilal Committee was that the “witnesses are known “Adil” persons.
Therefore, the Committee ignored the calculated data and decided by the Islamic
requirement of “Adil”, Muslim witnesses.
How Islamic is their acceptance
of a grossly wrong testimony, especially when they were aware of the Fiqh
requirement of “overwhelming probability”, acquired by the testimony of a large
crowd in a big city?
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.