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Why ISNA Stumbles






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Why ISNA Stumbles – Again and Again?

ISNA Fiqh Committee pretends to know Fiqh and astronomy of moon-sighting and yet repeats the same mistake in deciding about Ramadan and Eidain dates again and again. It creates confusion and as a result bungles the Islamic dates: Ramadan on the last date of Sh’aban, Eid al-Fitr on the last date of Ramadan, and Eid al-Adha on 9th day of D. Hijja, etc. Many Muslims fall into ISNA trap believing it to be the ‘national’ organization.

Why is ISNA unable to learn from its mistakes?

ISNA Fiqh Council (FC) is a closed group, with a closed mind. For more than 25 years it has been repeatedly told that:

1.     A crescent moon is always visible on 30th day.


2.     Once a crescent-moon is actually seen it will be seen everywhere west of the original place of

        sighting (within its visibility parabola).


3.     A crescent-moon never becomes visible in the first 2-3 minutes after sunset.

Had ISNA kept these simple observational facts in their head, it could never believe its “astronomer” (?) who is known for affirming every false claim of sighting as “Possible”. He has done it for years since 1989 and did it again on Thursday, Oct. 14. ISNA FC’s explanation of Ramadan 2004 decision is a good evidence of their self-deception.

a. ISNA FC deliberately omitted every point that showed its incompetence: Moon’s age (in LA 22.5 h) and angle (12.1) were not the only factors; it’s altitude (5.8 degrees above the horizon at sunset) was very crucial. That is why it was NOT VISIBLE anywhere in N. America.

b. There was only ONE report from Austin, TX (and not TWO as ISNA put it). Its 1 ½ witnesses saw a thin line, which stretched 9-12-3 or 10-12-02 on a clock for around three minutes after sunset. A crescent in N. America will never appear in this shape.

c. At 8:30 pm the ISNA astronomer confirmed that this thin, upside curve, two finger width above the horizon was NOT THE HILAL. By 10:50 pm the same astronomer told FC that the witness’s sighted “crescent was nearly correct”. How could it happen?

d. “There was not a speck of cloud on the horizon”, the witness confirms. But nobody else from Austin, TX saw a moon, though it was on the horizon for the next 27 minutes.

e. From Austin to LA where an FC member himself resides, horizons were “very clear”. Did ISNA receive any other claim? There was NONE.

f. Austin, TX was outside both A, and B zones. Both the location and time were incorrect.

g. Every “visibility” calculation predicted sighting as “IMPOSSIBLE”, and not “probable”.

Had ISNA Fuqaha used a little common sense, they could conclude that Austin sighting was nothing but a mirage. It could not be 30th day of Sha’ban, otherwise the moon MUST be visible from S. Arabia to LA on clear skies. The number of witnesses did not meet the Shari’ah requirements when skies are clear in a town, not to say of a whole continent.

ISNA and its astronomer (?) are the least reliable source of accurate moon-sighting information. ISNA makes no specific arrangement for observers and accepts every rumor.

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