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Why Are ISNA Fiqh Council Dates Often Wrong?

For Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr ISNA Fiqh Council declares that it relies solely on “sighted crescent moon” in 48 contiguous states of N. America. For Eid al-Adha it follows the date of Arafah in Makka as determined by the Saudi authorities.

Why are ISNA dates for USA and Canada often wrong?

1.      Saudi dates are wrong 100% of time, and ISNA since 1978 followed Saudi dates most of the time.

2.      ISNA accepted spurious claims of sighting against all known visibility criteria.

1965-1978

From 1965 to 1978 MSA Fiqh Committee (now ISNA Fiqh Council) fixed the Islamic dates for the USA and Canada by a confirmed sighted crescent moon (though some Muslim communities implemented Egyptian calendar dates as well).

1979-1986

 Kahf (published 1980) convinced the MSA from 1979 Eid al-Fitr that Muslims in the USA and Canada follow “the first communication” (“Khabar” of these dates from any Muslim county) and faithfully implemented Saudi dates since then.

1981 Chicago Conference was wasted in the vacuous discussions of Ittihad vs. Ikhtilaf al-Matali and defending blatantly wrong Saudi announcements of Ramadan and Eidain. ISNA FC continued to faithfully force the Muslims to celebrate Islamic occasions on Saudi dates despite strong protest from Abdali, Saleem, Usmani, Afzal, and others.

1986 IIIT Conference

1986 IIIT conference was the first step in the direction of understanding the intricacies of lunar Islamic calendar. ISNA FC afterwards revised its decision to abide in principle by the “sighted in the USA” moon for Ramadan and Eidain, and the “day following Arafah in Makka” for Eid al-Adha. In practice, however, ISNA FC persisted in following Saudi dates by accepting the most bizarre claims of sighting.

In 2001-2002 ISNA Fiqh Council announced that it did not find any “Daleel” in the Qur’an, the Sunnah and the books of Fiqh to follow the “Day after Arafah in Makka” for Eid al-Adha. But this change of heart was temporary, and it reverted to the old practice within two years.

Appendix I

The following data shows how many times MSA/ISNA Fiqh Council declared Ramadan and Eidain in North American when a crescent moon could not be “Visible” anywhere in 48 contiguous states.

Year                                             ISNA date      Correct date by a sighted Hilal

Ramadan

Eid al-Fitr

Eid al-Adha