Moon Sighting

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February 2011






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Eid al-Adha
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Why Confusion


Rabi-II moon will be visible insha-Allah in the evening of Saturday, March 5, 2011 making Sunday the first day of Rabi-II.

The crescent moon will not be visible anywhere in the world on March 4. The earliest visibility on March 5 is expected from Rabat, Morocco (angle 11 degrees, altitude 9.7 degrees Lag=48 minutes, etc).

The moon will not be visible in Makka or Cairo as the angle, altitude and lag are insufficient for visibility.

In of southern hemisphere (Australia to S. Africa,and South America (Brazil, Argentina, Chile, etc.) the moon will become visible only on March 6.

Rabi al-Awwal Hilal was seen in San Jose, and other north-western California location in the evening of Feb. 3 (Thursday). Friday, February four 2011 is the first date of Rabi-1.


The book (by Zulfiqar Ali Shah on moonsighting) in my opinion is misleading, its premise incorrect.

First, fard -e- kifayah, by whom and how many? Expert or experienced sighters? Or one who goes out twice a year and violates principles of meteorology and astronomy?... Previous generation fuqaha called on scores if not hundreds to sight the crescent.

Certainty by calculation makes little sense. (Earliest lunar Lunar visibility at any location on earth cannot be calculated with certainty. Ed.)

If certainty by calculation in determining the beginning of a month is the intent and spirit of the Quran and Hadith as claimed by Zulfiqar Ali then the moon can be sighted anytime with certainty by the Naval observatory and other observatories...Thus ... the full moon, new moon, quarter moon etc, all can be calculated with certainty. So why be specific to the crescent just after the new moon (conjunction)?

So the moment you deviate from the principle of the Sunnah of new crescent sighting the doors of fitna are wide open... I hope that is not the intent of Zulfiqar Ali Shah. But by accepting the 'certainty by calculation' argument as intent of the Quran and Sunnah, then the argument can be applied to any phase of the lunar cycle.

Modern day Muslims in aping other civilizations have forgotten that time change exists in relation to at least three natural time cyles...In fact, the only real time clock telling you day of the month is the lunar cycle....Zulfiqar Ali's prescription further cuts us from nature's cycles....

We currently keep in contact with time through several mechanisms ... The lunar calendar is missing, because it is of no practical interest to the modern urbanized dweller of capitalist civilization. Muslims bend over backwards to ape and exclude an important natural cyclical element in our lives.

For all these and many other reasons Zuklfiqar Ali Shah's book can be rejected.
Teepu Siddique, Chicago