CFCO  Alert                                                  Fixed Dates of Ramadan and Eidain 2006

ISNA Fiqh Council Decides to Ignore Qur’an and Sunnah

ISNA Fiqh Council in 10 June 2006 meeting has unanimously decided to ignore the Qur’an and the Sunnah in order to impose Saudi dates on the Muslims in the US and Canada based on the New Moon in Makkah. Their fixed dates are:

– Ramadan begins on September 23, 2006
– Eid al-Fitr date is Oct 23, 2006

If the Muslims accept ISNA dates they will begin Ramadan at least one (or may be two days) before Ramadan Hilal is actually seen in the US. Eid al-Fitr on Oct. 23, without doubt, is on the last day of Ramadan 1427. For Eid al-Adha ISNA always followed Saudi fixed wrong date of Hajj.

ISNA’s Waffling
1978 MSA (now ISNA since 1980) created the serious problem of fixing Ramadan and Eidain dates for the Muslims in N. America. It replaced “Sighted moon in North America” criterion by its “News from a Muslim country” i.e. Saudi Arabia.

In 1979, Shawwal moon could not be seen anywhere in N. America a day after Saudis celebrated Eid, and Muslims in N. America followed Saudis on ISNA’s advice. In 1980 the same confusion was repeated.

1981:Under public pressure, ISNA organized a meeting in Chicago but the discussions were derailed as ISNA insisted that the real issue is Fiqh disagreement of “Ittihad vs. Ikhtilaf al-Matal’i”, and not erroneous sighting in Saudi Arabia. CFCO speakers at the conference, on the other hand, insisted that it is really a matter of “Hilal’s visibility” in Saudi Arabia and not “local vs. global sighting”. We clarified that “the whole world is “one Malt’a but in 24 hours”. Saudi announcements always contained the phrase: “Shuhud Udul in several places saw…” or “30-days of …completed”. CFCO analysis of visibility data at Makkah proved beyond doubt that the moon could never be visible there in the evening when it is claimed as sighted or the 30th day of the lunation. It took another five years before ISNA Fiq Council could accept Saudi mistakes

1986: IIIT (an ISNA institution) organized an international conference of ‘experts’. The papers presented at the conference are available as “Proceedings”. ISNA was forced to admit erroneous Saudi claims and changed its criterion again to “Visible moon in N. America for Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr”. For Eid al-Adha, it insisted on following Saudi official dates of Hajj even when proven wrong. However it did not change the chaotic date-fixing. Faulty and sometimes bogus claims of sightings within N. America plague the Muslim community year after year. CFCO’s fact-sheets provided enough evidence to force ISNA a retraction on several occasions.

CFCO’s questionnaire (1986) about ISNA’s decision of making Eid al-Adha “Eid al-Hajj” and valuable papers by Dr. Muzammil Siddiqui, Maulana Abdullah Saleem, and Mufti Taqi Usmani created enough awareness that ISNA revised its decision after 21 years.

1999: ISNA Fiqh Council agreed that the Qur’an, Ahadith and Fiqh do not support its “celebrating Eid al-Adha next day of Hajj”, and decided to uniformly apply “Sighted Hilal in N. America” for all months including Ramadan and Eidain.

Dr. Jamal Badawi
2001: Dr. Jamal Badawi and a few other members, without any support from the Qur’an and the Sunnah, insisted that ISNA Fiqh Council made a mistake in 1999 by abrogating its Eid al-Adha ruling. They forced ISNA Fiqh Council to go back to “Eid al-Adha the day after Saudi Hajj date” – a criterion they admitted has NO SOUND BASIS. Here is ISNA’s explanation:

Last year, the Fiqh Council … recommended …that the determination of Eidul Adha be based on sighting the Crescent in North America. This recommendation was based on numerous Fatwas …(that) indicated that there is no sound basis for distinction between the determination of Ramadan and Eidul Adha…

The Fiqh Council’s recommendation was contingent on educating the Muslim community prior to Eid … This did not materialize. Due to the unfamiliarity with this information prior to Eidul Adha, heated discussions and lesser unity occurred in several communities, contrary to what was hoped.

There is room in Islamic Fiqh to adopt a weaker, but still acceptable opinion if that achieves greater benefit (maslaha); in that case greater unity. Therefore, the Fiqh Council recommends the restoration of the previous method of… Eidul Adha to follow the announcement in Makkah about… Dhul Hijjah.

Dr. Durrani and Dr. Salamah
The present chaos may easily be traced to ISNA’s ‘experts’. The two have hardly ever looked for the moon or arranged a moon-watch. However, because of their refusal to acknowledge well-established astronomical and observational facts both accept wild claims as they did for Eid al-Fitr 1426 on Nov. 2, 2005

Hilal’s visibility as Dr. Doggett puts it depends not only on moon’s age but also moon’s angle, altitude, differences between the azimuths of the sun and moon at sunset, brightness of sky after sunset and experience of observer.