Moon Sighting

All of the Moon Sighting News and Resources You Need

Home Introduction Calendars Slideshow Eid al-Adha Moonsighting FAQ Hilal Pictures Articles Why Confusion Updates Volunteers Links Archive

November 2012 Archive






Get all of your town's daily sun & moon information:


Eid al-Adha
Moonsighting FAQ
Hilal Pictures
Why Confusion

Muharram 1434 Hilal

Muharram Hilal, seen today in the evening after the sunset, heralds the new Islamic year (1434) from Thursday, November 15, 2012. May Allah keep all of us in peace and good health. Ameen.


Eid al-Adha Date for North America

Zul Hijja Hilal will be SEEN in Tuesday, October 16, 2012 evening in many parts of the world (0-50 N/S latitudes) though NOT in Japan, Central Asia,Turkey (and all of  northern European countries, including UK). The moon is unlikely to be seen in Bangladesh, northern India, or northern Pakistan, etc. though the earliest visibility begins from Indonesia.

In N. America, the moon will be visible from Miami to Los Angeles, BUT not in New York, Chicago, or Vancouver, and difficult in Washington, Toronto, etc.

The moon is still located in the southern hemisphere.

Z. Hijja Hilal will NOT be seen in the evening of October 15 anywhere in the world.
The correct 10th day of D. Hijja 1433 by the SIGHTED Hilal in North America is Friday, Oct. 26, 2012.

1434 Calculated FIRST Dates for N. America

The waxing crescent moon (Hilal) of the Qur'an and the Sunnah will be seen insha-Allah the previous evening.

Muharram 1434     Nov. 15, (Thu.)    2012
Safar                   Dec.14 (Friday)
Rabi 1                  Jan. 13 (Sunday) 2013
Rabi II                 Feb. 11 (Mon)
Jumada 1             March 13 (Wed)
Jumada II            April 11 (Thu)
Rajab                  May 11 (Sat.)
Sha'baan              June  10 (Mon.)
Ramadan             July  9 (Tue)
Shawwal               Aug. 8 (Thu.)
D. Qa'ada             Sept. 6 (Fri.)
D. Hijja                 Oct. 6 (Sunday)
Muharram 1435      Nov. 4 (Mon.)
Safar                    Dec. 4 (Wed.)

Hijri Date by just looking at the Moon??
Can anyone tell the exact Hijri date of the month by just looking at the shape of the moon all 29/30 days?

Fadhl N.M Ahmad is behind a group in India that claims just that. They refuse to admit that the visible shape changes
every minute, that no date can be attached persistently to any particular shape or that in some months there are two
full moons, etc. Who is behind this group?

Mr. Fadhl of Indian origin, fixed official Saudi Hijri calendars by British Almanac in 1970-1980 (See note on UQ below).
Now Saudis have moved to their new criterion: Moon sets AFTER the SUNSET on the conjunction date in Makka
The Hilal is NEVER SEEN there in the previous evening.

Seen Before the Sunset ?

Khalid Shaukat wants to modify his already inaccurate visibility maps further by his newly discovered "UN-scientific proof" about the Saudi sighting claims during the daylight hours:
    Saudi desert areas ... without any city lights, or city pollution... well known (??) that Saudi Bedouins (Baddoos) see stars in the day time.
    So, it is very possible (??) that they see the new crescent moon before sunset (several hours before sunset).... My scintific basis to believe
    such sightings are... elongation ... more than Danjon limit, thickness of the crescent more than 0.11 arcminutes and human optics (??)of
    desert dwellers. ... On this scientific basis I think (??)sightings before sunset may be possible. Such moon may not be seen if the observer
    waits to see after sunset
His "scientific" explanation is ludicrous. The human eye CANNOT discerns the color contrast between the totally dark lunar disk in the background
of bright sun-lit sky. The 29/30th day moon gathers enough light to become visible to the perfect 20/20 eye some 20-50 minutes after the sunset.

Shaukat's claim raises another Fiqhi question: What is a Hilal sighted BEFORE the sunset, but NOT after the sunset. Is it of the previous month or the next?

Fadhl N. M Ahmed messed Saudi Hijri Dates

In 1966, Egypt adapted "Moonset five minutes after the sunset" rule to fix the first date of a Hijri month. It created problems for Saudis who followed the visible moon.

In 1971 Fadhl convinced Saudis that the only way to beat the Egyptians in leading the Islamic date is to go by the British almanac (calculated by the CONJUNCTION, and abandon
the Hilal-sighting). He told Saudis that he had a PhD in astronomy. But

1. NO PhD degree was ever awarded in the field of "astronomy of lunar visibility", anywhere in the world.
2. Lunar visibility was TAKEN OUT of the astronomical explorations/calculations around 1935.
3. The observatories no longer keep a record of the earliest lunar visibility.
Anyone who claims a BSc, not to say of a PhD in the lunar visibility or Islamic calendar-making is just BLUFFING.
The few Muslim astronomers who tried to solve the basics of lunar visibility were far behind Dr. Schaefer (NASA), Dr. Doggett (US Naval Obs.), Charles Evans (Islamic Observatory),etc.
4. Those who met Fadl in New York city (for his speech in LI Islamic center) knew how phoney he was. He convinced Saudis that he can buy a telescope from the UA that can see a Hilal at the moment of Conjunction (when the lunar disk is completely dark, to start the Islamic month from the Conjunction.
As a result, the first date of the official Saudi calendar often started TWO days before the Hilal could be seen in Makka Mukarrama as CFCO documented for years.
5. Fadl was as gullible regarding the Islamic calendar as many others. Both try to FOOL the Muslims that their calendar is by the HILAL (the earliest visible waxing calendar, as the Qur'an, the Sunnah require, and practiced by the Ummah for the last 1400+ years).

The Umm al-Qura Calendar Before 1420 AH

For some years up to the end of 1419 AH (16 April 1999) the government of Saudi Arabia employed a lunar calendar for civil purposes, known as the Umm al-Qura calendar and developed at the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) in Riyadh, that was based on the following rule:
... if the Moon’s age at sunset is 12 hours or more after the [astronomical] New Moon then the PREVIOUS day is the first day of the Islamic month, since the Islamic day starts at sunset, and the night is before the daylight, as well as the time of fasting is in the civil daylight.
It is not clear whether the time of sunset was calculated for Mecca (as one would expect) or for Riyadh (as one source suggests). This rule is equivalent with the rule that the lunar month started on the evening when the Moon at sunset was either less than 12 hours old or less than 12 hours away from the time of astronomical New Moon. The consequence of this rule was that in about 50% of all cases the lunar month began before the astronomical New Moon and in about as many cases moonset occurred before sunset. In all cases the lunar crescent would have been absolutely invisible to the naked eye on the first evening of the lunar month.

From 1420 AH to 1422 AH

Starting at the begin of 1420 AH (17 April 1999) the Institute of Astronomical & Geophysical Research at King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology (the official Saudi authority which prepares the Umm al-Qura Calendar) adopted a slightly different rule for the Umm al-Qura calendar that stated:
On the 29th of the month, the next day is the first day of the [new] month if the moonset is after sunset at Mecca or else the next day is 30th of the month and [...] the day after is the first day of the new month.
This was equivalent with starting the month on the first evening when moonset occurred after sunset as observed from Mecca, or more precisely, from the Great Mosque of Mecca (al-masjid al-harām) where the Ka‘ba and the holy Black Stone (al-hajar al-aswad) are located. In most cases (c. 85%) the lunar crescent was still too young to have been visible with the naked eye on the first evening of the month and about once in every two years the month would still commence before the astronomical New Moon.
These anomalous month beginnings were caused by the fact that the Sun and the Moon do not set perpendicularly at the latitude of Mecca and when the Moon is near its most northerly ecliptic latitude moonset can occur after sunset even before the Sun and the Moon are in conjunction.

After 1422 AH

Such cases indeed occurred in 1421 AH and 1422 AH and from 1423 AH (15 March 2002) onwards, the Institute of Astronomical & Geophysical Research has modified its rules for the Umm al-Qura calendar as follows:
If on the 29th day of the lunar month the two following conditions are satisfied, then the next day is the first day of the new lunar month:
1.      The geocentric conjunction occurs before sunset.
2.      The Moon sets after the Sun.
Otherwise, the current lunar month will last 30 days.