All of the Moon Sighting News and Resources You Need
New Item: D. Qa'da Hillal was easily
visible in many locations in USA (Va, Fl, Tx, etc.) in the evening of Wednesday,
Sept. 28, 2011.
Do Muslims Care?
But the Muslims celebrated Eid on the
last day of Ramadan as a result of:
Most Arab states (including Egypt)
follow Saudi announcements.
ISNA Ramadan and Eid Dates??
ISNA Fiqh Council follows Saudi Ramadan and Eidain dates, irrespective of
whether the Ramadan or Eid Moons are seen there or anywhere in N. America. Their
Fiqh credentials (??) to convince the Muslims that ISNA/ Saudis follow the "only correct Islamic rule" for fixing the Islamic dates: Follow Saudis.
WHEN DOES AN ISLAMIC MONTH BEGIN?
The Qur’an says: Waxing crescent moons (Ahilla) are the Mawaqeet (determinants of starting point of time) for the Muslim observances (Ramadan and Hajj). The Prophet’s words are: “Fast when you see a waxing crescent (Hilal)….
The Muslim practice was to look for a crescent moon (Hilal) at sunset when the human eye could detect the contrast between the dimly-lit first-day moon in the red glow of the horizon. There were no telescopes or binoculars, and the Muslims did not know how to calculate the conjunction.
In early days, the Muslims had no calendar. To begin the month, they were dependant on the local actual visual reports of a Hilal. If they missed the earliest sighting they would notice a gibbous moon on 3rd, 4th or 5th evening. The moon appeared quite high in the sky and thick. The shape created the suspicion that it might be of the previous evening. When the Messenger (S) was asked about the validity of such a surmise he said: The moon is of the night when you see it (first). (Sahih Muslim). It was the first Muslim attempt to solve the issue of the first day of an Islamic month.
There is nothing unusual about 4-5 days old gibbous crescents to be visible in the western skies hours before the sunset. In Hadith collections and Fiqh books one finds “Seen BEFORE” or “Seen AFTER Zawaal” discussion (which appear more of conjecture nature.) These early reported instances could easily be explained as “delayed sighting.”
Lunar observation in broad day-light
However, for several months, an observer in the US has been reporting instrumental as well as naked-eye observations of the waxing crescent moon during mid-day hours. He used the Sky & Telescope Interactive Sky Chart to locate the moon in the sky. He made a similar claim in 2033:
"September 26, 2003 (Friday):
Logan, Utah: Sighted the moon through binocular at 7:29 pm (local sunset 7:20) till about 7:50 pm. The horns were at 2:30-6:30 o'clock. The horizon was clear but hazy. Could not sight the moon with naked eye.
September 27, 2003 (Saturday):
Logan, UT: Located the moon first with binocular and then sighted with naked eye at 2:34 pm. Sunset was at 7:18 pm (i.e. the naked-eye sighting was almost 5 hours before the sunset).
Since 2001, Iranian observers also are reported to record their daylight observations, which were classified under four categories:
1. Crescents observed at sunset by tools 2. Crescents observed at sunset by naked-eyes
3. Crescents observed at daylight by tools 4. Crescents observed at daylight by naked-eyes
Here are his recent reports of mid-day observations:
Seen at 1.55 pm on Friday, October 08, 2010:
Using a pair of 7x50 binoculars we were able to sight a very thin crescent in Blacksburg, VA. The first binocular sighting was at 1:55 pm (sunset 6:54 pm EDT; moonset 7:11 pm). My last sighting was at 4:25 pm. To find the moon's location, I used the Sky & Telescope Interactive Sky Chart.. The horns were at 12:30 - 3:00 O'clock. The sky was clear.
This evening, I also tried sighting the moon in Blacksburg, with no success. I observed Venus at 6:36 pm (sunset 6:54 pm EDT). Then, I started scanning the west southwest horizon for the moon. I continued till past moonset (moonset 7:11 pm). The horizon was clear.
Seen at 11.23 am Saturday, October 09, 2010
Blacksburg, VA: Binocular sighting was around 11:23 am (7 ½ hours before the sunset at) 6:53 pm; moonset 7:53 pm); naked eye sighting was not possible then. I tried sighting again in the afternoon and was able to see the crescent by naked eye at 2:01 pm (approx. six hours before the sunset. To find the moon, I used the Sky & Telescope Interactive Sky Chart. The horns were at 11:30 - 3:30 O'clock.
In the evening, using a pair of binoculars, I was able to locate it at 6:37 pm followed by naked eye sighting. At 6:52 pm, the crescent was about 9 degrees above the horizon. At 6:53 pm, the horns were at 1:30 and 6:00. The sky was mostly clear and hazy.
Seen at 2:30 pm Thursday, September 09, 2010:
I sighted the moon first by using a pair of 7X50 binoculars in Blacksburg, VA at 2:30 pm (5hours before the sunset at 7:38 pm ; moonset 8:06 pm) soon followed by naked eye sighting. To find the moon, I used the Sky & Telescope Interactive Sky Chart. The moon was about 15 degrees to the lower left of the sun. The horns were at 12:30-4:30 O'clock. The sky was mostly clear.
Again, this evening, using a pair of 7X50 binoculars I sighted it with naked eye. The moon elevation was about 7 degrees. The sunset was at 7:38 and moonset at 8:06.
By: jtorabinejad@...File Name: Picture1.jpg Posted: Oct 10, 2010 for the morning moon.
(Note 1: Please keep in mind that the observer, his daughter and wife all three claimed naked-eye sighting. Inexperienced (very young) observers hardly ever see the crescent.
Note 2: Based on the normal human eye detecting the contrast between the waxing crescent moon and the bright sun-lit sky at mid-day, his naked-eye observation through a 7x50 binocular is highly unlikely. If the observer could see the waxing crescent at 1:55 pm (with horns: 12:30-3:00 on the clock) and could map its exact location then why was he unable to “observe” it around sunset?
Note 3: More perplexing is the shape of the crescent:11:30 am - 3:00 pm on a clock.
Jim Stamm: Apparently, (the observer) is using the orientation of the horns as though the center of the moon is the center of the clock. His descriptions are almost exactly what a planetarium software program would show, which is seldom what is actually seen, and even more seldom, reported with the kind of precision that he is using
Sightings in Iran
Sept. 9, 2010: Mohamad Soltanolkotabi; Location: Esfarjan, Esfahan,Iran( 31.6 N, 51.9 E) Date: Thursday, Sep 9th 2010 Time zone: +3.5 Elevation: 2255m Elongation at the first observation time: 13.7 D Apparent Sunset: 19:16 ((Had he tried BEFORE HIGH NOON could he see it?).
Group: Mohamad Soltanolkottabi, Ahmadreza Karimi & Daryush Zolfaghari Rad
Instruments: SXD-R200SS Vixen 8 inch Telescope, GPD2-R200SS Vixen 8 inch Telescope, 20x90 binoculars, 20x110 binoculars; blue sky!
Explanation: We used astronomical objects to lock our instruments on several positions where the new crescent would cross on the 9th. We were sure that the crescent would pass through the 20x110 binoculars at 9:37, through the 20x90 at 15:54; through the first telescope at 9:30 & through the second one at 11:00 Thursday. Mr. Zolfaghari Rad saw the crescent at 11:17a.m. as the first observation through the GPD2-R200SS Vixen 8 inch Telescope. Mr. Soltanolkottabi saw it at 11:18. Mr. Soltanolkottabi hunted the crescent for the second time at 15:52pm through the 20x90. We also tried to observe the Moon a few minutes before the sunset through the 20x90. Mr. Karimi could see the Moon for the first time at 19:17pm & then all of us could see the crescent for a few minutes.
Friday, Aug. 21, 2009 at 10:30 AM,
The crescent of Ramadan has been observed on Friday, August 21, 2009, at 10:30 am LT (06:00 UT) by 5 person under the supervision of Mr. Mohsen Sharifi with the 14" telescope (from 10:30 to 12:00 LT). (Alireza Mehrani <amehrani2001@ >
Thursday 12th August 2010 After an extensive search with binoculars, we were able to see the crescent at 1801 local time, 2 hours 40 minutes before sunset. Even though the crescent was nearly 62 hours old (data attached), because of the bright sunny afternoon, it was very faint and could just about be seen with the naked eye.
Islamic Month starts from the Sighted Moon
These recent mid-day “observations” might add further confusion about when to start an Islamic month. After receiving 1.55 pm sighting on Oct. 8, 2010(Above) we sent the following questionnaire to Ulema:
1. Is it to be counted as a valid sighting?
2. If it is a valid sighting then when should we start the Islamic month?
a) From Oct. 8 at 1:55p.m. (Mid-day)
b) From Oct. 8 morning (as in Libya)
c) From Oct. 9 (though not seen by naked-eye after Maghrib on Oct. 8, As per Saudi rule); or
d) From Oct. 10 (after completing 30 days of the previous month)
Earliest Crescent vs. Mid-Day Observations
Now the Muslims can calculate the conjunction and calendars are everywhere to look for the crescent moons (though some like ISNA, following Saudi Arabia and European Council of Fatwa & Research) tell the Muslims: No need to see a crescent moon. One wonders how to begin an Islamic month? Just follow Saudi Taqweem (calculated by the New Moon setting 1 minute after the sunset in Makka)?
Why Do Muslims Look for a Hilal?
1. Observing a moon is not the "end" but a means to START each Islamic "month." It is the Qur’anic “Meeqaat” for fixing the days of observance of fasting and of Hajj (2:189).
2. The Prophet (PBUH) did not look for the "moon." The Muslims have been looking for the Hilal for 1400+ years.
3. There is no Hilal at the conjunction or hours later, as Qaradawi once claimed. The Hilal-formation usually begins hours later when the moon moves 11-12 degrees away from the sun and is high enough (usually 10 degrees) on the horizon.
4. A curvy line created by a CCD camera attached to a computer, or scattered dots projected through Sky & Telescope Interactive Sky Chart is not the "Hilal". It cannot be the STARTING POINT of an Islamic month. The same is true about the dark moon disk located through a telescopes/binocular.
The Conjunction occurs approximately every 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.9 seconds. The "Claims of sighting" a Hilal be "verifiable" and "repeatable."
If a person or a group claims a sighting 3-5 hours before the sunset then he/she MUST be able see/show the same Hilal at or after the sunset. Some “experts” who for years have not tried to "SIGHT" a Hilal readily "certify" odd claims as "authentic" and add them to their DATA-BASE for calculating the visibility curves - the main reason for the present CHAOS and confusion.
The religious scholars are CONFUSED about the earliest "sighting." Are the "sighting" of the fully dark lunar disk (FULL MOON) through telescope or binoculars and a Hilal (waxing crescent moon, seen around the sunset) the same to begin the Islamic observances (of Ramadan and Eidain)?
Old Fiqh rulings are equally confusing Arabic language did not recognize the distinction between "Qamar" (Moon) and the Hilal (Qamar al-Mawlid).
Ramadan: By Qur’an and Sunnah or By ISNA/Saudi Dates?