ramanan50

Ramadan Sight The Moon When Sun Does Not Set

In Islam on July 21, 2013 at 18:42

I have been intrigued s to ow the Moon is sighted by The Muslims for Fasting during the Month of Ramadan, .

I checked up.

It seems a bit complicated.

I am quoting from sources which seem authentic .

**To further clarify this topic watch – Moon Sighting: a clarification here**

The issue of moon sighting has never been as divisive as it has become today. In the past, Muslim scholars agreed on a certain method to decide the start and end of the month of Ramadan. In the last few years, advancements in communications and media have turned the world into a small village creating a new context where matters concerning inter-countries relations are involved. A second new context may also be related to the presence of many Muslims in countries that lack one single Muslim authority. Resultantly, readily understood issues related to a number of Islamic rituals have now become controversial and confusing. This confusion is further fuelled by the influence of a Western lifestyle upon Muslims; generally speaking, Muslims are often accused of being anti-Western or even unscientific in their spheres of life. This can influence them to react emotionally and unreasonably. One such observable sphere in which many Muslims have reacted in this manner is with regard to moon-sighting and the establishment of the start of the month of Ramadan, ‘Id al-Fitr and ‘Id al–Adha. 

Moon Sighting in Islam.

Moon Sighting in Islam.

In this article, I would like to draw attention to specific principles in an attempt to remove misconceptions surrounding the ongoing debate.

Shari’ah Principles related to the confirmation of the beginning of Ramadan and the ’Id

I believe many readers will be aware of these principles yet some of them may not be aware of specific fundamental issues within them. In order to gain a deeper understanding we have to differentiate between the principles used by those in authority in any Muslim community including the Muslim nation [ummah] under the Caliph [khalifah] or other leaders in his absence, and the principles used by ordinary Muslims.

Leaders or those in charge are commanded to employ one of two principles. The first is to sight the moon with the eye. The basis for this doctrine is numerous Prophetic traditions [ahadith]; Abu Hurayrah relates that the Prophet, may Allah praise and send peace and blessings upon him, said, ‘Fast when you see it (i.e., the moon) and cease fasting when you see it, and if it is hidden or cloudy, complete the counting of Sha’ban as thirty days.’ This hadith is agreed upon by Al-Bukhari and Muslim; similar authentic ahadith are also recorded. The second principle applies only in the absence of the first, which is to complete thirty days for the month of Sha’ban. The basis for this is also the previous hadith and many other similar statements. It is worth noting that the overwhelming majority of scholars unanimously agreed upon using these two principles. {quotes}Furthermore, it has been stated by a number of scholars that the overwhelming majority of scholars also agreed not to consider astronomy or calculations as a tool to confirm the beginning of Ramadan or ’Id.{/quotes}

Scholars who quoted this consensus include al-Jassas al–Hanafi1, al-Baji al-Maliki2 Ibn Rushd al-Maliki3, al-Subki al-Shafi’i4, Ibn Taymiyyah5, Ibn ‘Abidin Al-Hanafi6 and others. They added that the effective cause [‘illah, ratio legis] for confirming these events is the visual sighting of the moon or the completion of the month of Sha’ban. This means that the only basis for fasting is one of these two principles.”

“Moonsighting.com calculates where moonsighting is possible for every month using the criteria, developed by Khalid Shaukat. Development of the criteria took decades of research using thousands of observations from different locations collected over a period of 170 years. These calculations “

How do Muslims in the Arctic sight the Moon when the Sun does not set?

The Atlantic has an interesting article on this.

As Hassan Ahmed, a Muslim resident who came to the city from Somalia and works at the Islamic Center of Northern Norway told me, “the sun doesn’t set. For 24 hours it’s in the middle of the sky.” Faced with the impossibility of adhering to the sunrise/sunset rule, Tromsø‘s Muslims must find alternative ways of determining when to fast. “We have a fatwa,” or clerical decree, Ahmed said. “We can correspond the fast to the closest Islamic country, or we can fast with Mecca.”

Sandra Maryam Moe, a Norwegian convert to Islam and manager of Tromsø’s community center and mosque, Alnor, echoed Ahmed’s statement: “since we have midnight sun during Ramadan this year, we’ve chosen to use the timetable for Mecca.” This means that if the sun rises in Mecca at 5:00 am, residents of Tromsø will begin the fast at 5 a.m. (Norwegian time). In addition to being a good symbolic choice, adhering to Mecca’s timetable, according to Moe, also provides a practical benefit: “they have very stable times for sunrise and sunset so that makes the prayers and the fasting quite balanced.”

So tonight at 7:07 — the time of the would-be-sunset — Muslims in Tromsø will gather at Alnor’s mosque, one of the northernmost in the world, and with the afternoon sun still shining through the windows, break the fast. Typically, this involves a combination of cuisines — from traditional dates to the rich, thick bread Norway is famous for. A nightly ritual during Ramadan, Moe says the gathering is very popular. “It’s full every night with people coming to join and break fast together and pray together. It’s a very social time throughout Ramadan.”

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/07/how-to-fast-for-ramadan-in-the-arctic-where-the-sun-doesnt-set/277834/

Sources:

http://www.islamicmoon.com/

www.islam21c.com/islamic-law/964-an-insight-into-moon-sighting#sthash.Gpu1g7xT.dpuf

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