The countdown begins

I think the ISNA decision is backfiring on them. Shaykh Hamza Yusuf’s monumental response dealt a severe blow to their initiative. I’m usually not this optimistic but I think there is a chance of actual sustainable unity in the light of these events if smart / tactical┬ádecisions are made. In a few days, the community will witness a launch of a new moon sighting initiative which will potentially bring some closure to this issue. Stay tuned.

101706 = ?

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4 Responses to The countdown begins

  1. Dr Khalid Shahzad says:

    I’m not as optimistic as you are. Obviously, ISNA/Fiqh Council has been dealt with a heavy blow by an overwhelming number of scholars throughout North America and beyond. However, one has to bear in mind that the heart of the problem is originating from the Middle East and, in particular from Saudi Arabia, who were (maybe ,still are) sponsors of ISNA and a long history of Saudis using the calculations alone to define the lunar dates (from Ummul Qura). Most of our Middle Eastern brothers blindly follow their respective countries’ “sightings” eventhough, quite often, those sightings contadict the established astronomical predictions. For example, this year Saudis startied Ramadhan on Saturday whereas it was quite difficult to see the moon even on the next day on Sunday! Yet many people in US from Middle Eastern countries started fasting Saturday, despite informing them that it was impossible to observe moon on Friday and even Saturday. So the ISNA’s “fatwa” has added additional fitna or complications to a situation which was already quite chaotic. So I do not see the quarreling coming to an end anytime soon unless the root causes are addressed.
    Personally, for whatever it’s worth, I believe that adhering to the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) is the only way. Consequently, we should have a very strong moon-sighting committee in North America, which will be responsible for declaring reliable and verfiable moon sightings every month that are consistent with the esttablished astromical calculations (i.e. use calculations as a tool to serve Islam and muslims not becoming subserviant to it).

    and Allah knows best

    Dr Khalid Shahzad
    New York 10/14/06

  2. Ginny says:

    Assalamu alaikum, one thing I found interesting in Shaykh Hamza Yusuf’s piece is that, while ISNA argues that “people were uneducated, illeterate”, etc., and so now, since people are seemingly more knowledgeable / intelligent, then we can use calculations. Well, Shaykh Hamza pretty much destroys that assumption, saying that even back then, there were people who were able to calculate the orbits of things like the moon, sun, etc. So the “they weren’t as knowledgeable back then” argument doesn’t seem to hold any water.

  3. JazakAllah Khair Dr. Khalid Shahzad for your comments.

    Sister Ginny, thats an excellent point from Shaykh Hamza.

  4. Afzal says:

    Assalamualaikum,
    In the light of Quran and Sunnah most of the scholars in the current era and scholars in the Islamic history agree that it is the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to perform Hilal sighting in order to begin/end Islamic calendar months. This Sunnah is being followed with almost no objection and without any controversy in most of Asian and middle eastern countries (which constitute about 80% of Muslim population). Therefore I humbly urge the communities in North America to encourage everyone to perform moon-sighting with an intention of Ibadah and organize it as a collective effort just like we perform Ibaadaat like Taraweeh, Qiyamul-Lail etc. We should perform moon-sighting not only for Ramazan and Zul-Hajja but also to start/end every Islamic month during the entire year. I think this will bring closure to this issue in the days to come. Jazakallah.

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