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Islamic Lunar Calendar Fiqh Council of North America.

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1 Islamic Lunar Calendar Fiqh Council of North America

2 2 Guidelines in the Qur’an They ask you about crescent moons, say these are to mark fixed times for men and pilgrimage…. (Al-Baqarah 2:189) It is he who made sun a lamp, and moon a light and measured stages so you know number of years and count (of time). Nowise did Allah create this but in truth And righteousness. He explains his signs in detail for those who understand. (Yunus 10:5) ….and He made night for rest and sun & moon for reckoning (of time). That is the decree of the Exalted, the All-knowing. (Al-An’am 6:96) Sun and moon follow courses exactly computed. (Al-Rahman 55:5) يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الأهِلَّةِ قُلْ هِيَ مَوَاقِيتُ لِلنَّاسِ وَالْحَجِّ … (البقرة 189) هُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ الشَّمْسَ ضِيَاءً وَالْقَمَرَ نُورًا وَقَدَّرَهُ مَنَازِلَ لِتَعْلَمُوا عَدَدَ السِّنِينَ وَالْحِسَابَ مَا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ ذَلِكَ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ يُفَصِّلُ الْآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ (يونس 5),,,,وَجَعَلَ اللَّيْلَ سَكَنًا وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ حُسْبَانًا ذَلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ (96) الشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ بِحُسْبَانٍ (الرحمن 5)

3 3 Guidelines in Hadith “Fast with sighting it (Moon) and break the fast with sighting it. Complete 30 days of Sha’aban if it is cloudy.” Do not fast until you see the Moon and do not break the fast until you see it. Estimate about it in case it is cloudy.” Abdullah ibn ‘Umar used to send someone to see it (the crescent) after the 29th of Sha’ban. If it was seen, he would accept it. If it was not seen and there was no cloud or fog obstructing it, then he would begin next day without fast; but if there was cloud or fog present, then he would begin fasting. حَدَّثَنَا آدَمُ حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ زِيَادٍ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَبَا هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ يَقُولُ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَوْ قَالَ قَالَ أَبُو الْقَاسِمِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ صُومُوا لِرُؤْيَتِهِ وَأَفْطِرُوا لِرُؤْيَتِهِ فَإِنْ غُبِّيَ عَلَيْكُمْ فَأَكْمِلُوا عِدَّةَ شَعْبَانَ ثَلَاثِينَ (البخارى 1776) حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مَسْلَمَةَ حَدَّثَنَا مَالِكٌ عَنْ نَافِعٍ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ذَكَرَ رَمَضَانَ فَقَالَ لَا تَصُومُوا حَتَّى تَرَوْا الْهِلَالَ وَلَا تُفْطِرُوا حَتَّى تَرَوْهُ فَإِنْ غُمَّ عَلَيْكُمْ فَاقْدُرُوا لَهُ (البخارى 1773) حَدَّثَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ أَخْبَرَنَا أَيُّوبُ عَنْ نَافِعٍ عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِنَّمَا الشَّهْرُ تِسْعٌ وَعِشْرُونَ فَلَا تَصُومُوا حَتَّى تَرَوْهُ وَلَا تُفْطِرُوا حَتَّى تَرَوْهُ فَإِنْ غُمَّ عَلَيْكُمْ فَاقْدُرُوا لَهُ قَالَ نَافِعٌ فَكَانَ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ إِذَا مَضَى مِنْ شَعْبَانَ تِسْعٌ وَعِشْرُونَ يَبْعَثُ مَنْ يَنْظُرُ فَإِنْ رُئِيَ فَذَاكَ وَإِنْ لَمْ يُرَ وَلَمْ يَحُلْ دُونَ مَنْظَرِهِ سَحَابٌ وَلَا قَتَرٌ أَصْبَحَ مُفْطِرًا وَإِنْ حَالَ دُونَ مَنْظَرِهِ سَحَابٌ أَوْ قَتَرٌ أَصْبَحَ صَائِمًا (مسند أحمد 4258)

4 4 Guidelines in Hadith Continued “We are an unlettered people, we do not write and we do not calculate. The month thus and thus, that is sometimes 29 and sometimes 30.” حَدَّثَنَا آدَمُ حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ حَدَّثَنَا الْأَسْوَدُ بْنُ قَيْسٍ حَدَّثَنَا سَعِيدُ بْنُ عَمْرٍو أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ ابْنَ عُمَرَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّهُ قَالَ إِنَّا أُمَّةٌ أُمِّيَّةٌ لَا نَكْتُبُ وَلَا نَحْسُبُ الشَّهْرُ هَكَذَا وَهَكَذَا يَعْنِي مَرَّةً تِسْعَةً وَعِشْرِينَ وَمَرَّةً ثَلَاثِينَ (البخارى 1780)

5 5 From these texts, our jurisprudence history has recorded the following disagreements آراء الفقهاء فيهاالقضية موضع الخلاف يرى الأحناف ضرورة أن يرى الهلال جمع غفير، ولايشترط ذلك المالكية والشافعية والحنابلة والظاهرية، ولا تشترط العدالة أوالذكورة إذا رآه جمع عند المالكي The Hanafi scholars require that a great group of people should make the sighting. Malik, Shafi‘i, Ibn Hanbal, and Zahiri (literalists) do not require the great number. Malik waives the male and uprightness requirement if the sighting was done by a group of people. عدد من يثبت به هلال رمضان في حالة صحو السماء؟ The number of people sighting the crescent of Ramadan under clear sky 1. يلزم وجود شاهدين عدلين ذكرين حرين عند المالكية، ويجوز بشخص واحد عند الشافعية والحنفية والحنابلة والظاهرية Malik requires two witnesses who are upright, male and free. One person is required by Shafi‘i, Hanafi, Hanbali, and Zahiri. عدد من يثبت به الهلال عند الغيم أو الدخان أو التراب The number of people sighting the crescent under cloudy or smoky conditions 2. يشترط أن يقول من رأى الهلال "أشهد" عند الشافعية دون غيره Only in the Sha>fi‘i madhhab, whoever sighted the moon is required to say: “I testify” صيغة الشهادة في رؤية الهلال The wording of the testimony of the moon sighting. 3. Jurisprudence History

6 6 يرى الحنفية والشافعية أنه يجب أن يكون مسلما ولا يرى ذلك الحنابلة، ولم يشترطه ابن حزم Hanafi and Shafi‘i scholars require that the sighter be a Muslim. The Hanbali scholars do not agree with them, while Ibn Hazm did not require being a Muslim as a condition يشترط فيمن رأى الهلال أن يكون مسلما؟ Is it required that whoever sighted the moon to be a Muslim? 4. نعم يشترط المالكية والشافعية وليس شرطا عند غيرهم Maliki and Shafi‘i scholars require that the witness should be a male, The other did not require it as a condition. هل يلزم أن يكون الشاهد ذكرا؟ Should the witness be male? 5. نعم تلزم عدالة الشاهد عند المالكية والحنفية والشافعية والحنابلة، ولم يشترطه ابن حزم Yes, the witness has to be upright, as required by Maliki, Shafi‘i, Hanafi, and Hanbali. Ibn Hazm did not require it as a condition هل تشترط عدالة الشاهد؟ Does the witness have to be upright? 6. يرى الشافعي في روايةالمزني أنه يلزم شاهدان في الفطر دون الصيام لكن الجمهور يرون أن عدد من يرى في رمضان مثل شوال The Sha>fi‘i scholars, as related by Al-Muzni, require two witnesses for the breaking of the fast and not in fasting, but the rest of the jumhur require the same number for both Ramadan and Shawwal هل عدد من يرى الهلال في رمضان مثل شوال؟ Is the number of people sighting the crescent of Ramadan equal to that of Shawwal? 7.

7 7 يؤخذ بالحساب الفلكي في رواية عند الشافعي عند الغيم فقط ويرى الفلكي في الغيم وغيره و مطرف بن الشخير من كبار التابعين الأخذ بالحساب، ويأخذ الجمهور بالرؤية البصرية The Shafi‘i scholars, according to one view, accept the astronomical calculation only when it is cloudy. So does Mutraf Ibn Ash-Shakhir, who is one of the great followers accept the calculations in all cases. The jumhur require visual sighting هل تصح الرؤية عن طريق الحساب الفلكي؟ Is it allowed to go by the astronomical calculation? 8. يرى الحنفية وحدة المطالع فيصوم أهل المشرق برؤية أهل المغرب وكذا المالكية والحنابلة لكن ابن الماجشون والمغيرة (من أصحاب مالك) قالوا: لا يلزم وحدة المطالع في البلاد النائية مثل الحجاز والأندلس، ويرى الشافعية كذلك أن لكل بلد مطلعا لايلزم البلاد البعيدة وحددوا للبعد مسافة القصر في رواية وفي رواية أخرى مسافة 24 فرسخا (122 كلم أو 83 ميل) The Hanafi, Maliki and Hanbali scholars are of the opinion of wihdat almatali‘, i.e., people from the East will fast by the sighting of the people from the West. However, Ibn Al-Majshun and Al-Mughirah (followers of Malik) said: wihdat almatali‘ is not necessary for remote countries such as Hijaz and Andalusia. Al-Shafi‘i scholars are of the opinion that the sighting in one country does not bind remote countries (ikhtilaf almatali‘). In one narration, the distance between the two different sighting was defined as the same as that needed for shortening the prayer. In another narration, it was defined as 43 leagues (122 km or 83 miles). هل يؤخذ باختلاف المطالع لكل بلد أم يصوم المسلمون جميعا بثبوت الرؤية في أي مكان؟ Should the different sighting for every country apply (ikhtilaf almatali‘) or should all Muslims fast according to one sighting (wihdat almatali‘ )? 9.

8 8 June 2006: Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) met in Virginia, and decided to go by calculations. November 2006: A multinational conference (Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, UAE) was held in November 2006 and use of calculation was accepted. May 2007: European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) had a conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in may 2007, and concluded the permissibility of using calculations. Conferences on Islamic Calendar

9 9 Fiqh Council of North America Sighting the Hilal (ru'yah) is not an act of 'ibadah in itself; it is rather a means to know with certainty about the beginning of the new month related to Islamic 'Ibadat. Example: –وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ(البقرة 187) Ru'yah as a means was indicated and used by the Prophet -peace be upon him- because he himself said that the Ummah at that time was not literate and did not know how to write or to calculate (complicated astronomical data).

10 10 Some classical jurists refused to allow calculations in this matter because in their time astronomy and astrology were not quite distinct sciences. Jurists were suspicious that astronomical predictions may not be based on exact science but on whims, conjectures, superstition etc. During the last century an increasing number of Muslim jurists indicated that calculations could be used to negate erroneous reports of moon sighting. Some jurists were of the opinion that calculations could also be used as a positive method to determine the new Islamic lunar months. Fiqh Council of North America (continued)

11 11 The Fiqh Council of North America considered the following factors in its decision: Use of calculations in determining the Islamic dates is not against the Sunnah. Reliable astronomical methods are available to provide a sound basis for the determination of the Islamic dates. Shari'ah is based on ease and considers the convenience of people. Announcement of Islamic dates ahead of time will reduce a lot of hardship, chaos and confusion that happen every year at the beginning of Ramadan and two Eids. Announcement of these dates will help Muslims plan their activities, take days off from work or from schools.

12 12 The Fiqh Council of North America considered the following factors in its decision (Continued) : Announcement of these dates will also remove unnecessary financial burdens. Muslims of America will be more united in their celebrations, and can work to have Islamic holidays officially recognized. Muslims of North America will lead a way towards the development of a global Islamic calendar for the world. The Fiqh Council recognizes the validity of ikhtilaf on this issue and hopes that Muslims be united in brotherhood despite any legitimate fiqhi differences.

13 13 Decision by FCNA and ECFR: It is decided to use astronomical calculation to determine the beginning of an Islamic lunar month with Makkah as the reference point. The Islamic month begins if the following two condition are met: 1) Conjunction (moon birth) is before sunset in Makkah 2) Moon sets after sunset

14 14 CONCLUSIONS ●Allah (swt) has given us knowledge about motions of earth and moon, that he talks about in Qur’an. ●Calculations meet the intent of Qur’an and Sunnah and the benefits greatly surpass the consequences faced by false claims and waiting for a decision till mid-night. May Allah (swt) guide us to the right path and forgive us for our mistakes. Ameen!


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