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Tuesday, 14 July 2015

MOON SIGHTING: The Scientific (Quranic) Way.

The Scientific (Quranic) Way
Using Astronomy & Geography

(M. Javed Naseem)

ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِى رَفَعَ ٱلسَّمَاوَاتِ بِغَيْرِ عَمَدٍ تَرَوْنَهَا ثُمَّ ٱسْتَوَىٰ عَلَى ٱلْعَرْشِ
وَسَخَّرَ ٱلشَّمْسَ وَٱلْقَمَرَ كُلٌّ يَجْرِى لِـأَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّـى
يُدَبِّرُ ٱلأَمْرَ يُفَصِّلُ ٱلآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ بِلِقَآءِ رَبِّكُمْ تُوقِنُونَ
“Allah is He Who raised the heavens without any
pillars that, you can see, is firmly established on
the throne (of authority). He has subjected the sun
and the moon (to His Law)! Each one runs (its
course) for a term appointed. He does regulate all
affairs, explaining the signs in detail, that you may
believe with certainty in the meeting with your Lord.”
(al-Quran 13:2)

According to the movements of the Moon
and the Earth, the new crescent for
Eid-ul-Fitr will be visible to the entire Muslim
World (from America to Australia) on Friday,
17th of July, 2015. Hence, the Eid-ul-Fitr
falls on Saturday, 18th of July, 2015.


Allah, the Almighty is Capable of All Things. He created the universe, the heavens and the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars and millions of galaxies; and everything else too that is in them and between them. He is in-charge as He controls them and runs the affairs of the entire universe. It is, therefore, only logical and reasonable that we turn to Him (or His Message – the Quran) to seek guidance in all affairs.

Muslims are being ridiculed and laughed at by the world because they are not united. They cannot start their New Year, the Eid festivals and Ramadan unanimously on the same day in all countries or even in different regions of the same country. The simple and only reason for that is their ignorance (‘Jahaalat’). They have gone astray and left the Quran, therefore, the guidance (or the Quran) has left them too. When you ignore the signs of Allah, Allah will ignore you too. A relationship is reciprocal and mutual. It is not a one-way affair. We need to look at our practices and review our relationship with our Creator – Allah, if we want to succeed.
Take the ‘Quranic approach’
to moon-sighting! It is very
authentic and promotes unity!

Once again, it is time for ‘moon-sighting’ and getting together for celebrations. And once again, people will differ, dispute and would promote differences and disunity among the Ummah. If we take the Quranic or the ‘educated’ approach to this issue, we realize that it is no more an issue – no more a problem. Allah says in the Quran, Surah ar-Rahman:

ٱلشَّمْسُ وَٱلْقَمَرُ بِحُسْبَانٍ
“The sun and the moon follow courses
(exactly) computed.”
(al-Quran 55:5)

So, why shouldn’t we compute the moon-sighting? Allah gave us a clear hint! Allah invites us to ponder upon the verses of the Quran throughout the Holy Book. Actually, in the beginning of the Quran, In Surah al-Baqarah, Allah tells us very clearly the purpose of moon cycles and how they should be used. They are the signs to mark or check time-periods and can be calculated precisely:

يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ ٱلأَهِلَّةِ قُلْ هِىَ مَوَاقِيتُ لِلنَّاسِ وَٱلْحَجِّ
“They ask you concerning the new moons. Say:
They are but signs to mark fixed periods of time
in (the affairs of) men, and for pilgrimage.”
(al-Quran 2:189)

What’s the confusion and where? The courses of the sun and the moon are fixed; and the purpose of it is to mark or figure out the time-periods (even hours!) not only for pilgrimage but also for other affairs. We should only learn how to check those time-periods and how to convert those phases/stages into days, hours and minutes. It is a simple calculation.

The scientific way (with astronomy and geography) is the best way to do it but it has a ‘big’ problem – Mullah’s endorsement. The Mullah has monopolized the religion of Islam, just like the Catholic priest monopolized the Christianity to keep control and make big money. Mullah doesn’t want to loose control and ‘ownership’ (in Urdu: ‘Thekedari’) of Islam as this is the hen laying golden eggs for him. But Mullah has a double-face. Remember, when the loudspeaker was introduced? Mullah gave a decree (‘Fatwah’) that the use of loudspeakers for Adhan is ‘Haraam’. Today, the same Mullah is making your life miserable by abusing the same loudspeaker day and night!

Getting back to the Quranic science, Allah, the All-Knowing, reminds us in Surah Yunus that He created the planets and He prescribed their movements so that we could reckon time (days, weeks, months, years, seasons, etc.). He did it in Truth and Righteousness. He didn’t create them for nothing! Therefore, it is only befitting that we follow the path of Truth and Righteousness in calculating time.

هُوَ ٱلَّذِى جَعَلَ ٱلشَّمْسَ ضِيَآءً وَٱلْقَمَرَ نُوراً وَقَدَّرَهُ مَنَازِلَ
لِتَعْلَمُواْ عَدَدَ ٱلسِّنِينَ وَٱلْحِسَابَ مَا خَلَقَ ٱللَّهُ ذٰلِكَ
إِلاَّ بِٱلْحَقِّ يُفَصِّلُ ٱلآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ
“It is He Who made the sun to be a shining glory
and the moon to be a light (of beauty), and
measured out stages for her; that you might know
the number of years and the count (of time).
Nowise did Allah create this but in truth and
righteousness. (Thus) does He explain His Signs
in detail, for those who understand.”
(al-Quran 10:5)

Yes, for those who understand. Do we understand?
All knowledge comes from Allah and He bestows it upon whom He wills. We Muslims are obligated to get education, acquire knowledge (‘ilm’) and seek the Truth by all means. Today, the world has gone too far with its technological advancement and it would be a stupid act (or stubbornness) to deny its benefits. A wise man would take advantage of this technology and use it to his benefit to avoid complications, confusion and disunity or disruption. It’s only logical! And it is absolutely Islamic too.

We Muslims can use knowledge and technology to create unity, coherence, solidarity and coordination among Muslim groups living in different regions of the world. Astronomy is a centuries-old science. Early scholars of Islam were educated and trained in the sciences of math, physics, chemistry, astronomy, Quranic education, languages and the arts of self-defense. Today, we have deviated from this norm and have changed our priorities, like other fields, in education as well. The results are obvious. The world is producing more atheists, secular and non-believing corrupt people who are killing others for their personal, economic and political benefits. Humanity is at the verge of extinction and educated people lack knowledge.

Allah reminds us in the Quran, Surah ar-Raad that He prescribed laws/rules to regulate the movements of the sun and the moon; fixed their stages/phases; and they run in their pre-determined courses for fixed periods:

ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِى رَفَعَ ٱلسَّمَاوَاتِ بِغَيْرِ عَمَدٍ تَرَوْنَهَا ثُمَّ ٱسْتَوَىٰ عَلَى ٱلْعَرْشِ
وَسَخَّرَ ٱلشَّمْسَ وَٱلْقَمَرَ كُلٌّ يَجْرِى لِـأَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّـى
يُدَبِّرُ ٱلأَمْرَ يُفَصِّلُ ٱلآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ بِلِقَآءِ رَبِّكُمْ تُوقِنُونَ
“Allah is He Who raised the heavens without any
pillars that, you can see, is firmly established on
the throne (of authority). He has subjected the sun
and the moon (to His Law)! Each one runs (its
course) for a term appointed. He does regulate all
affairs, explaining the signs in detail, that you may
believe with certainty in the meeting with your Lord.”
(al-Quran 13:2)

Now, where do we find the confusion in this verse? We must be either stupid or retarded, or too stubborn not to understand the plain language of this verse! Allah, the Almighty, repeats this piece of information for those who ignore His Message and Signs. He says in Surah az-Zumar:

خَلَقَ ٱلسَّمَاوَاتِ وَٱلأَرْضَ بِٱلْحَقِّ يُكَوِّرُ ٱللَّيْـلَ عَلَى ٱلنَّهَـارِ
وَيُكَوِّرُ ٱلنَّـهَارَ عَلَى ٱللَّيْلِ وَسَخَّـرَ ٱلشَّمْسَ وَٱلْقَمَرَ
كُـلٌّ يَجْرِى لأَجَـلٍ مُّسَـمًّى أَلاَ هُوَ ٱلْعَزِيزُ ٱلْغَفَّارُ
“He created the heavens and the earth in true
(proportions). He makes the Night overlap the
Day, and the Day overlap the Night. He has
subjected the sun and the moon (to His law).
Each one follows a course for a time appointed.
Is not He the Exalted in Power - He
Who forgives again and again?”
(al-Quran 39:5)

Very clear, no confusion at all! And we find this passage in the Quran, Surah Ibrahim, confirming that which He had already revealed about the planets:

وَسَخَّر لَكُمُ ٱلشَّمْسَ وَٱلْقَمَرَ دَآئِبَيْنِ
وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ ٱلْلَّيْلَ وَٱلنَّهَارَ
“And He has made subject to you the sun and the
moon, both diligently pursuing their courses; and the
night and the day has He (also) made subject to you.”
(al-Quran 14:33)

For those ignorant people who did not pay attention to His revelations, Allah reiterates in Surah an-Nahl that He subjected the sun and the moon:

وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ ٱللَّيْلَ وَٱلْنَّهَارَ وَٱلشَّمْسَ وَٱلْقَمَرَ وَٱلْنُّجُومُ
مُسَخَّرَاتٌ بِأَمْرِهِ إِنَّ فِى ذٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ 
“He has made subject to you the Night and the Day; the
sun and the moon; and the stars are in subjection by His
command. Verily in this are Signs for men who are wise.”
(al-Quran 16:12)

It is Allah who cracks the dawn from the night, and creates the night from the day. He tells us again and again that He prescribed the movements of the planets for us to calculate time. In Surah al-Anaam He declares:

فَالِقُ ٱلإِصْبَاحِ وَجَعَلَ ٱلْلَّيْلَ سَكَناً وَٱلشَّمْسَ
وَٱلْقَمَرَ حُسْبَاناً ذٰلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ ٱلْعَزِيزِ ٱلْعَلِيمِ
“He it is that cleaves the day-break (from the dark).
He makes the night for rest and tranquility, and
the sun and moon for the reckoning (of time).
Such is the judgment and ordering of (Him),
the Exalted in Power, the Omniscient.”
(al-Quran 6:96)

There are many Surahs (Chapters) of the Holy Quran that contain the verses pertaining to this subject. For example, in Surah Ya-Seen, there are quite a few verses that explain the movements of the planets and the alternation of the day and night:

وَآيَةٌ لَّهُمُ ٱلْلَّيْلُ نَسْلَخُ مِنْهُ ٱلنَّهَارَ فَإِذَا هُم مُّظْلِمُونَ
“And a Sign for them is the Night. We
withdraw from it the Day, and behold!
They are plunged in darkness.”
            (al-Quran 36:37)         

وَٱلشَّمْسُ تَجْرِى لِمُسْتَقَرٍّ لَّهَـا ذٰلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ ٱلْعَزِيزِ ٱلْعَلِيمِ
“And the sun runs his course for a period
determined for it; that is the decree of (Him),
the Exalted in Might, the All-Knowing.”
(al-Quran 36:38)

وَٱلْقَمَرَ قَدَّرْنَاهُ مَنَازِلَ حَتَّىٰ عَادَ كَٱلعُرْ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌جُونِ ٱلْقَدِيمِ
“And the Moon - We have measured for her
mansions (to traverse) till she returns like the
old (and withered) lower part of a date-stalk.”
(al-Quran 36:39)

لاَ ٱلشَّمْسُ يَنبَغِى لَهَآ أَن تدْرِكَ ٱلقَمَرَ وَلاَ
ٱلْلَّيْلُ سَابِقُ ٱلنَّهَارِ وَكُلٌّ فِى فَلَكٍ يَسْبَحُونَ
“It is not permitted to the Sun to catch up the Moon,
nor can the Night outstrip the Day. Each (just) swims
along in (its own) orbit (according to Law).”
(al-Quran 36:40)

These verses, along with many others in the Quran, challenge our intelligence to probe and research. Unfortunately, it is the non-Muslims, most of the times, who do the research and educate the whole world about the creation of Allah. We Muslims, eat, drink, sleep and chase women to enjoy life without caring about Haraam or Halaal. And when the non-Muslim scholars present to the world the astonishing results of their research, we Muslims shamelessly declare: ‘Oh, that’s not a big deal. The Quran has spoken about it 1400 years ago.’ What an attitude!

Now, the question is, if Quran had spoken about things 1400 years ago, what did YOU do about it to educate and guide mankind? You could not even educate and guide yourselves or your offspring! What’s your contribution in the 20th or the 21st century towards educating mankind, making this world peaceful and a happy place worth living? Constructing big buildings (with the help/guidance of non-Muslims) by spending Petro-dollars is not an achievement!

Let’s talk about moon-sighting now. Ramadan is almost over and we are preparing for the Eid festival. According to astronomical readings, the Astronomical New Moon (conjunction) is on July 16, 2015 (Thursday) at 1:24 UT.
The new moon of Shawwal 1436 would be born on Thursday (July 16, 2015). It can be seen with
difficulty in South America (Chile, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, etc.); but easily in Polynesian Islands (Pacific islands).
For the rest of the world (USA, Canada, UK, EU, Africa, Asia, India/Pakistan, Middle East, Japan, Indonesia and Australia), it is not visible -- it CANNOT be. See map-1:

The Eid moon, for the rest of the world, would be visible on Friday evening, July 17, 2015. Therefore, the Eid-ul-Fitr (for the rest of the world) falls on Saturday, July 18, 2015. Here's the scientific map of the Moon visibility range as per Astronomy and Geography. On July 17, 2015 (Friday), the moon can easily be seen in almost the whole world, except northern Asia and northern Europe. See map-2:

(Map-2. Images courtesy:
These findings are absolutely correct. These are based on astronomical and geographical calculations for the regions concerned. It cannot go wrong! It’s like 2+2 makes 4.

Subhan-Allah! Allah (the Almighty, the
Wise) has calculated everything for us
but we are so dumb that we neither get
education nor guidance from the Quran.

May Allah guide us all to get united and stick together through thick and thin! Aameen.
A very Happy and Blessed Eid to you all, Muslim Ummah!

(Editor’s note: This article is a re-run from 2014 with some changes.)


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