welcome Islamic Calendar's New Year
As the crescent appeared over the horizon once again after
completing the full circle November 06 yesterday, it brought along
with it, the New Year for Muslims in the Indian sub continent.
Muslims in the Arabian Peninsula and other parts of the world
Malegaon: An international conference
aimed at ending differences on lunar calculations and unite the
Muslims in observing obligatory rituals of fasting and Haj as
well as Eid festivals is under way in Makkah. It was opened by
Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance
Sheikh Saleh Al-Asheikh Saturday.
The three-day conference is organized by the Islamic Fiqh Academy,
an affiliate of the Makkah-based Muslim World League (MWL), a
media report says.
A number of prominent figures including religious scholars,
jurisprudents and astronomers from the Kingdom and abroad are
taking part in the event at the grand conference hall of MWL
headquarters, Saudi leading daily Arab News reported today.
Grand Mufti and President of the Senior Scholars’ Commission
Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh in his speech highlighted the significance of
determining the start of the lunar month on the basis of the
sighting of the moon.
“Islam had defined that the beginning and
ending of the fast depends on the sighting of the crescent and
there is no difference of opinion on this. As for Gregorian
months, they are mainly for determining four seasons of the year
and they have no relevance as far as Shariah rules are concerned,”
The grand mufti reiterated Islamic Shariah principles should be
upheld when calculating lunar months.
“We are not waging a war
with astronomy. But we don’t want to exceed the proper bounds of
the Islamic Shariah when making lunar calculations,” he said,
while urging the Muslims to follow relevant Islamic
In his speech, MWL Secretary-General Abdullah Al-Turki said the conference would come out with
proposals and recommendations with regard to achieving some sort
of uniformity in determining the timing of the Islamic obligatory
rituals of fasting and Haj.
“The Islamic scholars and astronomers would discuss how lunar
calculations could be used to unite the Muslim Ummah in
determining the fasting month of Ramadan, the timing of Haj and
Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha,” he said, hoping the event would be a
milestone at least in narrowing differences among Islamic scholars
and astronomers across the world when making such calculations.
The MWL chief also highlighted the increasing relevance of Islamic
astronomy in uniting Muslims worldwide.
Spelling out the
objectives of convening the conference, Saleh Al-Baqami, secretary
general of the academy, hoped the participants would come out with
comprehensive solutions to remove the causes of differences with
regard to determining the beginning of lunar months.
Continuing deliberations on the second day on Sunday, participants
discussed five topics focusing on various aspects regarding lunar
months and the role of Islamic Shariah principles in determining
them. These included the sighting of the moon to mark the
beginning and ending of the months for fasting and Haj.
The participants also discussed the Islamic jurisprudent approach
with regard to a number of issues such as settling debts, and
Iddat, which is the legally prescribed period of waiting during
which a woman may not remarry after being widowed or divorced. The
session, which is chaired by Grand Mufti Al-Asheikh, would issue a
communiqué after wrapping up its deliberations on Monday.