Shaykh Asrar on moonsighting

Discussion in 'Hanafi Fiqh' started by Aqdas, Jul 20, 2021.

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  1. AbdalQadir

    AbdalQadir time to move along! will check pm's.

    would relying on calculations to ascertain or deny the sightings come under following the jews and christians cubit by cubit?

    see this rabbi say something at the 32 minutes mark (i didn't see this video, just wanted to see what he says about his ways at random points in the video, and came across that just by luck)
  2. Unbeknown

    Unbeknown Senior Moderator

    I too have always felt - that just like previous ulama used rhymes and poetry to make rules of grammar, hadith, tasawwuf, aqaid etc. easy to memorize - Alahazrat's na'at serve as a quick intro to sunni aqayid for the awaam who can't or won't learn otherwise.


    In fact, as I have state previously, at the lowest point in my formative years, my only unbroken link to Sunni views were Alahazrat's na'at (at the time I din't know they were his or anything much about him) - since I had been consuming wahabi literature for quite some time.

    They have that attribute where one looks at it and says: "Oh this is not the work of a liar or heretic - it's the ode of a genuine lover".
  3. AbdalQadir

    AbdalQadir time to move along! will check pm's.

    jazak Allah for this

    there is a similar hadith that says the same thing, and asks to sight the moon. i didn't mention it due to time constraints.

    but these ahadith are the reason that we have a well established fiqh principle for ruyat that shahadat by upright Muslims supercedes the astronomers' calculations.

    its not just the moving averages, time series analyses, fourier transforms, nasa supplied data coupled with AI-based computer simulations, etc. of our times

    even in the times of Imame Aazam or when Fatawa Alamgiri was compiled, our rotten brahmin neighbors were doing astronomical and astrological calculations, and the concept was indeed well and truly known to the scholars of those times too
    Unbeknown likes this.
  4. Unbeknown

    Unbeknown Senior Moderator

    actually, I was being lazy - since the hadith positively mentions "we do not rely on calculations" - I tried to dodge that word in favor of "empiric".

    What I meant is, "calculation" is a type of "deduction" - which we have been disallowed.

    I agree that sighting with the naked eye is empirical by definition (going by the hadith).

    But what I meant by "empirical" is, any astronomical phenomenon known to preclude visibility with certainty (this was hypothetical as I have not done any reading on this).

    Because I keep hearing of such things around Ramadan and Eid moons - like "oh today is amawas, so the moon will not be visible" etc.

    If there is no such thing - then my question is invalid.
  5. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    there is a missing piece here brothers have not considered.

    the rulings of moonsighting follow an established framework - the guidance in the hadith being the first principles and then extrapolating on those nuSuS in a manner that they do not contradict hadith (in this issue) or violate general principles of fiqh.

    one of the hadith mentioned in this regard is: "we are a nation that does not do calculations"

    hadith of bukhari and muslim:

    bukhari, 1913.png

    we are a nation that does not write, nor does calculations. the month is thus and thus - that is, it is either 29 days or 30 days.

    ibn Hajar notes: "we are a nation that does not write" refers to the muslims present (who were overwhelmingly in that category) at the time of this saying."

    summary of ibn hajar's commentary on this hadith:

    arabs were predominantly illiterate and "we do not calculate" refers to the fact that they did were not aware of the methods of astronomical calculations. and as a concession for them [raf' al-Haraj], the start of the month was identified with the sighting of the moon (ru'yah) which was easy for every one. if it is cloudy, just complete the 30 days.

    [aH: i.e. if RasulAllah sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam had asked them to establish it according to calculations - it would become a demanding exercise as even in this day, there are very few people who truly understand how to do calculations. how many people can even read and comprehend the tech-papers brother sherkhan has shared? so do not rush to conclusions or think about how this hadith seems to be problematic].
  6. AbdalQadir

    AbdalQadir time to move along! will check pm's.

    i understand you're only talking about the principle of it, without delving into the nitty-gritty of the calculation methods or how/what "empirically known" would constitute, and so am i

    see my point - consider these two cases

    you say - if visibility is possible - we will not use calculations to establish it.

    who decides if the the alluded (calculated) possibility is set in stone? maybe visibility in reality is impossible, and the calculated possibility in reality is based on human error - then what?


    you say - but if it's empirically known (I dunno what would count as empirical in this case) that visibility is impossible - why can't we consider it?

    again who decides if the alluded (calculated) impossibility is set in stone? what if there is human error in calculations and the reality is that visibility IS possible?

    as for "empirically known" - empiricism is by definition based on "observation". the only way it can be empirically known sighting is not possible is if no shahadats were received on that day. empiric is the wrong word to use in this case. we have to use the words calculated or forecasted or something along those lines.

    let's say there is an ikhtilaf between calculations and physical observation - the calculations are approved and verified by pious, upright Muslims, as well as the shahadat is by a pious, upright Muslim. what is the fiqh principle here? to the best of my knowledge, physical observation takes precedence over calculation. Allah knows best.
  7. AbdalQadir

    AbdalQadir time to move along! will check pm's.

    i believe, illa ma sha Allah a few good ulema, it wouldn't be an understatement to say that for the overwhelming majority of our ulema, peers, and public speakers, their knowledge of and proofs for 3aqaid are just based on Ala Hazrat's na3ts. i honestly don't know how they and we would have fared were it not for Hadayiqe Bakhshish. that is Allah's Mercy and maybe Ala Hazrat's karamat or foresight that he foresaw the saw the na-ahli of our people and scripted many Sunni 3aqaid into his na3ts. if it weren't for that, our ulema, peers and public speakers would have fallen flat on their faces! seriously, what is the ilmi status of our peers', ulema's, speakers' "taqreers" in general?

    my main contention in this case is this -

    sighting is done by people, and so are calculations - so in principle, there is room for human error in both.

    but a lot, or i daresay all, of the calculation-verified or calculation-assisted sighting folks consider the calculated possibility or impossibility of sightings as set in stone, and only attribute human error to the sighting party. now that is both unfair and illogical on any and every front you can think of.

    if not, let the calculation guys come forward and say that their calculations are based on some Quranic formulas and principles (such as inheritance laws) or authentic ahadith, and therefore qat3i daleels for the rest of us!

    i understand physical sighting working in conjunction with astronomical data and calculations, weather department, etc. but as far as i know, the fiqh principle is that the Sunnah of physical sighting and shahadat by upright Muslims takes precedence over all of these supporting exercises!

    homework for self and others -جد الممتار - brother Chisti-Raza said in an older thread Ala Hazrat mentioned approval for calculation aiding sighting in Jaddul Mumtar. find out where and what exactly he said!
  8. Unbeknown

    Unbeknown Senior Moderator

    aren't the two cases are different?

    if visibility is possible - we will not use calculations to establish it.

    but if it's empirically known (I dunno what would count as empirical in this case) that visibility is impossible - why can't we consider it?
  9. AbdalQadir

    AbdalQadir time to move along! will check pm's.

    Understood. However, if same sect same ethnicity (desi Sunnis) have different Eids from brighton to glasgow, then that is a concern, yes? again, i know nothing of this issue in the uk and am not taking any sides. I'm just trying to understand what this Ghulam Rabbani saab is alluding to in his video linked in post # 3
  10. Aqdas

    Aqdas Staff Member

    There isn't a problem using global sighting but we have to be practical. If the moon isn't seen in Africa, then do we in the UK wait till the early hours of the morning to see if people in the Americas saw it?

    You can't make people wait till midnight to tell them it's eid in the morning.
  11. sherkhan

    sherkhan Veteran

    We discussed these issues here, here, here, here and here, here (with AQ)

    P.S.: few hyperlinked posts above may not point to right post; it might be easier to recap discussions by following the 2 threads below:
    Ramadhan Moonsighting in UK
    Is Ramadhan 2012 starting on Friday?
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021
  12. Surati

    Surati Active Member

    Think that might also pose a problem for people who have families residing in different parts of the UK. The UK’s not that big and people do travel on Eid to visit family. Perhaps this idea could work in North America.

    On another note I do appreciate the advice about doing the announcement in English. Not to bring down the Urdu language or anything but I do see the practicality of this particular point.
  13. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    bahar e shariat, v1/part5- p979

    bahar v1p979.png
  14. AbdalQadir

    AbdalQadir time to move along! will check pm's.

    then how/why do we have different Eids in india, even within Sunnis? i know there have been many instances when UP has had a different Eid than Bombay within Sunnis. Not counting the few times, Indian Sunnis and Pakistanis having different Eids.

    let's talk about a unified global sighting later.

    also, considering this issue, i was under the impression UK being a small country, would have a unified ruyat/shahadah system in place for the entire nation, at least within the sects and/or ethnicities (Desi, Turkish, Arabs etc)

    yes, another issue with the flag-bearers of the Sunnah of sighting

    We only accept shahadah and detest calculations
    *Guy comes and gives shahadah*
    Sorry, that shahadah is baloney
    *People ask why*
    Because calculations say sighting today is impossible!
  15. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    if calculations are not considered for ithbat - i.e. establishing the crescent,
    how then can we use the same source for rejecting reports of visibility?
  16. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    this is a catalogue of research papers 1392-1438 (46 years) in more than 1000 pages.

    gives you an idea of what it takes for someone to be a graduate of ummu'l qura univ.
    it is expected that the grads will have a minimum level of competence by going through the system (PDF, 20MB)

    at the risk of being lynched, i would say that our system is inefficient and decrepit. my observation about scholars (exceptions are always there) is that the standard graduate from our madaris have a terribly poor knowledge of:

    - timelines. except for some famous names, they would not be able to place important authorities in a timeline (who came first, who are contemporaries, etc.)

    - authorities in specific fields. aqidah, usul fiqh-usul hadith, hadith, hadith commentaries, biographies, siyar, 4schools-furu', tafsir, qira'at, tasawwuf and sub-disciplines.

    - ability to trace sources, even if they are the well-known ones

    - knowledge of standard references in major disciplines

    - knowledge of well-known Qur'an verses of aqidah, ahkam and admonition (if you ask them to quote verses of the qur'an for any of the major points of aqidah, they would be stumped)

    - knowledge of commonly cited/referenced hadith (ideally, a familiarity with the hadith in riyadu's salihin is a baseline. bulugh al-maram, adab al-mufrad, al-targhib wa'l tarhib of mundhiri. when i say familiarity, one should be aware of the hadith and be able to explain the hadith, and its connotations. even if it would require one to look up a commentary or two for the cryptic ones. closer to the urdu works: anwaru'l hadith, ziau'l hadith and intikhab e hadith)
    to mention some key competencies.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
  17. AMQadiri

    AMQadiri Seeker

  18. sherkhan

    sherkhan Veteran

    Ghulam Rabbani's claim is slightly different from the formula adopted by UK moonsighting committee (which Rabbani is at odds with).

    GR claims that the shahada in the West (i.e. region to the western meridian wrt to a specific location) suffices for a location. That is, if moon is sighted in Americas then it is a valid sighting for the UK.

    Committee's stand (that has been formulated and evolved over past 2 decades) is that only shahada in the East (wrt to a location) can suffice. The reasoning is that moon visibility moves from west to east (see a sample chart below). So if the location to the east has sighted the moon, then it should necessarily have been sighted (but for local visibility issues) in that location. That is why, the UK committee accepts shahada from Morocco & South Africa (which are situated in roughly the same meridian or slightly to the east of the UK, and also have a robust, reliable moonsighting process under the supervision of Sunni aalims). Any shahada from the west of UK meridian doesn't apply.

    Whether or not committee's formula is in line with global sighting ruling (or Alahazrat's fatwa), it does have a scientific basis.


    Let's look at the visibility chart above. On 10th July, chance of moon sighting was very low in the UK or even in Saudi (who have their own peculiar umm ul-qura calendar system based on birth of moon).

    Moon sighting in Canada and USA was sketchy. The parties reporting sighting in the USA were mostly shias (who can't be trusted).

    • Canada:

      1. Not Seen: MCW member Muneeb Siddiqui from Milton, Ontario reported: On Saturday, July 10, I tried looking for the Dhul-Hijjah 1442 new moon in Milton, Ontario. Due to clouds in the horizon I was not able to see the new moon.
      2. Not Seen: MCW member Shahid Rashid from Mississauga Ontaio reported: On Saturday, July 10, we tried sighting the moon for about 45 minutes after sunset but we were not able to find the moon. Today the moon was setting 55 minutes after sunset while it is 24 hours old and we tried 2 binoculars and 3 people. But the crescent formation was just not enough for sighting.
    • Chile:

      1. Not Seen: MCW member Muhammad Sohail from Iquique reported: On July 10, 2021 (Saturday), in Chile the new moon is not sighted for Dul hijjah.
    • Mexico:

      1. Not Seen: MCW member Modood Ahmad from Mexico City reported: This evening (Saturday, July 10, 2021), the crescent moon could not be seen in Mexico City, Mexico. (Coordinates 19.442045, -99.2040360, and elevation: 2260 meters). The sky was cloudy and sighting was not possible due to weather conditions. (sunset: 8:18 pm and moonset: 9:11 pm). Decision: Based on the New Moon birth at 9th July 8:16 pm Time zone in Mexico City, CDMX (GMT-5) and by adding 20 hours. Moon age is sufficient for sighting in Mexico City after 10-July 4:16 pm. (sunset: 8:18 pm and moonset: 9:11 pm) We will consider the 1st of Zul Hijjah 1442 will be on Sunday 11th July 2021 and Eid ul Adha will be observed on Tuesday 20th July 2021. InshaAllah.
    • USA:

      1. Not Seen: MCW member Dr Javad Torabinejad from Blacksburg VA reported: This evening (Saturday, July 10, 2021), the crescent moon could not be seen in Blacksburg, VA (Lat: 37° 15' 40" N, Lng: 80° 26' 56" W, and elevation: 646 meters). The sky was cloudy; thus, I did not attempt sighting. I checked the sky condition at 8:57 pm EST (sunset: 8:45 pm and moonset: 9:38 pm).
      2. Seen: Mr Rehan Safiullah from Houston, TX reported: This evening (Saturday, July 10, 2021), we sighted the new moon crescent of Dhul HIjjah in the Houston area, but only with binoculars and a high-powered zoom camera. We arrived at our location (29.7757° N, 95.3900° W) just after sunset but only saw the crescent about 30 mins after. The moon was at about an altitude of 3 degrees at 294 degrees WNW. The moon was seen between 9:00 - 9:05 pm CDT. The moon was sighted first with binoculars and confirmed with a camera at high zoom. Neither of the two sighters could see the see the crescent with the naked eye.
      3. Seen: Council of Shia Muslim Scholars in North America announced: The Moon-Sighting Committee of the Council of Shia Muslim Scholars of North America announces that Sunday, July 11th, 2021, will be the first day of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah, 1442 A.H. for most of North America except the Northeastern areas of the continent.
        This determination is based on the fact that there were verified sightings of the crescent moon by the naked eye at sunset on Saturday, July 10th, 2021 in Houston, Texas, and San Diego, California.
      4. Seen: MCW member Mohamedraza H.Janmohamed from Sanford FL reported: The Moon-sighting Sub-committee wishes to inform the community that the new crescent for the month was sighted in Texas and California on Saturday, July 10, 2021. Therefore the 1st Day of Dhulhijjah, 1442 AH is established as SUNDAY, JULY 11, 2021
      5. Seen: MCW member Kazim Mamdani, San Diego, CA reported: We saw the crescent moon of the month of Zilhaj on tonight (Saturday), Jul 10, 2021 in San Diego. All four of us saw initially with binoculars and then with naked eye. We saw at 8:30 pm with naked eye.
      6. Seen: MCW member Shahnoor Syed, On Behalf of Mahdavia Ruiyat e Hilal of Chicago, IL reported: We have received verified Naked Eye Hilal sighting reports from multiple locations across Texas and California in Mainland USA. As such 1st day of Zil Hajj in North America will be on Sunday, July 11, 2021.

    Another chart for the same date:
  19. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    that is the standard hanafi position. in FR, bahar e shariat and every other fiqh work that discusses the issue of ru'yat.

    i have been a proponent of this type of 'qualification' for a long time.
    i have seen various arab universities which have a requirement to do research on a work to obtain degrees.

    been advocating this as well.
    CPEs. - continuing professional education or PDUs - professional development units.

    for example the below research work is in fulfillment of a requirement for the master's degree:


  20. AbdalQadir

    AbdalQadir time to move along! will check pm's.

    I'm an outsider and have nothing to do with the UK, but standalone, this mawlana saab seems to be making some strong claims and statements. I understand they could all be just loud sound bites and hot air, but it's best if they're adequately addressed and refuted.

    He claims Ala Hazrat endorsed global shahadat acceptance of moon sighting in unambiguous words in at least 3 places in FR. That claim should be fairly easy to attest to or refute by any well read Sunni mufti following Ala Hazrat.

    On a related note, I was talking to a brother recently that muftis under training and peers too, all of whom love lofty titles and claim to be thekedars of Maslake Ala Hazrat or Fikre Raza, should have open book exams in the final year of their course. One from FR only. One generally from other standard Arabic Hanafi works like Mabsoot, Durr Al-Mukhtar, Ashbah, Ghamz, etc.

    That, and all muftis and peers should have similar yearly exams to maintain their "licenses", just like the FRCPs, FRCSs, CAs, CEng, and so on.

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