Political Markaz - The Non-controversial issue of Crescent sighting controversy

The Non-controversial issue of Crescent sighting controversy

The Non-controversial issue of Crescent sighting controversy

Jun 15,2018 Comments Download

Why did Pakistan not declare Eid ul Fitr when entire Islamic world declared it?

I invite you and inherit you all bondsmen of Allah and myself towards Divine Taqwa and emphasize you to apply Taqwa in your lives and live your life in accordance with Taqwa. All your affairs of your life should be fulfilled in accordance with Taqwa. Allah has made Taqwa as the exclusive means of salvation and privilege of man. With the grace of Allah the opportunities which Allah has given for believers for acquiring Taqwa, one is Ramadan which has reached its end and all believers have been blessed in this month. All those believers who have excelled; Allah has blessed them with this bounty in the month of Ramadan

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ 

All those who have been successful in fasting, in recitation of Quran, in training, purifying, nurturing their souls and have reached the status of Taqwa now for them it is necessary to protect this status with the blessings so that they can live their life with this blessing. They should try to not waste this opportunity till the next opportunity comes on their way. May Allah bless this honor to everyone to live their lives in accordance with Taqwa?

Today in entire Islamic world there is Eid ul Fitr except for Pakistan where there has been no official declaration from government. We greet the entire Islamic Ummah on this Eid ul Fitr. The way the title of this Eid is that it is the Eid of Fitrat. The height, success, freedom, liberation of Fitrat is celebrated on this Eid. With the grace of Allah the believers have released their Fitrat from all forms of adulteration. They have cleansed all the dust on their Fitrat, hence this day of Eid is the day of reward for believers and we greet the entire Muslim Ummah on this day specifically those who are traversing the path of Wilayat.

In Pakistan the way it always happens this time as well the Crescent Sighting Committee has separated themselves from the entire Islamic world and declared this day of Fasting whereas if it is proven that it is day of 1st Shawwal then as per all school of thoughts jurisprudence (Fiqh) it is prohibited to fast on the day of Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Adha. There are some other fasting days in which there are doubts of Fasting but in these two days of Eid it is clearly prohibited to fast. It happens in most cases that believers get into doubts about the first day of Shawwal. Since this is not an order but a subject and subjects get into doubts.

Specifically the Islamic months start on lunar basis and the system of moon is not like that of Sun. The moon has different system of rising and setting hence changes come and not like the system of sun. Sometimes there are doubts on the beginning of month and sometimes in the end of month. The Solar months are fixed days and not even by moments but in lunar months there are probabilities of 29th and 30th. This is also not because the system of moon is disturbed or haphazard. This is because the moon is related to both sun and earth. When the light of sun falls on the moon it gets enlightened and it is not having its own light. The moon revolves around the earth hence those living on earth get a difference in viewing it because sometimes moon completes one round in 29 days and sometimes in 30 days; else the system of moon is also organized.

In the both the situations there is a solution from Sharia available. If there are doubts in the beginning of the month or end of the month then in both case the Sharia has presented a solution as to what is to be done in case of doubt. All this is only when there is a doubt but this time the situation which occurred as regards to moon sighting was not the case of doubt. All the countries that were around Pakistan have witnessed crescent and has been proven. But in Pakistan the crescent sighting committee has not received any witness. These witnesses have not been received not because no one has seen it or reported it. The explanation in two sentences which the Chairman of Crescent sighting committee has given to the community that we have not received any witness but he has not said that what arrangements have you done for viewing the crescent. Where all the viewing centers are established, experts are sitting, what tools you have provided them and what have they done to view the crescent?

The people mostly don’t look at the crescent but look at the TV for the chairman of the committee to come out and speak about it. It is a recommended act to see the crescent specifically for the month of Shawwal. This time there has been dust and smog in the atmosphere around Pakistan and India. Since last two days there has been dust, smog which is very dangerous also, as it is polluted and has made the visibility of the sky very low. There is a lot of pollution from smoke of factories, traffic and this air is polluted with dangerous things. Since the atmosphere in the country is of elections no one cares to give any admonition to the people. There is heavy pollution and you should try to remain indoor or if you come out try to put a mask on your face. Hence in this polluted air the arrangement that has been made to view the crescent is deficient and thus for believers they cannot depend on this committee.

Amongst the conditions for witnessing the crescent one is that everyone sees it; the second is that two just persons view the crescent and give witness and people are satisfied on their viewing. One other condition is that the Islamic Governor (Hakim e Sharia) announces it. Here nothing was applicable; neither did they receive any news of viewing the crescent and neither is there any Islamic governor who can announce. To view the crescent and announcing the beginning of the new month is a governmental announcement and is an affair of the Islamic state. Eid is from the state affairs and its Salaat and all affairs are government. Whenever something is referred in religion as a state affair it means Islamic government and not any form of government present who don’t have rights in Islamic affairs. Whenever you read Islamic issues and come across the statement that this is the rights of state then this is the Islamic government and ruler who has been given the rights to rule by Allah.

We don’t have a system of that here and the committee of crescent sighting has been made on political basis. They made Islamic visionary council and the Mufti from Multan in the case of that girl was part of both committees; Crescent sighting as well as Islamic visionary council. When such kind of persons see the moon for the community and then declare to the community then it is apparent that their words are reliable. Whereas across the Islamic countries in East and West the Crescent has been sighted and today is Eid except for Pakistan which is the only Islamic country in which at state level they have declared that there is no Eid today and this way the believers have been separated from the rest of Islamic world. This month of Ramazan was unique in which the entire Islamic world started fasting on the same day. Generally Saudi Arabia and some other countries have their own source for dates of Ramadan but this year all started together and in the entire Islamic world the Ramazan ended on the same day but the system that has been made in Pakistan did not get any witness.

The experts for moon sighting is the astronomy department whereas the statement that has come in the news is from the weather department. The weather department is not the one responsible for moon sighting it is the astronomy department who takes care of this affair which is not existing in Pakistan. This is a science which is not present in the Pakistani universities whose function is to study the space astronomy of stars, sun, eclipses, and the movement of sun, moon, and planets by using big Telescopes. In every country this astronomy department is there and in non-Islamic countries these are well established departments. But the crescent committee referred to weather department and they could not find the crescent. The reason was that last year or year before the chairman of weather department issued a statement. The weather department is only concerned with the weather to look at clouds, rains etc. The chairman of this department has said before that all their radars and equipment have gone defective, not repaired as well. They take the data from other weather agencies and they themselves do not do this hence they cannot also predict floods, storms and other natural catastrophes. These are the weaknesses which we have and the base of all these weakness is one that we are Muslims of Eid. We become Muslims on Eid, Ramazan and if we had been Muslims for every day then we would have realized it every day. Generally people complain also that they cannot see the moon and then finally they turn it towards scholars that what kind of useless scholars are these who cannot even declare a crescent sighted. The issue is not towards scholars of religion it is towards people. Since you are Muslims of Ramazan, Eid and for one or two months hence you remember on this day that there should be a scientific means of viewing the moon. If you were Muslims of everyday then you should have been thinking daily on how to resolve this issue which I will point later.

The astronomy experts have already announced for global countries that in the south of Pakistan, that is the coastal area of Karachi the crescent would be witnessed without telescope. After sunset the moon would be represent on the horizon of Pakistan and would be seen without telescope and it would be very thin. The method of moon is that when the moon is revolving around the earth it is also facing the sun as well. Like now we have daylight but at evening this will be dark and other side will be day. The earth is moving fast hence this keeps on changing. Since the moon is revolving around the earth and it takes one month to complete one revolution its dark part gradually becomes lightened and the other side also become dark gradually. This is the shadow of the moon, the part of the moon that is under light and the part facing the earth is seen as a crescent. When the moon is revolving around the earth and earth around the sun, then a time comes when the part facing the earth becomes completely lightened up and that is the moon of 14th. Then it gradually comes under shadow and when the part facing the earth gets into complete shadow and becomes dark. When it becomes dark, we say that the moon has ended or set or death of moon. It is actually the part facing the earth that has come under complete shadow whereas the part facing the sun is lightened up. Now we say that the new moon will be born. The movement of earth and sun is ongoing. Now again this part facing the earth starts to see light of sun and we call this as new moon or crescent being formed. This is the birth of moon. When this moon starts to get born the law is that when it will become visible. It starts to become visible during the day on earth itself. This means there is light on earth as well as moon also starts to become visible. Now the sun is present and moon sets, which means goes under horizon but it is present in some other part of the earth but in front of you it has set. Before the sun sets, the moon becomes visible it also sets along with the sunset. This means the moon was not visible. It was formed, born did but not become visible. Its life is very small for few hours and hence not visible. The moon needs at least fifteen hours for it to become visible on your horizon. Then you will be see it on your horizon for 15 – 20 mins after sunset and then again it will become invisible. If its life is less than 15 hours then it would not be visible.

Let us see the announcement done by astronomy experts about the life of the moon in Pakistan. In Lahore the sun sets earlier and later in Karachi because Sun sets first in the East then towards the West. There is a difference of thirty minutes. When the sun sets here the moon will not be visible because it is under the light of sun and it cannot be seen under the light of Sun. When the sun sets and the moon is visible and this happens only when the horizon is such that the life of moon is more than 15 hours. This was to happen and has happened whereby the moon was 19 hrs. and 3 mins on the coastal area of Pakistan and it was estimated to remain on the horizon for 38 minutes. After the sunset the moon was to set in 38 minutes, though it is a short time but can be seen with ordinary eye as well. The moon of 19 hrs.is very thin, hence can be seen with binoculars but those with sharp eyes can see without any optical tools as well. 

Thus first the astronomical experts should be referred to and not the weather department. And if the weather department expresses their views then it is like these Zakirs, orators who give their opinion about religion which is not their subject at all. When they express their views then you would have seen some issues on the TV. Like one Maulana has said that Ameerul Momineen (a.s) is in higher status than Prophets and others filed a case on him that this is an insult to Prophets. A FIR was issued on him. The other Maulana came and denied that Ali is not at all esteemed over any Prophet. On this Maulana the people issued an FIR. These are not your subjects of discussion. You should express your opinion in your subjects of expertise like the Angels who said, we don’t have any knowledge about this issue. The best knowledge is that you say you don’t know something. When it is not your subject then do not express at all your views. No Knowledge is half knowledge. In this matter of crescent sighting they don’t take the name of astronomy department because there is no astronomy department. Our universities are on strike, they don’t have laboratories, tools and there is no department existing who can do this. There are some individual scientists who are experts of astronomy and astrology but this time they also adopted silence in expressing their views. But the international astronomy have declared a 19 hrs. moon sighting in the coastal areas of Pakistan. The ideal situation would have been the entire team of crescent sighting committee should have divided themselves in groups and spread across every 20 to 30 kms, stationed on the coastal area to witness the crescent. Then definitely they would have witnessed.

The third Sharia proof is that from the office of the Supreme Leader (h.a) the announcement which was done and issued was related to the countries in which if Crescent is seen then all those other countries where Crescent would be proven as seen. There are certain general rules like if moon is sighted in East than it is proven for the West as seen. Like if crescent is seen in India then for Pakistan it is proven as seen; similarly if it is seen in Pakistan then for all the countries in the West would be considered as seen. This is a general scientific law applicable. Under this principle the ordinance that has been issued from the office of the Leader with the signature of Leader’s Crescent Sighting Committee head in that it is very clear, that if the crescent is proven in Iran or some other countries than the other countries it should be accepted and in that list Pakistan is included along with many other countries. Like if crescent is witnessed in Iran then the horizon of Iran and Pakistan is such that if it is seen in Iran then it should be accepted as seen in Pakistan as well. On the contrary also that if the crescent is sighted in Pakistan then for them as well it will be a proof.

The fourth witness is from Kargil where the scholars have formally done this announcement with their signatures that they have physically seen the crescent and it is proven. The argument which the Chairman of the committee here presented was that this is a matter of fasting of millions hence a unified decision is taken that crescent is not sighted for Pakistan. They have saved the fasting of millions but have not paid attention that these millions if they have fasted on the day of Eid then they have done a prohibited (Haram) act as fasting is prohibited on Eid. This is the difficult time whereby if you say it is Ramazan then Fasting is obligatory and if you say it is Eid then fasting is prohibited. Thus on this day the believers are in difficulty whether to deliver the obligation for Ramazan fasting or do a prohibited act of fasting on Eid day. Since there is a complexity over here hence this demands more attention. You should not just be concerned about protecting the fast but also be concerned about the sanctity of fasting. Hence more arrangement was required and the sources of all schools should have been kept in mind and based on those foundations that decision should have been made and this is repeated every time in Pakistan. It would have been better that in advance all these discussions, counseling should have been done as to on what basis they will declare or not declare. They do not discuss all these things but instead do useless meetings. The representatives who are appointed are done by government on political grounds and other priorities. They do not see if these persons are experts in this or not. They have made this day a test for the believers by the Crescent sighting committee.

As I said that there is an announcement from the office of the Supreme Leader that those countries in which crescent even if not seen is proven and amongst those Pakistan is also there. Thus on this basis the believers should remain satisfied and not be concerned. Some present this solution to go on travel. This is not the solution to send 220 million people on travel, where will they go? How will they travel? They do not even think as to what solution we are presenting? They are not resolving but creating more problems for the believers.

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