13. Letter to Dr. Saleh Abdul Rahman Al-athal, President, King Abdul Aziz City for Science & Technology, Riyadh written as a follow up of the letter of 19-11-2001 (04-09-1422). The original rule of Ummul Qura calendar was based on the appearance of Hilal anywhere in the world. It was being changed to the appearance at Makkah. The proposal of change would insist on the seeing of Hilal besides distorting the natural calendar. This leads people to committing an act of Haram by forcing them observe fasting on the Eid day.
Dr. Saleh Abdulrahman Al-Athel,
President, King Abdul Azeez City for Science and Technology,
Head of the Committee in charge of Ummul Qura Calendar,
P.O. Box 6086, Riyadh- 11442
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
I am in receipt of your reply letter dated nil on my letter of 8, Safar 1422, regarding the presence of mistakes in the New Ummul Qura calendar for the year 1422 H.
“The earlier method of determining the Hijra month on the 'appearance' of the New Moon has the advantage of a unique beginning of the Hijra month for the whole Earth” could not be varied, dispensed or changed on the notion of the Hadith of the Prophet (saw), "Fast for seeing it and Break for seeing it". The Hadith never canvass for the proposition "seeing" but in fact it is "appearing" any where on the Earth. A new day or change of a day takes place only at the Meeqathul Qibla or the International Date Line and there is no change of day at Greenwich or Makkah. Therefore there is no justification for the New Ummul Qura Calendar.
"Seeing” of the setting of the Moon is not necessary but it is an established fact by science. When the science determines or decides the setting of the Moon after the Sun, no question of witnesses seeing it comes in play. It is only the "appearance" in science that matters and Hadith never goes against this position.
Appearance of the New Moon is not an unknown event, but the ‘seeing’ may be unknown. It may be seen to some at some places, some may not see it at other places, but the fact remains that Moon has its appearance somewhere on the Earth.
Therefore, the basis for the New Ummul Qura calendar is not sound and it is against the very direction of the Qur’aan and the Hadith. The midnight at Greenwich is the time, where Jumu’a and Zuhar changes which is the zero hour, which happens at the sides of the Meeqathul Qibla or the Date Line and not at Makkah or Greenwich. Therefore it is my humble opinion that the present basis for making the New Ummul Qura calendar is absolutely wrong and the Rules of the original Ummul Qura calendar issued by the Govt. of Saudi Arabia for the years from 1300 to 1429/1882 to 2007 are correct and safe as per the Qur’aan, Hadith and Science.
Please note that Ramadan 1422 has only 29 days according to the correct calculation of the Manazil of the Moon. Original Ummul Qura calendar also gives the same. Ramadan ends on Friday with an Annular Solar Eclipse, which can be witnessed in the world. Therefore, the first of Shawwal of 1422H falls on Saturday the 15th of December 2001.
I may also request you that when you prepare a calendar for the next century, it must be made in such a way as not to cause any confusion and it should be on the very same principle of the original Ummul Qura calendar, which is entirely correct as per the Qur’aan, Hadith and Science.
If further explanation is necessary, I am happy to explain the facts on personal discussion or meeting, as I used to do among the Muslim brothers, scholars and organizations in this part of our country and they are convinced and most of them follow accordingly.
Please accept my sincerest greetings and respect
Your Brother in Islam,