15. Letter to various brethren dated 04-04-2002 (21-01-1423) comments on the article of Salman Zafar Shaikh. The article has no authority as Shaikh himself is not a scholar in astronomy or Qur’aan and has relied on those who are neither scholars nor astronomers. An outreal view of the article with analysis of the dates and timings has been done and contradictions within the article brought out.
Zafar Sheik Salman
Bismillaah Walhamdulillaah WasSalaatu WasSalaamu Alaa Rasoolillah.
Dear Brother Salman Zafar Shaikh
Assalamu alaikum Wr.Wb
Aoothubillaahi Minas ShaytaanirRajeem. BismillaahirRahmaanirRaheem. RabbishRahli Sadri Wa Yassirli Amri WahlulUqdatan Millisaani Yafqahoo Qauli.
I believe that you are working for the good of the Muslim Ummah. But your statements in the article “Which Hilal (Islamic crescent) to follow” are really misleading. Is there a crescent called “Islamic crescent”? Just lip worship is not enough. We must strive hard to arrive at the Truth and practice it. I feel that you are taken away by the astronomers who do not know the Shariah and by the Ulema who do know the world around them. The Astronomers mentioned in the paper do not know the Islamic Shariah and they are not true scholars.
The article does not solve but complicate the problem because the writer is not a scholar of the subject. You should have studied the subject in 5 years instead of blindly accepting the views of those who are not real scholars on the subject. Your argument that the Ummul Qura calendar is wrong is baseless. Can you point out the mistakes of the Ummul Qura calendar and prove it? Have you studied it?
You have quoted the Fatwa of Shaikh Othaimeen and said that the celebration of Eid in Saudi Arabia was wrong. We have the data of the sun and the moon. Can you prove your argument? I had sent you my comments on the Fatwas of Shaikh Othaimeen and Dr Qaradawi. Have you passed it on to the concerned authorities? It is a matter of religion and it is very serious and we cannot follow the Shaikhs blindly. We will be questioned about it. I am giving my comments below once again. Please send it to the concerned people.
The solar eclipse mentioned in the Fatwa occurred on Saturday the 5th of February 2000 at 13:04 hrs UT. This means that the solar eclipse had occurred before the end of the Saturday. A solar eclipse occurs when the shadow of the Moon falls on the Earth and this is the time when the Moon completes its cycle around the Earth and begins the other cycle. Since a month can begin only with the day, the month should begin on the next day, i.e. Sunday. So without any doubt Sunday is the First of Zul Qaida of 1420H. Sheikh Al Othaimeen does not seem to understand what a solar eclipse means and what relationship it has with the Islamic months. It is evident that he has based his Fatwa on somebody’s suggestions, but not on his own knowledge. His Fatwa is certainly wrong because it contradicts the Qur’aan and the Sunnah.
You must prove if my statement is wrong. Please do not keep silent. The Muslim Ummah suffers because people argue without knowledge. The Qur’aan condemns it. (22: 8, 9)
An Alim, however famous he may be, should not give a Fatwa contradicting the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. Such a Fatwa is not valid. Shaikh Othaimeen’s Fatwa is contradictory to the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. It also contradicts the views of the four Imams Aboo Haneefa, Malik, Shafee and Hambal ®. All of them have said that all people who get the information of the onset of the month confirmed at one place according to the Shariah shall abide by it without considering the distance between them.
The wrong Fatwa of the Shaikhs:
"Sheikh Yusuf AlQaradawi Fatwa on the error in Saudi decision of EidUlAdha 1420H" (Ref.http://www.jas.org.jo/shw20.html#aua)
"Solar eclipse of Feb 5 2000 also proved the mistake in Eid date, according to Sheikh Othaimeen’s Fatwa on Solar Eclipse which implies that if there is a solar eclipse anywhere in the world after sunset in your city, then next day is not the 1st of lunar month for your city."
Moonset after sunset at a particular place in the world is not the criterion for the beginning of the new month in the Islamic Shariah. If the moonset in Makkah was before sunset, the moonset at another place could be later than the sunset because the times of sunset and moonset for different places on earth will be different. Those who have no knowledge in astronomy are unable to understand this. They believe that sunset and moonset will be alike everywhere in the world.
Sheikh Yusuf AlQaradawi seems to ignore the astronomical facts. He should not have issued a wrong Fatwa before studying the subject thoroughly. Many people believe him and his wrong Fatwa would mislead them. The celebration of the Eidul Fitre of 1420H on Friday the 7th of January 2000 in Saudi Arabia and other places was correct. All other countries that did not cooperate with them have certainly violated the limits of Allah (swt).
Please prove your statement that Makkah’s celebration was wrong. Please request Dr. Qaradawi to bring his evidence if he is correct. We have the data of the moon and Allah (swt) is not forgetful of His promise (55:5) and you cannot simply walk away without proving this.
The new moon took place at 18:14hrs UT on Thursday the 6th of January 2000AD. So Friday the 7th of January 2000AD is the first of Shawwal of 1420H without an iota of doubt. Another point is that the Ramadan of 1420H began on Wednesday the 8th of December 1999 AD. So the Hilal of Shawwal should be looked for on Wednesday the 5th of January 2000 AD according to the instructions of the Prophet (saw). The Hilal was not present that evening anywhere in the world and 30 days of Ramadan was completed on Thursday following the instructions of our Prophet (saw). He has not ordered to look for the Hilal when 30 days are completed. Naturally Friday becomes the first of Shawwal. Sheikh Qaradawi should not have issued a hasty Fatwa without verifying the facts. Certainly his Fatwa has created confusion in the Muslim world. He should repent for the serious mistake and issue a notice to this effect immediately.
The wrong accusation of Sheikh Yusuf AlQaradawi:
"(In fact moonset was before sunset in Makkah for Thursday evening). Sheikh Yusuf AlQaradawi issued a Fatwa indicating that Muslims who celebrated Eid 1420H on Friday following the Saudi announcement should make up one missed Ramadaan fast."
Please get the reply from your astronomers only for one question of mine: How long (how many days) did Rasoolullah live? He was born on 12-03-53BH and he passed away on 12-03-11AH. You can call on Dr Ilyas, Dr. Khalid Shaukat, Mohamed Odeh, Dr. Durrani, Dr. Monsur Ahmed and others for your help. They have their MoonCalc and it should not be difficult for them.
I have sent a letter to KACST regarding the change of the rules of the Ummul Qura calendar. I have sent a copy to Rabita also. Since you are in Riyadh you could enquire about their silence. I have sent the copy of the letter to you on your request. If I am wrong let them say that and give their statement. We have the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of Rasoolullah. We can settle the matter easily. We need not wait till people establish the Bid’ah and claim that it is the Sunnah.
Please try to use the faculties, sight, hearing and the mind. When did you begin this Muharram? We can easily say that Muharram began on Friday if we observe the moon. Only the naked eyes will do just as Sheikh Othaimeen (RA) says. You need not even wear the specs. Even though you may have lived half a century you have not cared to look at the signs of Allah (swt). According to your argument the Saudi Eidul Adha was wrong. You argue that it should have been on Saturday. Then Thursday would be the first of ZulHijjah 1422H and Thursday would be the 29th of ZulHijjah on which you have to see the Hilal. On that day the difference was only about 25 minutes in Saudi and it was impossible to see the Hilal that evening. Then how did you begin Muharram on Friday? You must answer this question. There is no point in filling up your website with false propaganda which undermines the very basis of Islam without your knowledge.
When did you begin last Ramadan? If you have forgotten please ask those who keep an account. The fasting began on Friday. According to the distorted Ummul Qura calendar of Saudi Govt. their Shaban had only 29 where as it had 30 days according the Ahillat of the Moon. On Thursday evening the difference of the moon was only about 10 minutes and nobody could have seen the Hilal that evening. How did you begin Ramadan without completing 30, defying the orders of Rasoolullah if he had given such an order? We cannot propagate wrong information, which create confusion among the Muslims. Not to practice what one says is hypocrisy. I have written several letters to you but you reject the facts and cling on to the prejudice.
Please look at the moon and learn at least now. On the Fajre of Friday (05-04-2002) the moon will be almost half and on Saturday at the same time it will be less than half. This tells us that the next Saturday 13-04-2002 will be the first of Safar. You will not be able to see the Hilal even in Africa even though it appears that day. On Friday, the 29th of Muharram you cannot see the waning crescent. And you know that the day on which you do not see the waning crescent it must appear in the evening on the western horizon. So the Saudi calendar is contradictory to Allah’s calendar. They add one more day and begin Safar on Sunday. Thereby they change the months of 29 days into 30 and create confusion in the Halal and Haram of Allah (swt). (9:37) People because of the wrong Fatwas and confusion create that. All of us will be held responsible for it. (83: 4, 5)
Let us ask forgiveness from Allah (swt) and mend our ways before the last day comes!