2. Letter to His Majesty the king of Saudi Arabia, dated 27-12-1999 (20-09-1420)
Points out the error in determining the 1st of Ramadan 1420
His Majesty the King Fahad bin Abdil Azeez, Khadimul Haramain Asshareefain,
King of Saudi Arabia, Makkah Al Mukarramah
Dear Brother in Islam,
Assalamu alaikum Wr. Wb
Please refer my letter of Ramadan 1420.
Your Majesty may remember that the date of Ramadan was changed at the Ummul Qura at the pretext that the hilal of Ramadan was not seen in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday the 29th of Shaban corresponding to the 7th of December 1999! In fact the Hilal of Ramadan had risen at London and set after 11 minutes of the sunset on that day. Scientific records prove this fact. How did the people fail to know this in spite of the scientific knowledge that we have today by the grace of Allah (swt)?
It was Fardh for the Muslims all over the world to fast on Wednesday the first of Ramadan corresponding to the 8th of December 1999. But even in the Holy city the Muslims did not observe fasting on that day. As soon as I noticed this failure at the Ummul Qura I had sent a telegram to your Majesty requesting to investigate the matter and ban the false Hijra Calendars, which created this confusion at Makkah. By the grace of Allah the Almighty, your Majesty could take action in time and the Idul Fitre of 1420 was celebrated on the right day. Alhamdu lillah! Here in Kerala and in the other parts of India, the Muslims fasted on the day of the Idul Fitre! Fasting on the day of Eed is forbidden in the Islamic Shareeah. But the people out of mere ignorance have committed this sin. This is not the first time. This has been happening long since. In the previous century people did not have the communication facilities that we have today and the people did it without knowledge.
Fatwas, which state that the unification of the festivals and the Islamic dates is not necessary, are wrong and baseless. Unity of days is compulsory and therefore the unity of dates also must be compulsory.
I am aware of the work carried out by the Rabitha to have a practicable calendar for the Muslims all over the world. When I visited Makkah in Rajab 1420 I had met Dr. Muhammed Ilyas, the convener of the International Islamic Calendar Program. During our discussion he confessed that he is not competent to say anything on the Shareeah point. He said that he simply followed the advice of the Ulema that every month should begin after seeing the hilal with the naked eyes. This goes against the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet. The Qur’an says very clearly that the Ahillah mark the dates for mankind and hajj (2:189). The Prophet whose very life is the Qur’an could not have said any thing contradictory to the Qur'an. I had also met Mr Habeeb Alawi, the former Astronomer of Rabitha. Both of them have the wrong notion that the hilal must be visible to the naked eye before beginning every month. According to the Qur'an and Sunnah this is not necessary.
From the Qur'an it is clearly known that the moon during its course around the earth, marks dates, months and years for the mankind. The Prophet informed us that a month would be 29 or 30 days. It will not be less or more. If one has to get the dates tallying with the phase or the Manazil of the moon, one should begin the month from the new moon. This can be calculated in advance without any mistake with the help of the astronomical tables.
If people argue that the calculations should not be used, it is only because of ignorance. Allah (swt) has ordered us to use the lunar calendar for planning our day-to-day affairs. He will not say that we should not use the calculations because He knows that without calculations we cannot know our dates in advance. If we have to fix a program for the next month we must know the dates in advance. Allah knows that we need all these things and He will not forbid what is good for the mankind.
I have studied the calendars prepared by Dr. Md Ilyas for the I I C P. His calendars are based on the Imkaan Arru’uya system. That is, to begin the months after the moon comes to the position visible to the naked eye. This would be one day after the new moon. When the dates are calculated according to this basis, the dates will not tally with the Manazil or the phases of the moon and this is contrary to the Qur'anic injunction. (10:5).
Dr. Md Ilyas has arrived at the wrong idea that the months begin only after seeing the hilal. The hilal appears at different places every month and the graphic line drawn based on this is curved and falls at different places on the map of the world. This cannot be a date line. The date line is an immoveable line marked at a suitable place on the Earth with reference to the Kaaba and the days begin from there. Since the months begin with the day, a month can begin only from the date line. So the lunar date lines of Dr. Ilyas have no meaning at all. It is not possible to explain this in a letter.
The Ummul Qura calendar is correct. It is based on the Qur’an and Sunnah. It is prepared with the scientific data, which is reliable. This calendar should be enforced. Use of all false Hijra calendars should be banned. Muslims all over the world should practice the Umml Qura calendar in the day-to-day affairs along with the conventional calendar. Only then the Muslims will understand the importance of the calendar. We can be grateful to Allah (swt) by obeying His orders.
I feel that a meeting of the Ulema and the scientists should be convened urgently so that things can be explained and discussed before arriving at a final decision in the matter.
Soliciting a favorable reply from your Majesty
May Allah (swt) protect us and shower His blessings upon us.
Your Brother in Islam,
Ali manikfan, present address,
C/O.Amanath Traders, P.B. No.59,
K S R T C Road, Perumbavoor, Kerala, INDIA.