6. Letter to Dr.Muzammil H.Siddqui, President ISNA, dated 10-07-2001
Muslim brethren often failing to find out the real teachings of the Qur’aan and Sunnah are regretted. All claim Islam as the universal religion but do not agree that all must have one calendar. There cannot be two dates for the same day. There can be difference in time, which has to be less than 24 hours. The Qur’aan was sent to bring people out of darkness to light; but we insist we will remain in darkness. It explains why the 100-year-old decision of ISNA, to observe Eid ul Azha on the same day as at Makkah and Eid ul fitr according to local “sighting” was relevant at a time when communication was slow. Today there is no need to differentiate the two events.
Dr. Muzammil .H. Siddiqui,
President of ISNA
Assalamu Alaikkum Wr Wb
Ref: Your letter on Eid-ul-Azha and Hajj dated 26-2-2001
Hope this letter will find you in the best of your health and Islamic spirit.
It gives me much pain to state that Muslim brethren of our times fail to find out the real teachings of Qur’an and Sunnah, which is also acceptable to our common sense.
The recent decision taken by the ISNA and other organizations of the world to observe Eid on different days is not in accordance with the Book of Allah (swt), the Sunnah of His Messenger (saw) and our common sense. We forget a simple fact that a calendar cannot be for a region. All of us know and claim that Islam is the Universal religion and that the Islamic calendar cannot be a regional one. Another point is that all people agree as to the unity of the seven days of the week. These days do not change from one country to another. The only time difference that exists at different places is in hours. The day is common for all. It begins from the Date Line, continues till 24 hours and ends in the same place. When all have the same day, the date, which stands in place of a day, must be the same. The dates are not connected with the places.
The Qur’an says that Allah (swt) sent His Messenger to bring the people from darkness to light. So the Messenger will not lead the people into darkness. The Messenger of Allah ordered us to observe the Eid-ul-Azha on the 10th of Dhul Haj of the Islamic calendar and He has forbidden the fast on the Eid day. If the Arabs observed the Eid-ul-Azha on Monday and the Americans on Tuesday as it happened on the last Eid, it would mean that the people observed the Eid on Monday and Tuesday (2 days). Thus the day of the Eid on which fasting is forbidden becomes obscure and the words of the Prophet (saw) are rendered meaningless. The calendars of Islam get two versions. All these are not permissible in the Shariah. The Qur’an or the Teachings of the Messenger of Allah cannot contain such errors. The fact that there is only one Jumu’ah day in a week through out the world proves beyond doubt that there is only one day of Eid-ul-Azha in a year and that Eid-ul-Azha cannot fall on two different days. All the Imams and the scholars of the past have agreed that there is no consideration for the differences of the ‘Matla’ in the case of the ‘Hilal’. All of them agree that one sighting is enough for all in the world.
The former decision of ISNA to observe the Eid-ul-Azha on the same day with Makkah and the Eid-ul-Fitr according to the local sighting was correct. This was the decision taken 100 years ago. At that time, they did not have the facilities to convey the message immediately to the distant places. As regards the Eid-ul-Azha, there is a sufficient time gap because it falls on 10th and there is no excuse for delaying the celebration. But since there is no sufficient time gap to convey the message of the Eid-ul-Fitr, there is an excuse. That is why they took different rules for the two Eids. But today we do not have any excuse to delay the Eid by one day because we have the facilities to communicate. We must use our common sense and celebrate the Eid on the same day all over the world as commanded by the Prophet (saw). The Muslims should not become a laughing stock for the other people.
I am attaching a paper entitles "Have the Islamic Calendars 3 versions? What do the Fuqah say about this?" and a copy of my letter to Dr. Khalid shoukat. Please read them in your next meeting and take a correct decision.
Let your organization lead the world to the right path. May Allah (swt) help us to arrive at the right decision!
With all good wishes,
Your Brother in Islam
Advisor to the Hijra Committee of India