the most beneficent one taught reading, He created man. He taught him the
speech. The Sun and the Moon are with calculations”. These words of the
Holy Qur’aan tell us that the knowledge and inventions made by man through
his observations and experiments are the bounties of the Lord who created
and fashioned this world. We must make use of all these things in our life
in this World. If we do not use them we become ungrateful to the Creator
because we do not accept what He has provided for us.
of the above verse of the Qur’aan informs us that both the Sun and the Moon
are subjected to certain calculations by which we can know and record the
passage of our time. Our time is very valuable. We cannot get back the
time, which has passed. So it is important that we spend our time with
care. For this it is necessary to calculate and plan our day-today affairs.
The Qur’aan orders us to pray at five times at different angles of the Sun.
The angles of the Sun show us the times to pray and by performing the
prayers at regular intervals we learn the importance of time keeping.
Qur’aan says: “Establish regular players at the Sun’s declines till
darkness of night and the Morning Prayer and reading for the prayer,
certainly reading in the morning carry the
teaches us how to manage time by appointing 5 prayers, which must be
performed in a day, punctually at the fixed timings. The prayer times were
measured in the days of the Prophet (Saw) using the shadow of an object cast
by the Sun. Other measuring devices were not invented at that time.
Zuhar prayer is performed when the shadow becomes shortest or disappears
and the Sun is on the meridian after the first declination of the Sun, that
is when the Sun has passed 90 degrees, the Asar prayer after the shadow
equals the object, that is when the Sun has passed 135 degrees, the Magrib
prayer after sunset, that is when the Sun has passed 180 degrees, the Isha
prayer when the glare of the setting Sun has disappeared, that is when the
Sun has passed 202.5 degrees and the Fajre prayer when the first rays of
the rising Sun appear, that is when the Sun has passed 337.5 degrees if the
Sun is taken to be at 0 degree at the beginning. The Qur’aan explains this
in the verse 17:78.
had not invented the instruments to measure the passage of time when they
were ordered to perform the 5 time prayers at the correct times. Necessity
is the mother of invention. The Prophet (saw) taught them the simple method
of finding the prayer times by observing the shadow. This was in vogue at
that time in many places in the world and it was not difficult for the
people to practice it. The Prophet did not come to put them into
difficulties. He came to make things easy and bring them out of darkness to
time is dependent upon the Sun’s angles in relation to our horizon,
Necessity to know the exact time for the prayers made people think about
methods of measuring the passage of time. They invented water clocks that
indicated the Sun’s angles for the prayers. Now we know all these angles of
the Sun by our watches. We can tell the Sun’s angle in hours, minutes and
seconds without looking at the Sun or its shadow. There is no difficulty in
telling our time even when the Sun is not visible for days together because
Allah (swt) has subjected its movement to certain calculations. The Qur’aan
says: “The Sun and the Moon are with calculations”. (55:5)
anyone say that we should not use the instruments but we should only look
at the shadow because the Prophet (saw) has done so? It will be silly to
say like that. We should understand that knowing time for prayer is needed.
We can know it through other means also. Today we have watches that tell us
time with a human voice. We must use our common sense.
time of the Prophet (saw) means of communication and transport were not
developed. The Prophet (saw) used horses and camels for transport. Can we
say that we should not use the modern facilities of transport like cars and
airplanes for going to Makkah for the pilgrimage because the Prophet (saw)
and the Sahaba had not done do?
Qur’aan condemns such foolishness. “Certainly the worst of the beasts in
the sight of Allah are those who do not use their speech and hearing, those
who do not use their intelligence”. (8:22)
must realize that we should use our intelligence and explore what Allah has
provided for us. There are numerous creatures of Allah in this world. But
none of them are endowed with intelligence. We must investigate nature,
study and find out all that we can do and advance in all faculties of
knowledge without transgressing the limits of Allah (swt).
time prayers are very important and they teach us many principles of
science. We must know the exact time to discharge this duty. We have to
make instruments to show us the correct time. We have to know the exact
time of sunrise, the sunset and the meridian etc., for this we should
observe the Sun’s movement for many years and make tables to know them. We
must know the Kiblah the direction to face during the prayer and this
directs us to the place where the days begin on the Earth. All these are
involved in performing the five-time prayers and without knowledge our
prayers will not be correct and fruitful.
Allah (swt) has made the Sun and the Moon to move according to certain
laws, which they cannot transgress we are able to tell their movements in
advance. We can make watches to tell us the time. Thus without seeing the
Sun we can tell at what time the Sun will set at a given date at a
particular place on the Earth. It will be foolish to say that all these
things are not permissible in the Shariah. The Qur’aan says “He has not
placed any hardships for you in the matters of religion”. (22:78) so there
is no harm at all in finding out easier methods and means to achieve the
ends. We can use calculations for finding out our time and date.
calculating the passage of time we have different units of time, such as
seconds, minutes, and hours, night and day. We have still bigger units of
time such as Days, weeks, months and years. These bigger units are common
for all in the world while the smaller units differ from place to place on
earth. Allah (swt) has given us seven days of the week that repeat. Numbers
or names mark these days. They are Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,
Thursday, Friday and Saturday. All have the same day throughout the world. But
the beginning and end of the days are different everywhere. Allah (swt) has
also given us twelve months that repeat, which is known by names. The
Qur’aan corroborates this. (9:36). According to the Qur’aan, these twelve
months are to be measured with the Moon’s cycle around the Earth taking the
Sun as the reference point, (36:37). So the months will have 29 or 30
dates. A date is the period from sunrise to sunrise and represents a Day of
the week. Hence a date must begin with the day which is about 24 hours. All
must agree and accept these time units.
are many communities of people in the world living in different parts in
different climatic conditions. They are different in colors customs and
languages. All these people have their ways of calculating the passage of
time. They have invented their own methods. This is known as calendars.
Europeans, Americans, all have their calendars. Even the small states of
groups speaking different languages have their calendars.
time immemorial, people counted days and nights based on the Sun. They
depended on the Moon for their dates and months. The word month is derived
from ‘Moon’. The Qur’aan says “He appointed Manazil for the Moon so that
you may know the count of ages, the dates and calculations”. (10:5)
pagans have invented another system of calculating the passage of time
excluding the Moon. It was based on the change of seasons. They too agree
to have 12 months for a year. As the Sun took 365 or 366 days to travel
from equinox to equinox they fixed the months with the arbitrary dates of
30 or 31.
and lunar calendars differ by 10-11 days in a year. Occasional adjustments
were made so that both could be unified and this has created a lot of
confusion in the time keeping of the olden days and we are unable to find
out the exact days on which the events had occurred in the past history.
Allah (swt) orders us to be scrupulous in all matters so that we may avoid
Jews had invented the artificial lunar calendar long before. This was in
vogue in Arabia at the time of the Prophet (saw). In it the 12 months of 30
or 29 days alternated in a regular sequence. Their dates did not tally with
the phases of the Moon. The dates were one or two days behind and contradicting
the statement of the Qur’aan. Their artificial lunar calendar was as
Jumadil Awwal 30
Shaban 29 Zul
Rabiul Awwal 30
30 Zul Hajj 29,
calendar introduced by Julius Caesar was similar to this ancient Hebrew
calendar. Julian calendar had 30 and 31 days alternating while the
Hebrew calendar had 29 and 30 days alternating. The last month got
one day extra in the leap year just as the Hebrew calendar.
of the Hebrew calendar had a fixed number of days for all the years i.e. 6
months of 30 days and 6 months of 29 days. Thus the year got 354days only.
But according to the moon’s Movement some years could have 355 days. So the
calendar needed occasional adjustments to keep it in step with the Moon.
Introducing the leap years in which Zul Hajj, the last month got 30 days
did this. In Julian calendar every 4th year is a leap year. But in
the Jewish calendar the leap year is fixed by some other calculation.
Even this system is not free from error. It accumulates an error of
one day in 2000 years. In Julian calendar the accumulated error
amounts to one day in 127 years. In Christian calendar dropping one
day once in 4 centuries eliminates this. Even then it does not become
free of error. Islam follows the natural calendar and there is no
error at all in it.
Gregorian calendar, which is now in use all over the world, has a very
interesting history. The Emperor Julius Caesar first introduced it in Rome
in 46 BC. The priests controlled the Roman calendar and the dates were
changed according to their whims. Julius Caesar who was a very ingenious
person thought of reforming their calendar. He studied the calendars of
Egypt and Babylonia and made a calendar based on the change of seasons. He
banned the lunar calendar and ordered them to use the new solar calendar.
details of that calendar are given below.
February 29 -
year had 365 or 366 days. They had a leap year once in 4 years. February,
which has 29 days, got 30 days in the leap year. The leap year was
necessary in order to adjust with the Sun. People were not aware that the
Earth is like a ball, which went round the Sun while spinning on its
slanted axis. They thought that the day is exactly 24 hours and calculated
accordingly. They did not know at that time that the days of the week would
go out of step from their artificial dates in the long run and that their
calendar would need adjustments later by removing days from it! They
thought that their year is exactly 365.25 days. Later on, people learnt
that the Earth perambulated the Sun and the time taken was about 365.2422
days. (365 days 5 hours 48 minutes and 46 seconds) They took this as the
measure for the year.
Caesar became the Emperor after Julius Caesar. In 8 BC, he ordered to
reform the calendar. August, named after him had 30 days. Now he wanted to
give it 31 days. When August got 31 days, the number of days in the year
increased and one day had to be removed. Thus February got 28 days instead
of 29 of the previous calendar. Now July, August and September got 31 days
consecutively and a change in the following months from September was
necessary. Thus the number of dates in those months was changed in the
following manner. September 30, October 31, November 30 and December 31.
This order is followed even now. This calendar is known as the Julian calendar.
Christians adopted this Julian calendar. They called it Anno Domini. They
calculated the years before and after Christ and called BC and AD. At that
time they did not know the value of zero and the count began from one. This
calendar continued to be in use till the time of Pope Gregory xiii. It was
noticed that the Sun had not reached the place where it should be at the
time of Easter celebration. Their calendar had gained about 10 days. If the
error was not corrected the months would shift their place in course of
time. Then it would no longer be a solar calendar. A solar calendar must go
with the Sun.
1582 AD Pope Gregory ordered to remove 10 days from the calendar. The
people who slept on 4th woke up on the 15th! They had the wonderful experience
of losing 10 days of their life! A strategy to avoid such an occurrence
again was invented. They decided not to have the leap year for century
years unless divisible by 400. This calendar was christened as the
Gregorian calendar. The rules of calculation for the Julian and Gregorian
periods are different. Even with all these adjustments it will not be
possible to find out a day on which an incident has occurred 10 thousand
years ago. The day would have gone out of step. We are at a loss to find out
exactly on what day Lord Jesus was born! The recorded date and day would
not tally with what we get by calculation and we are left in the dark.
use a defective dating system for recording the historic events it will
create confusion for the posterity. So people need a dating system that
will be free of errors for all time.
creator of this world, the Supreme God Almighty Allah (swt) had sent many
prophets to guide mankind to the truth. They lived in different parts of
the world at different times in history and conveyed the message of God to
their people. The Qur’aan is the last of the scriptures revealed to the
final Prophet Muhammad (saw). The Qur’aan claims that everything is
explained in it and invites people to do research and find out the treasures
hidden in it. The Qur’aan says, “The example of those whom the previous
scriptures were given was that of Asses carrying books”. The Qur’aan
requests us to recite it often and try to understand the meanings by using
our intelligence. It wants us to practice the injunctions in our day-to-day
life in this world instead of preserving it in closed places. The Qur’aan
also informs us that Muhammad (saw) is the last Prophet sent to all mankind
and that the Qur’aan is for all.
can we ponder upon the Ayahs of the Qur’aan if we could read it but without
knowing the meaning? We can easily see that we cannot understand the
meanings of the verses without learning its language. This means that all
people must learn the language of the Qur’aan and this would provide them a
common language, which is inevitable for the people to know each other and
strengthen their brotherhood in this world.
reading a translation it will not be possible to grasp the different shades
of the meanings contained in the Ayahs of the Qur’aan. We know what happens
when a language is translated into another. Sometimes the whole idea gets
changed. A translation is only a production of the translator. It cannot be
the Qur’aan the Book of Allah (swt). It may be asked how all people can learn
the language of the Qur’aan? We learn many foreign languages for achieving
our material ends. So we must learn the language of the Qur’aan, which is
so important for our guidance in this world and the hereafter. We should
not become among the heedless. The Qur’aan says about such people:
“Certainly, We have created many Jinns and human beings for hell; those are
the ones who have hearts with which they do not understand, they have eyes
with which they do not see, they have ears with which they do not hear.
They are like animals- or even worse than them, because they are those who
are heedless”. (7:179)
does the Qur’aan, the last book of Allah say about calculating the passage
of our time, which is very important for us? Let us see what the last Prophet
(saw) said about it and think over it.
believers! Obey Allah and obey the Rasool and those charged with authority
among you. Should you have a dispute in anything, refer it to Allah and His
Rasool, if you truly believe in Allah and the Last Day. This course of
action will be better and more suitable”. (4:59)
was not dropped down from Heaven all of a sudden. It was brought down piece
by piece by Gibreel (Alaihissalam) to the Prophet (saw). Once when the
Prophet (saw) was meditating in the cave of Hira, Gibreel (Alaihissalam)
appeared with the verses of the Qur’aan. “Read in the name of thy Lord who
created, created man from ‘alaq’. Read and thy Lord is the noblest, who
taught through the pen. He taught man what he did not know.”(96: 1-5) These
very first verses of the Qur’aan invite us to read and write. The Prophet
(saw) had not studied anything till that time. He was 40 years old. He had
neither read nor written anything. Now Allah (swt) orders him to learn. The
Qur’aan says, “The mighty one in power taught him” (53:5). The common
belief that the Prophet (saw) was a mere illiterate contradicts this
statement of the Qur’aan. Muhammad (saw) was not a man who talked like a
parrot without understanding the meaning. It is reported in the Hadith that
he once said, “If you knew what I know you will often cry and seldom
laugh”. We can estimate the depth of his knowledge from this Hadith. There
are individuals who can copy pages after glancing at them only once without
seeing them again. Then how can we believe that the Prophet (saw) who was
the most superior of the Homo sapiens was devoid of such qualities? The
Qur’aan says about him. (saw) “Surely you are of the highest noble
come back to our subject. The Qur’aan speaks about the dates required for
calculating the passage of our time in the verse 2:189. It reads: “They ask
you about the phases of the Moon. Tell they are dates for the people and
the pilgrimage”. (2:189)
the Prophet (saw) began to receive the revelations of the Qur’aan and
proclaim it the dis-believers persecuted him and his followers so much that
they were at last compelled to leave their homes after 13 years of
suffering. At that time there were Jews and Christians living with the
native pagans at the city called Yathrib. They used to visit Makkah during
the Hajj Pilgrimage. The Prophet (saw) used to meet them on such occasions
and deliver the message of Islam to them. They liked his teachings and
accepted his admonition. They had established relations with the Prophet
(saw). They wanted him to come to their town and the Prophet (saw) awaited
permission from Allah (swt). When the persecution reached the climax Allah
(swt) ordered him to depart. The Prophet (saw) escaped from the enemies who
surrounded his house unharmed and fled to Yathrib. He reached there in the
middle of Rabiul Awwal. It was after the Prophet’s (saw) arrival there that
the city got the name Medina, meaning the city of the Prophet (saw).
customs and culture of the people of Medina were mostly that of the people
of the Book. When the Prophet (saw) saw people fasting on the 10th of
Muharram he enquired the reason for it. He was told that it was in
commemoration of the escape of the Moses from the tyranny of Pharaoh. The
Prophet (saw) told them that they were also close to Moses and his people;
they too would observe fasting on that day.
understand from this that they followed the customs of the people of the
book, which included the practice of the lunar calendar also. The
Christians used their solar calendar. But Arabic names of their 12 months
differed from what we had explained before.
religion of Islam is straightforward. It does not entertain any
crookedness. So Islam recommended for the use of mankind the natural
calendar, which is free from any error. The Prophet (saw) who was the
teacher for the world gave instructions to make the calendar natural and
scientific so that people could calculate and find out any date or day
without a mistake by scientific calculations. The instructions for
the calendar are found in the sayings of the Prophet (saw) regarding the
month of Ramadan in which the Qur’aan was revealed and Allah (swt) has
ordered the people to fast and practice endurance in this great month.
followers of the Prophet (saw) started living as a different community
after his arrival at Medina. It grew as a new social set up. No
sooner than he arrived at Medina mosques were built for communal prayers
and gatherings. A method of calling for prayers was found out.
Though the others used bugles, horns or bells for the purpose, Islam did
not choose them. The call for prayer is announced with a melodious
voice that conveys the meaningful message to the listeners. This call
would certainly generate waves of awakening in a living mind.
system of Islam
names of the months that were in vogue during the Prophet’s time were
adopted for the Islamic calendar. The Prophet (saw) did not change
the names or the order of the months.
birth of the Prophet (saw), his migration to Medina and his demise took
place in the middle of Rabiul Awwal. But the years of the Islamic
calendar do not begin with Rabiul Awwal. The ancient order of the
months was retained according to the instructions of the Prophet (saw) and
the years begin with Muharram in the Islamic calendar also. Omar®
instituted the calendar in 17H when the need arose. It was called the
second year of the Hijra compulsory fasting of the month of Ramadan was prescribed
for the believers. The Qur’aan says:” Oh believers, the fasting is
prescribed for you just as it was prescribed to those before you, so that
you may ward of evil; a fixed number of days. Those of you who are ill or
on a journey, shall fast the equal number of days in another month”. (2:
183-185) In the next verse it is explained that this period of
fasting is the month of Ramadan in which the Qur’aan was revealed.
that time, the Prophet (saw) did not explain anything about the rules of
the month or the mode of fasting. Naturally the believers would fast
according to the previous custom, which was in vogue in their land. Their
calendar had affixed number of days for all months, 30 and 29 alternating.
Always their Shaban had 29 days and Ramadan 30 days. They would naturally
begin Ramadan after the 29th of Shaban! They had long forgotten the method
of observing the Hilal and fixing the months based on it. They had adopted
the artificial lunar calendar of the Jews in which observing the Hilal was not
necessary. One day of Shaban getting into Ramadan or Ramadan into Shawwal
was not a matter of concern for them.
is scrupulous. Allah has ordered to fast in the month of Ramadan. The
Qur’aan has already explained that the Moon governs the months. The clouds
or people do no have any authority to change their predetermined dates. The
months begin when the Hilal appears after traversing the Manazil appointed
for the Moon around the Earth. It may be sometimes 30 or sometimes 29 solar
days just as the Prophet (saw) had informed. The Moon’s movement does not
give 30 or 29 days for any particular month. It would always vary. If
Ramadan began after 29th of Shabn, as they were wont to do, the next day
may not be of Ramadan, but the 30th of Shaban, according to the Moon! Allah
has not forbidden eating on the 30th of Shaban. If people forbade eating on
that day they would violate the limits of Allah. So Shaban and Ramadan must
be distinguished carefully.
did not know the laws of the Moon or the calculations to predict the
months. The only means they knew to distinguish the month was observing the
Hilals or Ahillah. So the Prophet (saw) said: “Do not fast without
observing the Hilal and do not celebrate the Eidul-fitre without observing
it”. Their Ramadan had always 30 days irrespective of the Moon’s position.
The Prophet (saw) instructed: “Fast at it’s appearing, if it becomes
dubious complete 30 days”. He has also said, “Estimate it” according to
the Qur’aan and all the Hadiths that have come down to us we learn that the
months should be measured depending upon the Manazil of the Moon. The
Prophet (saw) did not recommend the artificial dates of the Jewish or the
Christian calendars. Islam is the Natural religion and Islam orders the
people to use the Natural dates scrupulously in their affairs.
people of the Prophet’s (saw) time did not know the movements of the Moon.
They did not even know how the Moon waxed and wanted. They could not
foretell the dates of a month before it began. Their movements too were
restricted and it was enough for them if they knew the dates after the
month began. They had no hasty programs like us. The Prophet (saw) told
them “We are Ummies. We do not write or record. Our month is like this and
like that, meaning 29 or 30. Fast at the appearing of the Hilal and
celebrate Eid at its appearing”.
ordered to see whether the Hilal appeared on the 29th. If it did not appear
on the 29th evening the month begins after completing 30 days for the out-going
month. When 30 days are completed it is nor necessary to see the Hilal once
again. The next month begins irrespective of the Hilal. These instructions
of the Prophet (saw) issued in connection with the fixing of Ramadan for
observing the compulsory fasting apply to all months. In the Islamic
Shariah the months begin with the appearing of the Hilal. The months do not
begin after seeing the crescent with the naked eyes as generally believed.
way the people fix the period of Ramadan in our times is quite wrong and
un-Islamic. It is the result of misinterpreting the Qur’aan and the sayings
of the Prophet (saw) who had ordered to look for the appearing of the Hilal
on the 29th of Shaban. If the 29th goes wrong certainly the Ramadan will go
wrong. The 29th of Shaban is fixed according to the whims of the people.
Different towns have different dates for Shaban! They look for the Hilal on
different days and they believe that it is the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw).
The first Hilal is not visible now a day. If it were overcast and
cloudy even the second would not be visible. Thus we always begin the
fasting on the second or third of Ramadan. Is this what Allah (swt) has
commanded in His Book? Is this what the Prophet (saw) taught? Those who
argue that Hilal must be visible to the naked eyes before beginning the
fast of Ramadan must see the Hilal with their own eyes without depending on
others and answer this question. Certainly this is not the way of the
Prophet (saw) and the followers. This is a Bid’ah that the people have
invented. The Prophet (saw): “One who invents new things in this affair of
ours which is not from it should be avoided.”
Qur’aan says: “Certainly the number of months with Allah is twelve ever
since He created the Heavens and the Earth. Of these, four are sacred. That
is the right religion. And do not do injustice to yourselves in them, but
just as the disbelievers fight you all together, you too fight them all
together and know that Allah is with those who fear Him”. (9:36)
understand from this that Allah (swt) had determined the months and dates
at the time of creating the world. Days, dates months, all these are sacred
and inviolable. It is reported in the Hadith that during the Hajjathul Wida
the Prophet (saw) addressed a gathering of more than a lakh of people and
explained about the inviolability of Days and Months. He named the four
sacred months mentioned in the above Ayah of the Qur’aan as Zul Qaid, Zul
Hajj, Muharram and Rajab. The Qur’aan says that 4 months are sacred without
giving their names. So without the Prophet (saw) we cannot explain the
Qur’aan. We know through tradition that these four months were sacred from
time immemorial and the Prophet (saw) retained it just as he retained the
names of the days and months, and their order.
Prophet (saw) in his address to the gathering at the Hajjathul wida said:
“Time has rotated and come like the Day when the Heavens and the Earth were
created”. Then he asked the people “What Day is today?” Thinking that he
was going to change the names of the Days they kept quiet. When he
repeatedly asked they replied: “Allah and His Rasool know better.”
Then he said: “It is the same day as you regard it. O people, just as you
regard this month, this day, and this city as sacred, so regard the life,
the property and prestige of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the
goods entrusted! All those who listen to me shall pass my words to other
and those to others again; and may be the last ones understand my words
better than those who listen to me now directly. Be my witness, Oh Allah
that I have conveyed your message to your people”.
was a Friday. It was the 10th of Zul Hajj of 10H. We have known this
correct date from the Messenger of Allah. Now we can calculate the other
dates from this basic date, which is milestone in history, either backwards
or forwards up to infinity by using the laws that govern the Sun and the
Moon. We can see that a date calculated based on the phases of the Moon
tally with the recorded day of the week even after the lapse of thousands
of years! Lunar dates go hand in hand with the days.
is possible only because the Sun, the Moon and the Earth, which indicate
the passage of our time, move with precision under Allah’s control. To day
we can calculate and say the exact day and date on which an eclipse took
place during the time of the Prophet (saw) about 1400 years ago and we can
predict the day and date on which an eclipse will take place again after
1400 years from now. This was not possible to the Arabs of the Prophet’s
time. To say that we should not calculate because they could not do it in
the past would be foolishness and superstition.
be asked, how can we do or know what the Messenger and the Sahaba did not
do or know. From the following narration we can understand that things are
not like that. Today we do so may things, which they could not even dream
when the Prophet (saw) saw people pollinating the date palms he remarked,
“Even if people do not do these things, the trees that bear will bear
fruit”. The people around him thought that the Prophet (saw) disliked their
work. The next year they did not do it. As a result there was tremendous
fall in the yield. They came to the Prophet (saw) and complained that they
had stopped pollination on hearing his remark and that the yield had come
down. The Prophet (saw) replied: “You have more knowledge in these worldly
affairs of yours”.
understand from this that in worldly matters like farming or calculating
the months and dates, we can have more knowledge than those who went
before. We must think and use our intelligence instead of blindly following
the footsteps of our fore- fathers. The Qur’aan condemns blind following.
Those who lived a hundred years ago did not enjoy the facilities that we
have today. They had no telecommunication. They had no airbuses by which
people could reach far away places in quick time. They lived in isolation.
could not calculate their time, months and dates exactly. Under such
circumstances difference in beginning the fasting or celebrating the Eid is
not a matter of concern. They did not do it purposely. They cannot be
blamed for it and they will not be questioned. But our case is different.
We differ in the months, dates and celebrations deliberately. We have
facilities to communicate, we know how to calculate, we keep records and we
have instruments to measure exactly, but we do not use them. Our action is
foolishness and it can be likened to that of a man who fumbles in the dark,
without using the torch that is in the hand. Who is to blame if he falls in
years have passed since the Qur’aan was revealed and the Prophet (saw)
explained it in clear words. The Muslims are the torchbearers and they
should guide the others. But even today we dispute among ourselves
regarding the onset and end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. The Eids
that should bring amity, harmony and brotherhood often end in quarrels and
riots because of the indefinite nature of the celebration. Is this not
against the spirit of Islam? Is this not due to our ignorance of the
Qur’aan and Sunnah?
examination of the past history reveals that during the last 50 years the
fasting in India did not begin on the right day. People may get annoyed
when they hear this. How ever bitter it may be this is the fact and the
facts should not be hidden. The Prophet (saw) said: “Tell the truth even if
it is bitter”.
is no room for doubts in the clear Shariah of Islam in the matter of fixing
the months. Allah (swt) had fixed every month to begin on a particular day
of the week on the very day He created the Heavens and the Earth. He has
made the Sun and the Moon subservient to us so that we may calculate and
find out the beginnings of our months.
people of the Prophet’s time did not know how to calculate the prayer times
shown by the Sun’s angle and the dates shown by the Moon’s angle. They
relied upon the methods of naked eye observation of the Sun and Moon in
order to know the prayer times and the important dates. They did not have
the instruments to measure them accurately as we do today.
historic events prove that they did not go wrong in fixing their dates. A
thousand years ago the atmosphere was not polluted like the present day. We
burn too much of fuels and release the smoke into the sky. In their clear
sky it was easy and convenient for them to see the Hilals (Ahillah) to
begin the months. But today things have changed and it has become a
difficult affair because of our busy life and the innovations made in the
method of observation. We have no time to look at the Hilals every day as
they did. We look for the Hilal occasionally for Ramadan, Shawwal and Zul
hajj only. We depend on false Hijra calendars to know the 29th and see
whether we can view the Hilal on that day when the moon sets after 16
minutes of the sunset in our horizon.
We do not bother about the other months or dates. We have abandoned the
Islamic dates. Instead we use the Gregorian dates for our day-to-day needs.
As a result we look for the Hilal often on the wrong day depending on the
false lunar calendars made by non-Muslims. All these innovations mislead us
from the true religion, but we do not know.
False Hijra calendars are printed in tons every year by non-Muslims. The
Muslims purchase them and display them in their houses, mosques and shops.
If the Shariah forbids publishing of calendars in advance, certainly the
concerned authorities would ban it. We fix dates of our programs in advance
and perform our duties according to the fixed dates. This is not forbidden
in Islam. When we do things according to the calendars they must be
correct. They should be published with the certificate of the concerned
authorities. Fixing a date in advance for an important function like a
marriage or other programs and changing the day all of a sudden will create
confusion for the people and the Shariah would not allow it. Then how can
we postpone a date of the calendar, which is an inter-national affair?
Islam does not allow such things. The Qur’aan says: “Certainly transporting
is an addition to the disbelief”. (9:37) Changing a Month or a Day is not
allowed in the Shariah.
the promise and observing punctuality are compulsory for a Muslim. So
Muslims should never change their printed and published dates. The date of
the Hajj is calculated and fixed at least one year ago and published in the
calendars. When the time comes this date is changed into another day all of
a sudden. This is what we often experience. This type of fooling the people
reminds us about the ‘April Fool’ of the other communities. Such things are
not worthy of Islam and Muslims. This uncertainty, which we create in the
Islamic dates, has rendered the Islamic calendar useless. It serves only as
a laughing stock now.
made me think about the Islamic calendar?
started thinking about the difference that existed in the Eid festivals of
Kerala and the Island of Minicoy in 1960s. I belong to Minicoy Island in
Lakshadweep. Before 1956 the only means of transport from Kerala to the Islands
which lay about 200 miles away from the coast of Kerala was the sailing
vessel and the voyages took more than a week! We knew very well that the
Day did not change between the Islands and Kerala. They have the same Day.
we come to the mainland after an Eid in the Island we enquire about the Day
on which they observed the Eid in Kerala. There was a difference. I used to
wonder how there could be a difference in the Day of Eid in Kerala and
Lakshadweep. The Prophet (saw) had forbidden fasting on the Day of Eid and
if the Day differed people may fast on the Eid Days and the words of the
Prophet (saw) would become meaningless! This was unbearable to me. But
people told us that it was like that always. I was not satisfied with their
service, which began as a part of the development program of the Islands in
1956, brought the Islands more in touch with the mainland. The Islanders
got the news of daily happenings of the mainland through telecommunication.
They could talk to people in the mainland through telephone. They were no
more cut off from the mainland even in the monsoon when the boats could not
sail due to the rough sea.
unhappy incident that took place in 1965 made me worry about the difference
of Eid of Kerala and the Islands. After the Eidul Fitre of that year, the
Administrator of the Islands departed for the Islands in the ship, which
sailed from Calicut after the Eid celebration. When he reached an island on
the next day he was surprised to see that the boats from the Island did not
come to the ship to receive him as usual. The Islanders were celebrating
their Eid after the fasting of Ramadan! How could they come to the ship?
The Administrator was sorry; he did not know that there would be another
Eid on that day because he left Calicut after the Eid celebration!
Communities observe their festivals on the same Day everywhere.
ordered the captain to sail the ship to Minicoy. He was running out of his
time. The ship had to return according to the schedule to Calicut and then
to Bombay for dry-docking for the annual maintenance work of the ship. Late
in the evening when the ship reached Minicoy, he learnt through
walkie-talkie that the people of Minicoy were preparing for their Eid on
the morrow. People would not work and he would not be able to return to the
mainland in time. So he summoned the 9 Mooppans of Minicoy to the ship to
discuss and take a decision about the unloading of the cargo, which he has
brought for the Islanders.
first the Mooppans were reluctant, but after the Administrator’s request to
unload their own requirements which he had brought, the Moopan of the
Wahabi movement of Minicoy agreed to unload the cargo after the Eid prayer
which will be over by 9AM. They returned to the Island after the discussion
late at night.
people of the other group did not like the decision of the Wahabi Moopan
even though all Moopans had agreed in front of the Administrator. They
thought that the Wahabis were going out of the way in everything. They
wanted to teach them a lesson. They planned and lodged a treacherous
complaint with the police against the Khatheeb of the Wahabi mosque and he
was summoned to the police station. When the police came to take him the
Khatheeb was on the pulpit delivering the sermon of the Eid prayer. The
police had to wait till he came out after the prayer.
people of Minicoy have a custom of a joint feasting after the Eid prayer.
The nine villages conduct the feast separately. The men bring the
provisions and the women prepare the food. On this happy occasion when they
were preparing to eat, the police took away their Khatheeb to the police
station. Some hefty fellows followed them and waited outside the police
the questioning the police behaved rudely and beat the Katheeb. The
companions waiting outside could not bear. One of them pulled the gun of
the watchman at the door. In his rage he dashed the gun on his knee and
broke it into pieces. In the pandemonium that followed the Khatheeb found
his way to the crowd in his village. They have not even washed their hands
after the feast when they heard the unhappy news at the police station. In
a moment all were in front of Minicoy police station, which had only five
first the people of the Wahabi group only were standing near the police
station. In half an hour the rumor that the police have beaten the Khatheeb
spread throughout the Island and people from all villages joined the group
standing there. Now they were at a common cause. They forgot all their
differences for the time being. They were sanctifying Allah chanting the
Thakbeer of the Eid Day. They were celebrating their Eid in front of the
Administrator was now in the Dak Bungalow situated near the police station.
The Islanders surrounded the Dak Bungalow. Administrator Mr. Ramunni had
served in the Nagaland. He knew the psychology of the Islanders who were
similar to them. He knew very well that the Islanders were a harmless
people who did not even harpoon their fishes. Ramunni wanted to come out
and calm the crowd. But the officials prevented him lest some untoward
incident may happen. The frightened mainland officials around him thought
that the Islanders would attack and finish them. What could five policemen
do with the crowd? One gun was broken into pieces in front of them. They
judged the Islanders with their experience of the mainland Maplas.
Islanders did not retreat even for their food or prayers. They performed
the prayers and chanted the Thakbeer in the open air in front of the
Bungalow. The mainland officials grew more and more panicky. In the
meantime the Administrator managed to send a telegram to mainland
requesting immediate assistance. Within eight hours a warship fully
equipped with armed forces to deal with the situation reached the Island.
sight of the warship the crowd dispersed and the people went to their
houses. The place became calm and quiet. The armed troupes with all
paraphernalia and their commanders in full-fledged suits landed the shore
in their boats. They marched towards the Dak Bungalow and met the
Administrator. They felt they were fooled. The place looked as if nothing
had happened. Even the weak fencing of the Dak was intact. The angry
commander enquired why they were called for. Poor Administrator had to
arrest some 300 Islanders to justify his position. A case was lodged
root cause of this notorious incident is the indefinite nature that we have
made of the Eid festivals of Islam. Every thing in Islam is in perfect
order. I had to spend a lot of time to study and find out whether the
perfect Islamic Shariah could contain such an indefinite ritual, which
could create confusion and disharmony among the people. Are the festivals
celebrated without fixing the date in advance? Are the festivals of Islam
to be celebrated in the way we do it now? I wrote letters to the world
Ulema and organizations. I examined many books and Fatwas on the subject. I
got clear evidence that the Islamic Shariah does not forbid calculating and
fixing the Day of Eid in advance.
Islamic dates are definite and the calendars could be drawn thousands of
years in advance by using the lunar calculations. The dates and days of Eid
could be fixed well in advance and the concerned authorities could
communicate the message all over the world at the appropriate time. Islam
allows calculating and fixing the prayer times indicated by the Sun’s angle
and making calendars in advance. We use the watches made with calculations
to know it. Then how could Islam forbid the use of calendars, which too are
made with calculations of the Moon’s angles that show us the dates? The
Qur’aan says: “The Sun and Moon are with calculations” (55:5). If the
calculations of the Sun are allowed the calculations of the Moon also should
be allowed. I request the Ulema to issue a Fatwa on the subject without
lays great stress in observing punctuality. The prayers have to be
performed at stipulated times. Jumu’a has to be performed on Friday at
noon. It cannot be postponed to another day or time. The canonical prayers
cannot be postponed. Thus Islam lays great stress on keeping time, days and
dates. The compulsory fasting has to commence on the first on Ramadan. The
Eidul Fitre has to be celebrated on the first of Shawwal. The Day of Arafat
must be observed on the 9th and the Youmunnahar or Eidul Adha on the 10th
of Zul Hajj. New Year day is on the first and the Ashura on the 10th of
Muharram. From this list of religious observances we can see how important
the dates are in the Islamic calendar.
is a date?
stands for a day. Allah has given us seven days, which repeat and we call
it a week. The Sun indicates the days and nights. A day and night or from
sunrise to sunrise make a Day. Day is bright and night is dark. We use
numbers from one to twenty nine or thirty to mark these days of the week in
an extended period of months. These are called dates. A date cannot mark
two days. So day and date are same and both must change simultaneously at a
convenient place on the Earth and must be common for all. There are
different types of days just as there are different types of months and
years. Day and night alternate because of the spinning of the Earth. From
sunrise to sunrise is a solar day. From star rise to star rise is a sideral
day. From moonrise to moonrise is a lunar day. All these have different
measures. The Islamic Shariah recognizes the solar day as the measure of a
In all calendars one date stands for one day. The dates of the month
represent the days of the week, which are common for all. So the dates too
must be common. Let us examine a date of the Christian calendar, which is
quite familiar to us and see what we can understand from it. India got
freedom on 15/08/1947. The figure 1947 represents the number of years
passed after Christ when India got freedom. The figure 8 stands for the
month of August of the Christian calendar and 15 stands for the day of the
week on which the incident took place. By calculating with the rules of
Christian calendar we know that the date 15 stands for a Friday. If we
cannot find out the correct Day for a recorded date of the past event by
calculations, then such a calendar becomes useless. It does not serve the
date 15-08-1947 denotes Friday at all cities, towns and villages in the
world. In America, Africa, Asia. Australia and everywhere in the world
15/08/1947 denotes Friday.16-08-1947 denotes Saturday and 14-08-1947
denotes Thursday. Anyone with common sense understands this. The rule is
that all calendars should have same date and day everywhere in the world.
All of us know that Calicut, Trivandrum, Mangalore, Madras, and
Lakshadweep, all have the same day. All of them pray the Jumu’a prayer on
Friday. The Jumu’a prayers teach us the principle that day and date must be
common for all. If Friday is the first at any town, all towns should have
the first as their date. This means that date and day must be same
everywhere in the world.
is a month?
(swt) has given us twelve months, which repeat and we call it a year. The
Moon indicates the months. A month is the time taken by the Moon to go
round the Earth. It is measured with the Sun as the reference point. The
period from the appearing of the Moon to the next appearing measured with
the solar days is month. The nights of the first half of the month is
bright and the second half is dark. A lunar month has 29 or 30 days. There
are different types of months just as there are different types of days.
position of the Sun in a constellation of the Zodiac marks the solar month.
This has 31 or 30 days alternating with leap years to adjust with the Sun.
29 or 30 days depending on the phases of the Moon marks a natural lunar
month. 30 or 29 alternating and with the leap years to adjust with the moon
is the artificial lunar month. A solar-based calendar gives no role for the
Moon. The Islamic Shariah does not allow the use of artificial dates of a
lunar or a solar calendar. Allah (swt) orders the people to use the simple
natural lunar months and dates. (2:189).
have been quarrelling over our dates for more than a thousand years without
understanding the instructions of Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw).
Allah (swt) has given us a very clear Book and the Prophet (saw) has explained
it. But still we do not understand it because we do not use our
intelligence. We want to follow the Sheikhs who have gone before. We have
become their worshippers. This is the Shirk which Allah (swt) has forbidden
and which He will never forgive. Let us sit down and think about the Shirk
of changing the Eid days to other days than what Allah (swt) has fixed for
giving below the recorded dates of the Christian and Islamic calendars for
the past 5 years from 1993 to 1997 AD and 1413 to 1417 AH for your study.
You will see that we are making a great blunder by having different dates
for the same day.
New Delhi Wednesday
Tamil Nadu Thursday
glance at the data given above reveals a basic mistake in the Hijra dates.
The dates of 4 distant places are given in the schedule chosen for the
study. All of us know that the days are same at all these places. It will
not be difficult for anyone to know that the dates which represent the days
also must be common everywhere. Then what is wrong with us? Are we told
that the Prophet (saw) has taught like that? How the Prophet (saw) of Allah
(swt) the All-knowing could make such a blunder? Those who utter such words
with their mouths should find their place in the fire of the Hell.
Certainly the Prophet (saw) has not said like that.
Christian dates given in the schedule are uniform and correct. The Hijra
dates supposed to be based on the teachings of the Prophet of Allah SWT
have no uniformity! They are wrong and not practicable in this world!
Certainly the Prophet (saw) has not taught the people wrong things. The
Qur’aan says: “Tell, this is my way, I call to Allah, my followers and I
are on the right path and Allah is sanctified. I am not of those who
attribute partnership with Allah.” All our good works will be gone if we
admit such Shirk and change His fixed Days every year and commit this great
sin by obeying our leaders against the orders of Allah (swt).
to 4 the Hijra dates are different at three places. In 5 only two places
have different dates. How could this happen? This means that the Muslims
are careless about their own of religion. They are heedless. If the Muslims
argue that the Prophet (saw) who is appointed to guide the world to the
truth has taught such baseless things, how will the people accept him as
their guide? He has certainly explained every thing clearly and all people
who were present at Hajjathul wida bore witness that the Prophet (saw) has
conveyed the Message of Allah (swt). We cannot escape.
basis of the Hijra calendar, which is the Islamic calendar, is the Moon.
One cycle of the Moon around the Earth measured with the Sun as the
reference point, marks its months. The Manazil or phases of the Moon mark
the dates, which may be 29 or 30 solar days depending on the duration of
the Moon’s cycle. The phases (Ahillah) are related to the Manazil
(positions) of the Moon. It will be seen that a change in the position of
the Moon in relation to the Sun alters the phase according to the angular
distance between the Sun and the Moon observed from the Earth. The Qur’aan
explains this in the chapter Yaseen called the heart of the Qur’aan. “And
for the Moon we have appointed Manazil (positions) till it returned like
the old ‘Urjoon’ (withered date stalk).” (36:39).
Earth, our home has only one moon. The Earth perambulates the Sun and the
Moon perambulates the Earth. There are other objects also like the Earth
that perambulates the Sun. We know eight of them excluding the Earth, five
of these can be seen by the naked eye. They are called planets. The other
planets too have Moons. These moons are known as Satellites. The Qur’aan
says that all these heavenly bodies float in their orbits under precise
calculations. “The Sun, it is not possible for it to catch the Moon and the
night is not the forerunner of the day and everything floats in an orbit.”
(36:40) we too perambulate the Ka’aba, the Centre of Islam just as the
planets go round the Sun anticlockwise!
the same Moon from the Earth. The moons and the planets do not glow by
themselves like the Sun, which is a star. They reflect the Sun’s light that
falls on it. We begin the count of the Moon’s cycle around the earth when
the moon comes just straight to the sun and when it comes again to this
position we count one month. The Sun’s light falls on the opposite side
which is straight to the Sun. The lighted side is not seen in this position
to those who are straight to the sun. This is known as the new moon.
is a difference of about 5 degrees in the plain of the Moon’s orbit, so the
shadow of the Moon does not fall on the Earth at the end of every cycle
(month). Only when the crossing coincides in a line with the end of the
cycle the shadow falls on the Earth and the Earth experiences a solar
eclipse. Since all these bodies are moving continuously this position
changes almost in a moment and a small portion of the lighted part of the
Moon must appear to the Earth. This is the first visible Hilal, which is
just like the ‘Urjoon al qadeem’ .which is seen in the eastern horizon one
day before the end of the month. Qur’aan does not use the word
‘Hilal’. (See the diagram).
birth of the new moon can be likened to the birth of a child. This happens
in a moment. But the people see it after a long time depending on the
position, atmosphere, weather and any other factors. This seeing may differ
from place to place age-to-age and man-to-man. This seeing cannot be used
for measuring the month or the predestined cycle of the Moon. The basic
principle that defines the month is the measure of the cycle of the Moon.
The month should be 29 or 30 days according to the Manazil of the moon as
per the instructions of the Prophet (saw).
Arabs at the time of the Prophet (saw) were using the artificial lunar
calendar, which too had 30 or 29 days alternating for the months, but the
dates did not tally with the Ahillah (phases) of the Moon. So the Prophet
(saw) ordered to look for the appearing of the Hilal to make the dates
tally with the phases of the Moon. It is reported that the Prophet (saw)
said: “Fast at the appearing of the Hilal and celebrate Eid at its
appearing, if it is doubtful, then calculate or complete 30”. He also said:
“If two Muslims witnessed begin the fasting or celebrate Eid”. From these
instructions of the Prophet (saw) and the Ayahs of the Qur’aan, the lmams
have derived the laws to fix the months of the Islamic calendar. Seeing the
Hilal on the 29th or completion of 30 days is the rule given in the Books
of Jurisprudence for defining a month in the Islamic Shariah. We can
understand from this that the 29th should not differ anywhere in the world.
have now seen that the dates of the Hijra calendar used by people are not
based on the Moon’s phase. The dates recorded for five years tell us that
the Hijra dates given in them are not correct. Those who argue that the
months would change only after the Hilal is seen to the naked eye should
prove that the Hijra dates given in the schedule agree with the Book of
Allah (swt) and the guidance of the Prophet (saw). They will not be able to
prove it because Allah’s Book does not contain errors. The Prophet (saw)
did not teach wrong things. Those who mislead people with their ignorance
and compel them to celebrate Eid on different days should be prepared to
bear the burden on the Day of Judgment. Allah informs in His Book: “That
they may bear their burdens undiminished on the Day of Resurrection, with
somewhat of the burdens of those whom they mislead without knowledge. Ah!
Evil is that which they bear!” (16:25).
Eid celebration is not a trifling matter. Islam wants to teach people how
to rejoice on a happy occasion. Even though the Jurists have categorized it
in the Sunnah it is a symbol of Islam. The Qur’aan says: “Whoever respects
the symbols of Allah that is from the fear of the hearts”. (22:32) Days and
dates also are such symbols. The Prophet (saw) had explained the
inviolability of days and dates during the Hajjathul wida. The Friday
should not be changed into another day. It is the leader of the days. So
the other days too become sacred and inviolable because of the sanctity of
Friday. Friday is the Eid that repeats once in 7 days. This is observed on
the same day all over the world. The Eid of the week teaches us that the
annual Eid also should be celebrated on one day all over the world. Then
how could the Eid ul Fitre fall on different days? We have been committing
this mistake since a long time without realizing it.
must realize that Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw) have not ordered us
to do wrong things. If the Eid falls on a Friday at some town then all
towns on the Earth should observe the Eid on Friday only. This is the right
religion. But the Satan our enemy creates confusion and makes us celebrate
the Eid on different days and we believe that it is the way taught by the
Prophet (saw). We do not realize what we are doing is a Bid’a. We must be
careful. The Qur’aan says: “He and his groups are watching you from where
you cannot see them”. (7:27) Saying that the Eid should be celebrated on
different days is fabricating a lie on Allah (swt) and His messenger. It is
a great sin, a Shirk that Allah (swt) will never forgive. The Prophet (saw)
had not given wrong instructions. “And who does greater wrong than he who
invents a lie against Allah when he is summoned unto Al-Islam. And Allah
guides not wrongdoing folk”. (61:7).
should not speak irrelevant things without knowledge. The Qur’aan warns us:
“Do not stand on which you have no knowledge. Certainly, the hearing, the
sight and the Minds, all these things will be questioned about”. (17:36)
Allah has bestowed man the intelligence. Man has learnt things by using it
and mastered all other creatures. If they do not use the intelligence they
will degrade themselves to a lower level than that of the animals.
religion of Allah (swt) is being mocked at because of the foolish attitudes
and prejudice of the leaders and the men in power. We claim that Islam is a
perfect and everlasting code of life for the people of this world. But the
dates used by the Muslims are absurd. We bear witness that Muhammad (saw)
is the Messenger of Allah and proclaim that the Prophet (saw) has not
taught anything other than what Allah (swt) has taught. Then is it Allah
(swt) who taught that the Islamic dates in Kerala and Tamil Nadu should be
different? Those who put forth such argument put the blame on Allah (swt).
They should fear Allah (swt).
who lived a hundred years ago were not aware of the discrepancy of the
Islamic dates of different places. They were not practicing the Islamic
calendar. They were using the Christian calendar for their day-to-day life.
Their movements were restricted. They did not enjoy the facilities that we
have today. Telecommunication and fast methods of transport were not
invented. But today we can see people on the other side of the Earth and
speak to them from our room. Allah (swt), the all knowing knew about these
days. Then how could his orders in the Qur’aan contradict the conditions of
today? If we say that Mangalore and Madras should celebrate Eid ul Fitre on
two different days, (Monday and Tuesday) it is due to foolishness and
ignorance, which Allah (swt) has not allowed. They begin Ramadan or
celebrate the Eid independently on different Days. The Prophet (saw) has
said: “Fasting is on the Day people fast, the Eid ul Fitre is on the Day
people observe the Eid and Hajj is on the Day people perform Hajj”. This
means that all Muslims should perform these religious rites on the Same
Day. He also said: “If two Muslims witnessed begin fasting or celebrate
Eid”. There is no need to hide these words of the Prophet (saw) or
misinterpret them in order to justify our superstitions.
lack of communication the people in those days may have celebrated the Eid
on different days without knowing. But when there is communication and
people know what is happening everywhere, it will be Haraam to do so. Those
who give Fatwas that the Eid can be celebrated differently come forward
with such arguments have a disease in their hearts. The Qur’aan says:
“There are people among men who say we believe in Allah and the last day,
but they are not believers. They cheat Allah and the believers, but only
they get cheated and they do not realize. They have a disease in their
hearts. Allah increases it. They will have a painful punishment because
they tell lies”. (2: 8-10)
hear these Ayahs of the Qur’aan very often. But they do not have any impact
on us. The hearts have hardened because of our misdeeds. The Qur’aan says:
“”Had we sent down this Qur’aan on a mountain you would see it humbling and
bursting with fright of Allah.” (2:74) we hear all these Ayahs but our
conditions do not change.
we have been celebrating the Eid on different days since our boyhood and
our fathers and forefathers too did like that, we do not feel that it is
awkward and wrong. Satan makes it appear good to us because we do not use
our intelligence. We are unable to understand and most of the people do not
bother to know about it.
think that they are not responsible and the matter is not serious. We do
not have the knowledge of Qur’aan. Even our Khateebs do not know the
meanings. If we ask them they turn us back saying that it was like that
since the Prophet’s time! There is nothing wrong in it. What can the
ordinary man do? He has no other alternative but to keep quiet. He may be a
great officer. He may be a Judge. But as long as he is ignorant in the
religion he cannot argue with the religious leaders. But Islam cannot
suffer because of the ignorance of the religious leaders. Allah (swt) will
find out a way.
Qur’aan says: “If you dispute concerning a matter, then refer it to Allah
and His Messenger” (4:59) So let us examine first the Book of Allah (swt),
and see what it says about the calendar that is so important for man in his
day to day life. We have already said that we cannot plan anything without
using a calendar. Today when we expect people from distant parts of the world
to take part in a function we must fix the dates well in advance. We cannot
fix it with the Islamic calendar in its present condition. It is impossible
because the Khazi has to fix the date after seeing the Hilal! We cannot
print the Islamic calendars in advance for a year because the seeing of the
Hilal with the naked eye is not definite! The Khazi has authority to change
the dates, as he likes. Is this the state of affairs with the calendar of
Allah (swt) given to man to mark the dates for the civil and religious
affairs of this world?
the Muslims have abandoned the calendar given by Allah (swt). They have
chosen the Christian calendar and use it for the day-to-day affairs just as
others do. No one feels bad about it. No one knows how to calculate the
dates of the Islamic calendar. Even the names of the months are forgotten.
The religious authorities cling to the Fatwas issued hundreds of years ago
and argue that calculations should not be used for computing the Islamic
calendar! They believe that Allah (swt) has ordered them not to calculate.
This is because they do not ponder over the Ayahs of the Qur’aan and do not
open their eyes and minds to understand the creation.
Allah save this community! Allah orders the people to learn the laws of religion.
The Qur’aan says: “It is not proper that the believers should go forth all
together. Therefore, why does not a group of each division stay behind so
that they may obtain the understanding of Deen (Al-Islam), and admonish the
people when they return to them so that they may refrain from un-Islamic
orders us to keep our words and promises. To say what we would not do is a
great sin. The Qur’aan says: “Oh! Believers why do you say what you would
not do?” (109:2) A Muslim should not change the fixed date. For this we
should know the correct dates in advance. This is not possible without
calculations. Then how can Allah (swt) the All-knowing forbid the use of
calculations for making the calendar? But our Alims say that calculations should
not be used to find out the appearing of the Hilal on which the dates of
the Islamic calendar depend. They believe that the Hilal can appear, as it
likes. Does not their belief contradict the Qur’aan?
Qur’aan says: “It is He who made the Sun a blazing daylight and the Moon a
shining moonlight and He appointed phases for the Moon so that you may know
the count of ages and calculations. Allah has not created this but with
purpose. He explains the Ayahs for the people who think” (10:5) this verse of
the Qur’aan clearly informs us that our dates, months and years can be
calculated. Who can forbid what Allah (swt) has allowed?
Qur’aan also informs us that the months were fixed in the very beginning.
“The Qur’aan says: “Certainly the number of months with Allah is twelve
ever since He created the Heavens and the Earth. Of these four are sacred.
That is the right religion. And do not wrong to yourselves in them, but
just as the disbelievers fight you all together, you too fight them all
together and know that Allah is with those who fear Him.” (9:36)
Sura Yaseen which is very often recited at someone’s death we read: “And
for the Moon we have appointed Manazil (positions) till it returned like
the old ‘Urjoon’ (withered date stalk)” (36:39) We can see that many
important matters are dealt with in this Sura. But the wonderful thing is
that we do not try to learn and understand the Qur’aan.
are many verses in the Qur’aan that invite us to the study of the universe,
Allah’s creation. “Do not they look at the camel, how it is created, at the
sky, how it is raised and the mountains how they are fixed and at the Earth
how it is spread out”. (88:17-20) These Ayahs invite our attention to
biology, astronomy, geology and all branches of science. Allah (swt) has
given man eyes to observe the creation, ears to hear and a mind to think
and understand. By using these means Man acquires knowledge. He can learn
and understand things and know the meanings of the Qur’aan.
we read: “Surely in the creation of the Heavens and the Earth and the
alter-nation of the day and night there are signs for those who have sense,
they remember Allah standing and reclining on their sides while pondering
over the creation of the Heavens and the Earth. Our Lord! You have not created
all this in vain. You are sanctified. So save us from the punishment of the
the Qur’aan was revealed Man’s knowledge about the things around him was
very poor. Even about the Earth, his own home he had wrong notions. Though
he knew the positions of the stars and the rising times etc. and could
travel to destinations by their directions, he did not know any thing about
thought that the Earth was flat and it was Centre of the Universe. He
thought that the Sun, the Moon and the stars all went round the Earth. This
wrong geocentric theory was in vogue in the world at that time.
had many superstitions. They believed that the celestial bodies too were
gods like their animal gods around them. They believed that they could harm
them. So they worshiped them. They were sunk deep in such superstitions. In
some parts of the world, people even worshiped creatures like cows, snakes
and birds. Thus people were degraded to the level of the animals that were
created for them and they lived in total ignorance. This was the condition
of people in the world in 7th century when Qur’aan was revealed. The
Qur’aan told them that people should not worship any thing but Allah the
Supreme who created every thing for the use of Man. Thus the Qur’aan led
the people out of the bondage of darkness to light and they began to think.
know by experiments and experience that the Earth is a huge globe rotating
as if on an axis. The Moon is a satellite revolving around the Earth. The
Hilal (crescent) appears on the western horizon like a narrow sickle, grows
bigger and bigger gradually and attains half in 7 days and becomes full in
two weeks in the middle of the month and reverses to the old stage of the
narrow sickle in the end of the month. This is explained in the Qur’aan,
“And for the Moon we have appointed Manazil till it returned like the old
palm stalk” (36:39). Thus the Moon through her cycle around the Earth
indicates people their dates by her changing phases. The Qur’aan says: “They
ask you about the phases of the Moon, tell they are dates for the people
and the pilgrimage”. (2:189) 12 months or 12 cycles of the Moon (29 or 30
days each) will give the year 354 or 355 days. This is the measure of the
year destined by Allah (swt) for the use of the people in their civil and
religious purposes in the world. (Diagram)
people say that science cannot be believed because it changes from time to
time. In the beginning they said the Earth was the center and now they say
it is not so. Science is not reliable. Ignorant people make such
statements. They do not know that Science means knowledge. Knowledge is
that which we acquire through experiment and observation. It is definite
and correct information, which will not change. The knowledge people had
before the revelation of the Qur’aan was not proven by experiments. They
were superstitions based on beliefs. They thought animals and things around
them were gods. Then how could they dare to experiment with their gods?
What they said earlier was not science. It was superstition.
Qur’aan said: “He makes the night enter into the day and He makes the day
enter into the night”. (35:12) and this can be proved with simple
experiments. For a man of thinking it is not difficult to know that the Earth
our home is spherical. When we look far we cannot see beyond our horizon.
If we put a mark on the last end that we see and then walk up to it we can
see more things that are further. If we climb upon a tree the same thing
happens. We see more things than what we saw from the ground level. This
tells us that the surface of the Earth is curved. If we know geometry it is
not difficult to calculate the circumference of the Earth. If we measure
the distance from our position to the place seen to us, we can know the
size of the curve. From this we can calculate the circle. Geometry was
known even at the time of Pythagoras (570BC). They could have known the
shape and size of the Earth then! But who would believe such things in
the Earth rotates we feel that the Sun, the Moon and the other celestial
bodies rise and set. We can prove this with a ball. All these things are
taught to children in the school. But we have to repeat it here because
even today people do not understand it. A candle can represent the
Sun. Light falls only on the side of the ball facing the candle. The
other side is dark. This is the example of day and night. Now as we rotate
the ball we see the lighted part entering into the dark at one edge and the
dark part coming into the light on the other edge. This is how Allah (swt)
makes the night enter into day and day into night. Now you will ask:
“Is it that simple?”
are very simple. But the Satan our avowed enemy prevents us from
thinking. Even after Allah (swt) gave hints in the Qur’aan and asked
people to ponder over the Ayahs, they did not pay heed to it. Even
today Muslims do not think. But other people do. People did not
understand the phenomenon of night and day till recent times. Qur’aan remarks.
“But most of them do not think” (29.63)
rotating on its axis the Earth perambulates the Sun. The axis of the
Earth’s rotation is not just perpendicular to the Sun. It is slanting
by about 23.5 degrees. This causes the change of the seasons.
The Earth takes 365 or 366 days to complete one cycle around the Sun.
The pagans had adopted this measure as a year. But Allah (swt) orders
the people to use the measure of 12 months of the Moon’s cycle for the
year. He informs in the Qur’aan that He has appointed the Manazil for
the Moon for that purpose (diagram).
a mathematician who lived in 570 BC said that the Earth was spinning and
perambulating around the Sun. He also said that the Sun too was perambulating
a big fire. But no one gave any heed to his words. No wonder,
people would not believe such things in those days. My mother related
an event that happened at Minicoy, her home island when she was a small
girl. The people of Minicoy are good sailors. They go to
Calcutta or Bombay and go on board big ships as seamen and return to the
Island after a few years. They bring the news from abroad to the
Island, which was totally cut off from the mainland and not a single woman
in Minicoy would have seen the mainland in those days.
sailor brought the news that he had gone in a ship built of iron.
Nobody would believe. How could iron float on the water? Who
will believe you? Do you think we are fools? Their problem was
how could iron which is heavier than water float on water. They
argued. Then an old aunt of my mother intervened and enquired the
reason for their quarrel. On learning the matter she summoned them to the
bathing tank. She asked her maids to bring the big vessel made of
metal used for boiling tuna fish. She kept it on water. Lo! The
metal floated on water! All were dumb founded. This is a good
example to explain how people often do not use their common sense. This had
happened in the recent past. How could people who lived 2600 years ago
believe Pythagoras? They would rather treat him as a mad Man or a
developments in Astronomy
Pythagoras the matter was not taken up. The next man to say some thing on
the subject was Claudius Ptolemy who lived in 140 AD. He propounded that
the Earth was the center around which every thing in the heaven went round.
In 1543 AD Copernicus argued that the Sun was the Centre. His work was
based on the new heliocentric theory. But this did not change their concept
about the extent of the universe. Galileo who first looked at the heavenly
bodies through a telescope had to suffer at the hands of the Christian
priests because he divulged the Quranic truth that the Earth was not the
center of their universe. The Christians believed that it was a blasphemy.
Many others too had to suffer because they proclaimed the truth about the
1805 the studies of Herschel using powerful telescopes made it clear that
the universe was not confined to the solar system alone. He pointed out
that the solar system was only a minute part of a much vaster system called
a galaxy. In 1925AD Edwin P. Hubble pointed out that there were many other
galaxies in the universe and that the universe consisted of millions of
galaxies and that these were moving away from each other at terrific speed.
Even though there are hints about these things in the Qur'aan no one
enquired about such matters.
today our knowledge about the vast universe is very little. The Qur'aan
remarks: "They ask you about the 'Rooh'. Tell: what you have been
given of knowledge is very little."(17: 75) When we know more we
realize that we have to know much more.
on eminent mathematicians and thinkers like Isaac Newton, Euler, Laplace,
Poisson, Hauser and others developed the lunar sciences. Man's landing on
the Moon on 20th July 1969 AD bears testimony to the high accuracy and
knowledge attained by man in celestial mechanics. This knowledge of ours is
nothing when compared to the vast universe of knowledge. But to say that we
do not know how to calculate the months of the calendar given by Allah
(swt) for the use of