This article published in a journal 1999 is a complete treatise of Ali Manikfan’s thesis
The main problem in drawing up a Calendar arises from the fact that the units of time also the month and the year are not exact multiplies of the days or weeks and therefore they get out of step with the sun or the moon. Adding a day in one of the years called a leap year generally rectifies the error. Prophet (saw) condemned this practice and showed that the number of days in a month should be 29 or 30 and that could be determined by observing the Manazil or the phases of the moon or by calculation of the Manazil.
Days of the week are named. They may also be reckoned with numbers or dates. One day cannot have two names or two date numbers. The day name is unique for the whole World so the date number should also be unique. It cannot be different from place to place.
To say that the dates of the Islamic calendar are not predictable and are liable to change is denial of the Ayah of Qur’aan (55:5). The lunar dates are predictable as the sun and the moon follow their orbits in accordance with fixed rules. Confusion and disputes arise by ignoring this fact and looking for the Hilal on the wrong day and the people are led to committing a wrong against Allah (swt) in their religious observances like not fasting on the first of Ramadan or fasting on the day of Eid or observing the day of Arafah a day or two after the event!
Qur’aan and Hadees unequivocally declare that the sun and the moon were created as measures of time and are subject to calculation due to their precise movements in predetermined orbits. We have inadvertently caused errors in the past and now refuse willfully to rectify those errors. The article asserts that
1) The day must be reckoned with the sun’s movement and the duration of the months with that of the moon.
2) There can be 12 months only, each of 29 or 30 days and no alterations or additions are permitted.
3) Advance determination of times, dates and events are not contrary to Qur’aan rather it is encourared.
The first of the month is the day immediately following the eclipse or conjunction and the emergence of the moon out of the line of conjunction. It need not be visible from every part of the World. It need not be seen at all.
Hijra Calendar in Quran
"Certainly the number of months with Allah is twelve in His Book since the day He created the Heavens and the Earth. Of these four are sacred. That is the right religion. So wrong not yourselves in them. And fight the polytheists all together just as they fight you all together and know that Allah is with the righteous." (Qur'aan 9:36)
From this verse of the Holy Qur’aan we know that there are 12 months in a year in Allah's reckoning. This has been the measure of time since the creation of the universe. Allah (swt) orders us to follow this system of dating in our affairs of this world. When there are 12 months in a year, every month should have a beginning and an end and there should be clear limits, which separate one month from the other. Allah (swt) says: "Wrong not yourselves in them." We must know the limits of the months so that we may not violate His orders by transgressing them. Allah (swt) has given us the Moon, which is a satellite of the Earth so that we may discern the dates and months by watching her cycle which equals a month.
When the people questioned the Prophet (saw) regarding the waxing and waning of the Moon, he was asked to reply: "say they are dates for the people and the pilgrimage."(Q 2:189). In another verse of the holy Qur’aan it is explained "And for the Moon we have appointed the Manazil (phases) till it returned like an old Urjoon"(Q 36:39). The Moon has 28 or 29 visible phases commencing from the shape of Hilal or Urjoon which attains half at the quarter and full in the middle of the month and back to Urjoonul Qadeem. It becomes smaller day by day and ultimately attains the original shape of the Hilal or Urjoon one day before the end of the month.
The first Hilal sets in the western horizon just after the sunset, if the preceding month is of 29 days, on the 29th of the Hijri month the Hilal may be visible under very clear conditions. If the month is of 30 days the Hilal is not present on the 29th and may not be visible on the 30th day also anywhere in the world. The next month in such cases begins after completing 30 days for the previous month, without seeing the Hilal. This criterion for the Islamic Calendar is derived from the Holy Qur'aan and the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw).
All months do not begin after seeing the Hilal as generally believed by people and wrongly recorded in the books. The Prophet (saw) ordered to look for the Hilal only on the 29th of the month, not on 28th or 30th. So it is imperative that the 29th should coincide with the Ahillah of the Moon as directed in the Qur'aan. (2:189). If the Hilal is present on the 29th, the next month begins. If it is not present 30 days should be completed. After completing 30 days there is no need to look for the Hilal. The next month begins without seeing the Hilal. If the people looked for the Hilal on a wrong day this method will not give correct results, the dates will be wrong and the calendar becomes impractical. The concept that all months begin after seeing the Hilal with the naked eye is meaningless. The Prophet (saw) has not given such an order.
The Prophet (saw) said in clear words that the months are of 29 or 30 days, sometimes 29 and sometimes 30 days, not alternating in a regular order or sequence. So for a people, who do not know how to calculate, a method of observation of the Hilals is necessary to discern the months. He taught them a simple method of observation. But carelessness in it would make a day of one month go into the other. When a day of Sha’baan becomes a day of Ramadan it would forbid us to eat on its daytime while Allah (swt) has allowed it. Allah (swt) warns us in the Qur’aan. "So wrong not yourselves in them."
From this we know that particularly the four months, which are sacred, and Ramadan should not go out of phase with Allah's calendar (the Moon). Now we have no time to look at the Moon and we have to depend on the calendars, which are not made according to the rules given in the Qur’aan. Our activities have polluted the atmosphere and the visibility has become poor and the first crescent is never seen. If a day of one month goes into the other we would commit the sin of allowing what is forbidden. Therefore a scientific study of the course of the Moon is very essential in our times in order to avoid the sin.
Moon is the calendar designed by Allah (swt) for the use of mankind. Calendar is a system for reckoning the passage of time. The principal problem in drawing up calendars arises from the fact that the immediate units of time, - the solar day, the week of seven days and the months are not simple multiples of each other. The days eventually get out of step with the Moon and an adjustment is needed. This difficulty is usually got over by adding one or more extra days or months at regular intervals in an extended cycle of months or years in order to adjust with the natural system. This is known as intercalation, which is not allowed in the Shariah. "Surely intercalation is an addition to disbelief. The disbelievers are led astray there-by. They allow it in one year and forbid it in another year in order to adjust the count with the period that Allah has made sacred and thus they allow what Allah has forbidden. The evil of their deeds is made fair seeming to them. And Allah does not guide the disbelievers." (Q 09:37) Allah orders the believers to follow the phases of the moon for their dates and calculate the passage of time basing on the natural system without resorting to intercalations, which create confusion in reckoning time.
In the days of the Prophet (saw) people did not know how day and night alternated and how the Moon waxed and waned. The Prophet (saw) was not sent to teach science and celestial mechanics. People could learn such things by their own investigations and studies. The mission of the Prophet (saw) was to teach mankind the spiritual knowledge of right and wrong, the laws of God which man cannot learn by his own efforts. So their question regarding the Ahillah (phases) was answered in a simple way, that it was meant for showing them the dates for programming their affairs of this world and to reckon the passage of their time.
We have the week of seven days that are known by names. The dates of the month stand in place of them. A date denotes a particular day of the week. A date cannot denote two days. We must be able to know in advance on what day a certain date will fall. Without this we cannot have a practical calendar. The lunar dates shown by the phases of the moon must be predictable by calculations because the moon is subjected to certain laws, which do not change. Calendars can be drawn up basing on the phases of the moon and the dates could be used in our daily life successfully. Observation of the moon can tell us whether the calculations are correct. We should use them without making careless mistakes in reckoning the months.
In the Qur’aan we read, "He it is who made the sun radiate a brilliant light and the moon reflector and ordained for it stages that you might know the count of the ages (of the moon) and the calculations. Allah has not created this but in truth. He details the Signs for an understanding people."(Q 10:5). These verses clearly tell us that Allah (swt) has not created all these things in vain but that we may investigate and learn. The sun and the moon are means for us to reckon time, the ages. But mankind did not care to investigate into them or to learn the laws of their calculations by observing them. Instead they took them for gods and worshipped them. It was only in recent times after the revelation of the Qur’aan, that man started thinking about them.
When Allah (swt) says that the moon is for reckoning time and it contains a date system for mankind to program their affairs in this world, it cannot be a vague and baseless date system. It must be perfect and foolproof without errors. We must be able to find out a day or date of a particular event in history by calculation. It will be foolish to say that we cannot predict a date of the Hijra calendar. It is wrong to change dates of Allah (swt) according to the whims of the people, who look for the Hilal on the wrong day and say that the Hilal is not visible. By this we ridicule the sayings of the Prophet (saw) and put the blame on him that he has not given us clear instructions to learn. He has asked us to observe the moon and find out the dates. But we foolishly look for the Hilal on the wrong day and make mistakes. Changing dates will allow what Allah (swt) has forbidden and our actions will become useless.
It is true that the Prophet (saw) said "do not fast without seeing the Hilal and do not celebrate Eidul Fitre without seeing it." This does not mean that the date cannot be predicted. It only means that we should not be so careless as to fast on the wrong day and celebrate Eid on the wrong day as it is done now. The word 'seeing' should not be taken literally. If we take it in the literal sense the words of the Prophet (saw) will become ridiculous. The Hilal seen in one town will not be seen in the other town. Will it mean that the dates of the two towns will differ in the Islamic Shariah? Allah has already warned us against wronging ourselves in fixing the months carelessly and violating His laws. (9:36).
Change of dates would violate Haram and Halal of Allah. It is a very serious matter. How can we change a date all of a sudden and postpone a sacred period? For example, if Wednesday is the first of a month, then the 5th will be Sunday. To say that 5th will be Monday is absurd. This will happen when a date is changed all on a sudden. A calendar, which is liable to such changes, cannot be used in this world.
Allah (swt) has prescribed certain laws of motion for all celestial bodies. They do not transgress the laws. Allah (swt) does not make any change in his laws. He says, "Have you not seen that Allah makes the night pass into the day and makes the day pass into the night. And he has put the Sun and the Moon into service each pursuing its course till an appointed time. And Allah is well aware of what you do." (Q 31: 29). To say that the dates of the Islamic calendar are unpredictable and liable to change according to the seeing of the people is tantamount to the denial of the Ayahs of the Qur’aan.
From the lessons of Science learnt through the past ages we know that night passes into day and day passes into night because the globe (earth) spins on its axis. The Earth goes round the Sun. The Moon goes around the Earth. The Moon has no light of its own. It reflects the Sun's light. The changing positions of the Moon, the Earth and the Sun cause waxing and waning of the Moon, the eclipses of the Moon and the Sun. Because these things move with precision and there is no change in their laws we can predict their positions and time. We can predict the date and time of a solar or a lunar eclipse exactly. But ignorant people think that a future date of the Islamic calendar cannot be fixed! Any past or future date of the Hijra calendar can be prefixed exactly just as we predict the dates of the eclipses. If it is necessary we can check our calculations with the observation of the Moon so that we may not make a mistake. We do this with the sun. Why should we not do the same with the Moon too? We should not wrong ourselves by making mistakes due to our neglect of observations or calculations.
The Solar and Lunar eclipses occur when these bodies come in a line. They can be predicted by calculations. The seasons change because of the Earth's rotation on a slanted axis around the Sun. Allah (swt) has ordered us to reckon the time depending upon the Moon's rotation around the Earth as seen from the Earth in relation with the Sun. Anyone with common sense can easily understand that the starting point of the month can be only from the point when these three bodies viz. Sun, Earth and Moon come in a line.
Just as we know when the shadow of an object disappears totally, the Sun must be overhead, we know when an eclipse occurs the Sun, the Earth and the Moon, must be in a line. The Qur’aan explains, “And the Moon is eclipsed and the Sun and the Moon are brought together.” (Q 75:08, 09) The moon begins its course from this point and when she makes a round and reaches the line again it marks the end of a month. It takes about 29.53 (30 or 29) days.
For finding out the emerging of the Moon from the other side of the Sun after crossing the Sun, people who had no knowledge of Science and calculation in the days of the Prophet (saw) looked for the appearing of the Hilal in the evening sky. After the Moon's last phase, this is just before the sunrise early in the morning and that day evening the Moon sets after the Sun. In those days the atmosphere was not congested and the first Hilal could have been seen in places like Medina situated at higher latitudes. The Prophet (saw) asked them to look for the Hilal on the 29th day. If we go wrong in fixing the 29th, certainly we will make a mistake, a day of a month may go into the other and what is allowed will be forbidden and vice versa by that. (Q 09:37) This is very serious in the sight of Allah (swt).
Day has a fixed time and night has a fixed time. Our ancestors could not measure it accurately. They had no watches or chronometers and they had no need to be so accurate because they were not able to move fast. They were not so busy in the worldly affairs. Now we are able to move very fast and time has become a very important factor. An error of few seconds can cause death to millions of people. Muslims were very particular about time even in those days because they had to perform the prayers at the correct time.
Magrib cannot be prayed in the day i.e. before nightfall. One must be sure of the nightfall. It will be difficult to know this on a gloomy day. They invented and used many devices for the purpose before the invention of the clock. Had the Muslims continued their research they only would have inveted everything. But they gave up thinking and research and others followed suit. Even today, mankind does not have a perfect and foolproof date system, which is essential for recording the events of history and that, is because the Muslims have given up research in their calendar.
The Holy Qur’aan guides people to a perfect date system. But the Muslims want to bear witness to the world that this date system is baseless. They look for the Hilal on the wrong day and make a date disappear. A date system in which a date can disappear all of a sudden cannot be relied upon. Allah (swt) has fixed the limits of the months when He created the heavens and the Earth. People have no right to change them. The Qur’aan explains the limits of the months. "And for the moon, we have appointed stages till she returned like the old ‘Urjoon’ (dried and shriveled date stalk). (Q 36:39).
"Therefore whosoever of you witness the month let him fast" (Q 2:183) and according to Hadith, those who witness should convey the message to others. Everybody is not charged with the observation of the Moon or the calculations. Those who have knowledge in astronomy can know the onset of a month by calculations. They must take up the responsibility and witness the month correctly for the others. We have many sayings of the Prophet (saw), which explain the matter. We have to examine all of them in order to arrive at a final decision.
People of the Prophet's time did not know astronomy. They had no knowledge of celestial mechanics. They did not know how to calculate the movements of the Moon. Their method was only naked eye observation of the Moon. The Prophet (saw) himself said, "We are a community who does not write or calculate. Our month is 29 or 30 days".
The tradition says that the Prophet (saw) was very particular to observe the Moon, especially for Ramadan. This is because a day of Shaban cannot be made a day of Ramadan. Allah (swt) has forbidden eating in a day of Ramadan, but He has not forbidden eating in a day of Shaban. That is why the Prophet (saw) forbade beginning the fasting of Ramadan one or two days before Ramadan. He has forbidden the fasting on Youmus Shak (doubtful day). People have a wrong belief that every month has a Youmus Shak, but it is only when people fall into doubt owing to clouds or some other reason that they are unable to distinguish the months.
Violation of the orders of the Prophet (saw) is equivalent to the violation of the orders of Allah (swt) and such actions will render all our Amals (actions) useless. So it is very important that we should have clear knowledge of his orders about the ending of Shaban or Ramadan. The Prophet (saw) said, "Do not fast without observing the Moon and do not celebrate Eid without observing it" because there are some months of 29 days and some months of 30 days. Not every month is of 29 days or of 30 days. So we must distinguish the months of 30 days and the months of 29 days. The beginning of the months can be found out without calculations only by careful observation of the Moon. Mere seeing of the Hilal only on a single day, cannot guide us to the correct beginning of the month. One must observe the waxing and waning phases of the moon carefully in order to find out the true beginning of the month. The months do not follow a simple order of alternating or a sequence. One cannot predict the months of 29 and 30 by seeing the Hilal only in the end of Shaban.
To predict the months we must have the data of the Moon. We must learn astronomy and Lunar Sciences and the Celestial mechanics to calculate the moon's orbit to tell the months in advance. The knowledge of Astronomy required for calculating the lunar months will come under Farz Kifaya. If no one learns this, all will fall in error and sin. The expert astronomers prepare the data of the Moon. The laymen can use these data just as they use a calculator and draw the Hijra calendars.
Astronomy and Astrology are two different categories of knowledge. Astrology is forbidden in the Islamic Shariah. There is a misunderstanding that Astronomy too comes under the banned Sciences. Even today some people regard it as a forbidden Science. Ulema of the past, i.e. before 1700 AD believed so because in those days astronomy and astrology were practiced by the same people and so they were thought to be the same kind of knowledge. But after the invention of telescope the two got separated.
Astrology remained a superstition based on mere conjectures while Astronomy developed into a Science based on experiments and facts. The Prophet (saw) had banned the use of Astrology. People had no knowledge of real astronomy in the days of the Prophet (saw). Some people would have thought that the banning of Astrology is applicable to Astronomy also because the same people practiced these two disciplines in the days of the Prophet (saw). This is certainly a misunderstanding. The Holy Qur’aan invites our attention to the observation of celestial objects and their movements and admires those who study them. The Hijra calendar itself is based on this faculty of Science.
The people of the Prophet's (saw) time could tell the date by watching the changing phases of the Moon even though they did not know celestial mechanics. They had no confusion and they did not need calendars. Their calendar was the Moon. They looked at the Hilals and found out the end of the months correctly. If the Hilal is seen or known to be present, they ended the month in 29 days. Otherwise, one day was added and the month was taken as 30 days, by this time certainly the Moon would have crossed the Sun and come to the other side. The day the crescent rises just before the Sun in the eastern horizon it sets just after the Sun in the western horizon confirming the presence of the Hilal. The moon phase is not visible in the last day of the month.
The average measure of the month is 29.53 days. An inadvertent mistake is regarded as forgiven by Allah (swt), because Allah (swt) forgives our shortcomings. The Holy Qur’aan says: "He knows that you cannot keep its exact measures. So He has turned to you in mercy". (Q 73:20). But the blunders committed today will not be forgiven because they are intentional and due to ignorance or arrogance.
The first Hilal in a month of 29 days could have been visible in a very clear sky even when the difference of sunset and moon set is only a few minutes at places like Medina situated at higher latitudes in the days of the Prophet (saw). It would be silly to look for the Hilal from inside a house or a hilly place where the setting sun cannot be seen on the horizon or from a place where the atmosphere is polluted. If we totally depend on the naked-eye observation method we should look for the Hilal from a suitable place. Otherwise we can go wrong. If we look for the Hilal on the 30th day instead of the 29th, certainly we will make a mistake because some times the Hilal will not be at the visible angle on the 30th. So in our busy days those who look for the Hilal should learn astronomy and know the lunar calculations. Otherwise the whole Muslim community would be led astray because the month would begin on the wrong day and this always happen in our times. It is like the blind leading the blind.
Now we have watches and chronometers and we know how to measure time. There is no need for us to look at the shadow for knowing the prayer time as our ancestors did. We can rely on the watch and we can pray at the correct time even if we do not see the Sun. We have the data of the Sun. We have tables of prayer times prepared in advance. We know at what time the Sun would set or rise on a particular date and place. We have the same data of the Moon also. We know at what time the Moon would set or rise at a given place on earth. These are published every year by the concerned departments of Science. Even a difference of seconds will not be there in these tables because a mistake in them can create problems in navigation.
It would be foolish to change the date by saying that the Moon is not visible or the Moon has not crossed the Sun when we are able to know the exact time of its crossing. If the Qazis and the authorities had the slightest knowledge of the movements of the celestial bodies, they would not commit such blunders and the Muslims would not be misled. Allah's religion will not be ridiculed.
At the time of the Prophet (saw), the Sahaba wanted some clarifications regarding the observation of the Hilal. They asked the Prophet (saw) various questions. What should be done if the Hilal was not seen on the 29th? He said complete 30 days (because the Moon would not have crossed the Sun by that time as it happens in a month of 30 days but it may not be at the visible angle on the 30th also and there is no need to see the Hilal on that day). How many times can this repeat? Every month is not of 30 days. So the Prophet (saw) made this clear by clapping the hands three times and saying Hakadha, Wa Hakadha, Wa Hakadha and holding the thumb and he repeated three times for making it very clear that the months of 30 days usually repeat only 3 times consecutively and the fourth month will be of 29 days even though the Hilal is not seen. This is in conformity with the lunar data. The fourth month getting 30 days is a rare occurrence, which happens only after a hundred years.
A man of Prophet's (saw) time would not have known this. This is enough to prove that Muhammad (saw) was the Messenger of Allah. Otherwise from where did he get this information, which nobody would have known in those days? Even today people are unable to realize this fact. Only those who are well versed in lunar mechanics can know this. But the most pathetic thing is that our Ulema conveniently overlook all these traditions on astronomy as they themselves are totally ignorant and disinterested in this precious science. The result is that the date system prescribed for mankind in the Holy Qur’aan and the Hadees recedes to the backward though none dare call them impractical.
The beginning of Zul Hajj 1414 H had gone wrong even at Makkah al Mukarramah because of confusion. This is absurd in these days of science and technology. It happened only because of carelessness and lack of knowledge on the part of concerned authorities and people have no fear of Allah (swt) in observing His ordinance. Allah says, "O ye who believe, fear Allah as he should be feared and let not death overtake you except when you are in a state of full submission." (Q 03:102).
In Shaban 1414 H Hilal was not seen. It had 30 days. In Ramadan the Hilal was not seen and it had 30 days. In Shawwal the Hilal was not seen and it had 30 days. Then how could Zul Qaida, which is the 4th month, have 30 days according to the instruction of the Prophet (saw)? They made Zul Qaida also a month of 30 days and miscalculated the Zul Hajj, which is also a sacred month, where strict observation of the Moon is very essential to keep in step with Allah's calendar. And Allah (swt) has informed very particularly that the phases of the Moon are meant for dates to program the important events such as Hajj. "They ask you about the phases; tell them they are dates for the people and the pilgrimage." (Q 02: 189)
By postponing a date of Zul Hajj, the day of Arafa (Hajj) had changed and it fell on Friday which made it a Hajjul Akbar, a rare occasion and supposed to be very auspicious, the Sawab of which is said to be 70 times more. It was a mistaken Hajjul Akbar. People do not know about this. More crowds gathered and it led to a stampede only to prove that Muslims are ignorant and ill disciplined.
People are so ignorant even in this age of education and literacy as to believe that the dates of Arabia and India would differ. People go to Arabia and return the same day and yet they do not realize this simple matter! How can the date be different at any two places in the world when the Friday is same for all? The Prophet (saw) has declared the Friday as the 'Sayyidul Ayyam' (the leader of the days). If the 'Sayyidul Ayyam' falls on another day (Saturday), then there will not be any meaning to what the Prophet (saw) had said! How can the date that stands for a day differ when the day is same?
Anybody will laugh at us if they see what we are doing. Muharram 10th, ‘The Day of Ashura' is Sunday in Arabia. In Kerala, Maldives and Malaysia it is Sunday, same as Arabia. In Sri Lanka, it is on Monday and in Tamil Nadu and other parts of India, it is Tuesday! How can we have Ashura on different days when the Prophet (saw) said in clear words that the Muslims should observe these sacred days on the same day? Ignorance and faithlessness among us give rise to such funny and unhappy incidents. Are we not far away from Islam?
Let us have a look at the details of the dates for Muharram 1415 H, the first month of the Islamic year. Even a child can tell that the Hijra dates are not in order. Then what is wrong with our educated grown ups, who are doctors and advocates and judges? They cannot understand this.
Makkah 12-06-1994AD = 03-01-1415AH = Sunday
Kerala 12-06-1994 AD= 03-01-1415AH = Sunday
Tamil Nadu 12-06-1994 AD= 02-01-1415AH = Sunday
Sri Lanka 12-06-1994 AD= 02-01-1415AH = Sunday
Delhi 12-06-1994AD = 02-01-1415AH = Sunday
Pakistan 12-06-1994AD = 02-01-1415AH = Sunday
Malaysia 12-06-1994AD = 03-01-1415AH = Sunday
Maldives 12-06-1994AD = 03-01-1415AH = Sunday
Afterwards again Delhi Imam ordered to postpone by one day under the pretext that he could not see the Hilal, making Youm Ashura fall on Tuesday 21-06-1994 = 10-01-1415 and the Chairman of Kerala Hilal Committee ordered to postpone by one day in Kerala under the pretext that he could not see the Hilal and made Youm Ashura fall on Monday 20-06-1994 = 10-01-1415. This is how the authorities play with the dates of Allah's calendar. If Muslims behave like this how would the others accept Islam as the right religion?
Such baseless actions of the religious leaders would appear ridiculous to any thoughtful person. Allah (swt) says in His book, “Today I have perfected your religion and completed my favors upon you and I have chosen for you Islam as the religion."(Q. 05:03). How could the date system of the perfect religion be imperfect? It only proves that we have not cared to learn or follow the Holy Qur’aan or the Sunnah of the Prophet (saw) though we have been with it for more than 1400 years. We are no better than the Asses who carried the books! We have false calendars in use to mislead the people. We do not know that all calendars should be same and that the dates should tally with the phases of the Moon.
A little practice in watching the moon will make anyone knowledgeable enough to tell the correct lunar date prescribed for the people in the Holy Qur’aan. The moon becomes nearly half on the seventh and full in the middle of the month. It is not seen at the end of the month in the morning or in evening and the month is over. The Hilal is present in the evening sky just after the sunset, but not visible now-a-days due to pollution. If the Hilal is present anywhere in the world, that is enough for all. Today it is not necessary to see because we know how to calculate and we have means to verify the onset of the Hilal.
When the matter is so simple, why do some people wish to differentiate in the celebrations of Eid and sacred days saying that they have not seen the Hilal? Should everyone or every country see the Hilal? It is only because they want to show that they can change the laws of Allah (swt), as they like. The Holy Qur’aan says: “It is not the eyes that are blind but it is the hearts, which are in the breasts that are blind" (Q. 22:46)
When it is said to them that there is a mistake in the calendars and the dates are not in accordance with lunar Manazil that Allah (swt) has set, they say, they have been following it like this long since and their forefathers also were doing so. Regarding such people the Holy Qur’aan says, "And thus has it always been that we never sent any Warner before them to any township but the evil leaders thereof said, we saw our forefathers following a certain course and we are following in their footsteps."(Q 43: 22)
They are not ready to follow the right path. They want to stick to their old dogmas, which the Holy Qur’aan or the Sunnah does not warrant. The example of such people is also explained in the Qur’aan. Allah says about those who do not want to look at the signs of Allah (swt) but want to see their calendars without observing the moon as commanded by the Prophet (saw). "I shall soon turn away those who behave proudly on earth in an unjust manner, from my signs and even if they see all the signs they will not believe therein and if they see the way of the righteous they will not accept it as their way. If they see the way of the wicked they will accept it as their way. This is because they have treated our signs as lies and were heedless of them." (Q 7:146)
When they are asked to study and understand the movements of the celestial bodies they simply say, we do not know it. Why cannot they learn the sciences, the study of which is demanded by the Qur’aan? Has Allah (swt) asked them to be among the ignorant? The Prophet (saw) said, "Acquire knowledge even if it be from China." Why can't some of the Alims learn Astronomy and the Celestial mechanics? The whole Muslim community is being misled because of their ignorance. The Khazis declare the sacred dates on wrong days without observing the Hilal as commanded by the Holy Prophet (saw) and the others are laughing at the foolishness of the Muslims.
Allah (swt) has deputed Muslims to lead others. But they are making themselves a laughing stock. All are busy with their own affairs. No one has time even to talk about this important matter of the Muslim Ummah. The persons in charge receive their salaries for conducting prayers and marriages. They are compelled to earn more money in order to cope with others. They have no time to study religious matters. Yes, they too have to fill their bellies. But the people are not ready to pay them enough to meet their expenses so that they may be out of want to devote their full time and attention to the study of religion. Why can't some of them be deputed for learning such important matters? Allah (swt) says in the Holy Qur’aan, "It is not possible for all believers to go forth together. Why then, does not a party from every section of them go forth that they may become well versed in religion so that they may warn their people when they return to them, that they may guard against evil?" (Q.9:122).
So it will be better for the community to depute suitable Alims to learn the subject and appoint them for computing the Hijra calendars according to the Holy Qur’aan and Sunnah and observing the Moon to see if there is any variation in the calculation so that we may not go wrong in the months declared sacred in the Qur’aan. We cannot go according to the false calendars propagated by others and put ourselves into the wrong way by miscalculating the sacred periods and making ourselves liable to the displeasure of Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw).
May Allah forgive us if we have made mistakes and shower his blessings upon us!