New Way for a New Moon

Category: Articles, Faith, Featured | Topic: islamic jurisprudence (fiqh), moon | Views: 22,507

The Fiqh Council of North America announced last week that it would no longer rely on naked eye moon sightings to determine the start of Islamic months and would instead use astronomical calculations.

A special conference on Hilal Sighting was organized by the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) on 10 June 2006, in Virginia, attended by a number of jurists, Imams, astronomers and other concerned Muslims. A number of research papers dealing with the juridical and astronomical aspects of the topic were presented and discussed.

After much deliberation among the members and astronomical consultants, the following was concluded:

Position of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) on using astronomical calculations for Islamic Dates:

The Fiqh Council of North America after careful research, deliberations and discussion has adopted a new position regarding the determination of the beginning of the Islamic lunar months. This position is based primarily on the following Fiqhi premises:

  1. Sighting the Hilal (ru’yah) is not an act of ‘ibadah in itself; it is rather a means to know with certainty about the beginning of the new month related to Islamic ‘Ibadat. 
  2. Ru’yah as a means was indicated and used by the Prophet -peace be upon him- because he himself said that the Ummah at that time was not literate and did not know how to write or to calculate (complicated astronomical data). 
  3. Some classical jurists were willing to accept the calculations. 
  4. Some classical jurists refused to allow calculations in this matter because in their time astronomy and astrology were not quite distinct sciences. Jurists were suspicious that astronomical predictions may not be based on exact science but on whims, conjectures, magic etc. 
  5. During the last century an increasing number of Muslim jurists indicated that calculations could be used to negate erroneous reports of crescent sighting. Some jurists were of the opinion that calculations could also be used as a positive method to determine the new Islamic lunar months. 
  6. There are now many Muslim astronomers who have been working for many years to develop a global lunar Islamic calendar. Fiqh Council particularly appreciates the efforts of its consultants Dr. Imad ad-Dean Ahmad, Dr. Khalid Shaukat, Dr. Muhib Durrani and Dr. Ahmad Salamah. 
  7. Dr. Salah Soltan and Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah also presented scholarly papers to give thorough evidence from Fiqh Perspective that the use of calculations is not against the Sunnah of the Prophet -peace be upon him.

The Fiqh Council of North America considered the following factors in making its decision:

  1. Use of calculations in determining the Islamic dates is not against the Sunnah. 
  2. Sure astronomical methods are now available to provide a sound basis for the determination of the Islamic dates of Ramadan and the two Eids. 
  3. Shari’ah is based on ease and considers the convenience of people. 
  4. Announcement of Islamic dates ahead of time will reduce a lot of hardship, chaos and confusion that happen every year at the time of the beginning of Ramadan and the two Eids.
  5. Announcement of Islamic dates will help Muslims to plan their activities in advance, facilitating their ability to take off from work or school. Many other benefits will result from this.
  6. Announcement of these dates will also remove unnecessary financial burdens from the Muslim community in North America.
  7. Muslim of America will become more united in their celebrations.
  8. Muslims of America can also work to have their Islamic holidays officially recognized. 
  9. The Muslim community of North America will lead the way towards the development of a unified global Islamic calendar for the whole Muslim world.
  10. The Fiqh Council will continue working with the Imams and scholars of the communities to develop a consensus in this matter. It is, however, hoped that whether some of us agree or disagree with this position, we shall all recognize the validity of ikhtilaf in this issue and that the Ummah should be united in brotherhood despite any legitimate fiqhi differences.
The following is the decision:
  1. Discussion of a number of research papers led to the conclusion that the use of calculation both in negation as well as affirmation of the beginning of the new Islamic Lunar months has a firm basis in the Qur’an and Sunnah as well as in the opinion of some classical and contemporary jurists. For more details please see the website of ISNA at 
  2. The new moon (i.e. time of conjunction) is when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun closest to the Sun-Earth line. This time of conjunction is precisely predictable by astronomical calculation.
  3. The conjunction before 12:00 Noon GMT would give enough time to the new moon to be visible (weather permitting) somewhere on the globe before the end of the night in North America.

Islamic Calendar for 2006-2011

Following are the names of  FCNA members as of 2006.

  1. Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, chairman,
  2. Dr. Sherman Jackson
  3. Dr. Ahmad Shleibak 
  4. Dr. Akbar Muhammad 
  5. Dr. Deina Abdulkadir 
  6. Shaikh Hassan Qazwini 
  7. Dr. Ihsan Bagby 
  8. Dr. Jamal Badawi 
  9. Dr. Muhammad Adam Sheikh 
  10. Shaikh Muhammad Al-Hanooti 
  11. Shaikh Muhammad Nur Abdallah 
  12. Dr. Salah Soltan 
  13. Dr. Taha Jabir Alalwani 
  14. Shaikh Yahya Hindi 
  15. Shaikhah Zainab Alwani 
  16. Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah 
  17. Dr. Mukhtar Maghraoui 
  18. Dr. Nazih Hammad


Leave a Reply


  1. As-salaamu alaikum,

    The religion of Islam was completed and perfected during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (SAS). We don’t need anything new. I cannot believe that you people have a clear and authentic text on the matter and have chosen to disregard it. It is even in command form of the verb!!! May Allah guide you all back to proper understanding of this religion. Ameen.

  2. If I am not mistaken, saudi arabia using sighting. I wonder why they started the ramadan on saturday, as far as I know on friday (sept 22nd) the moon was only 4 hours old when sun set in makkah. I’s to young to be seen. Historicaly the youngest moon sigheted is 12.1 hours old using telescope and 15 hours old using naked eye. Even this was in extra ordinary situation. In ordinary condition 17-18 hours is the minimum sightable.

  3. To: Richard KeslerWest

    European Fiqh Uouncil take this appraoch (take makkah as the center point). That’s why most EU, start this ramadan on sunday.


  4. As-salamulakum, Post pictures of the moon of this calculation or prediction on the web for us to see if the ICNA “scientific prediction” was correct! If the moon was sighted then the new way for predicting the hilaal was correct for the month of Ramadan. If not then it needs tweaking before going live with this system. In fact what is the record of accuracy as it relates to the previous islamic months? Or is this just used for the holidays? No software is developed in such a manner in the secular world – why is it we are bullied into using a flawed system for our religious practices!

  5. As Salamu Alaikum;

    Dear Muslims of The Fiqh Council;

    I’ve come across your decision regarding the sighting of the

    moon and as a result, and with all due respect , I have a


    When, presumably – according to calculations – I begin my fast

    on the day announced by FCNA; then on the 16th night I witness

    a Full Moon (i.e. 15th night of the Lunar Month) what should a

    Muslim do? Does this mean that I now have to possibly fast an

    extra day? And more importantly, how can I be sure to catch the

    ACTUAL last ten nights of the Holy Month of Ramadan?

    Please advise.

    Jazak Allahu Khayran

  6. Shouldn’t Ramadan begin in Makah and Mednah?

    Assalaam Aleikum! As a non-muslim may I respectfully suggest

    that if you are going to find a way to have a unified first day of

    Ramadan, it begin with the day that the crescent moon will be

    visible in Makah? Your astronomers will know more about this,

    but if the Moon is directly between the Earth and the Sun shortly

    before noon GMT, there may not be enough time for the moon

    to become visible that evening in Makah.

    in peace,


  7. As-salaam-walakum,

    It is a sunnah to seek/look for the moon. How can any Muslim person or any Islamic Organization recommend not performing a sunnah???? He was blessed by Allah (swt) by the greatest knowledge to exist on this earth, the Holy Quran. The Prophet (saw) was the most perfect example of any human being and therefore there is NO concept of ‘improvement’ or ‘better’ beyond his example.

  8. As salaamu ‘alaykum,

    Respectfully, I have to say this is only going to cause more division and differing, apart from the fact that the Sunnah should more beloved to us than the following of our own opinion and weak intellect. People didn’t abandon the Sunnah until they started acting upon their weak intellect and false desires. We muslims should be presented with PROOFS that this is not against the Sunnah, (I believe it is bid’ah), rather than just being presented with a decision. AS one of the commentators said, Rasulullaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam knew when it was Ramadhaan by simply sighting the hilaal, and all of those who follwed him for over 1400 years, yet now it seems like it is not enough? WHY? Because we are technologically advanced?Alas, this is how bid’ah starts, may Allaah protect us from it!!!!!!!

  9. Salam,

    I do support and follow FCNA decission, however I respect who disagree. Moonsighting is only little component in our religion, we may disagree on this, both of us have strong and valid arguments. So let move on many more that we agree upon. Insha Allah muslims who start fasting on saturday or sunday will be accepted, the problem is for muslims who don’t fast at all.

  10. Assalamu ‘alaikum:

    The efforts of the Fiqh Council of North America are appreciated. Kindly accept the following comments and your feedback is welcome:

    The sighting of the Hilal may not be an act of ‘ibadah in itself, but it forms the base of commencement of major ‘ibadat such as to determine the start of fasting and pilgrimage times.

    a. Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) was not sent only to the people of his time and the holy Qur’an is the solid proof that Islam is the religion to be eventually accepted by all people on Earth. The Prophet had the vision, by Allah’s Grace to guide the Moslems to the end of time. The argument of literacy or the lack of it is not important. The Prophet himself said:”I am the City of Knowledge and Ali is its gate”.

    b. Astronomical Hilal calculations can be used as a tool to confirm the possible time and place of the first sighting in order to give Hilal searchers a better chance to narrow down the location and time of sighting.

    c. If Astronomy and calculations to be used instead of the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH), the prayer times have to be also altered: It is a scientific fact that it takes about eight minutes for the rays of the sun to reach us on this earth. By calculation, the sunrise and sunsets actually occur eight minutes before what we see on earth. Would there be someone who would be willing to claim this and decide to alter the prayer times as well?

    d. Is it fit for Moslems to follow the GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) as a guide for Hilal conjunction without mentioning the location of the conjunction place? Why should not Mecca time be used?

    In conclusions I recommend that we stay with the tradition of the Prophet as it forms a firm and valid practice. The way to unite Moslems is to follow the texts and practices of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Calculations should be used as tools to help determining the timing of events.

    May Allah guide us all.

    M. A. Mubareka, Leader

    Moslems’ Community Center

    Edmundston, NB, Canada

  11. In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful


    The issue of starting Ramadan and celebrating Eids on one day.

    Alhamdullilah, Muslims have accomplished a lot in last three decades. They were able to established religious, educational, social, relief and political institution in North America. However, at the same time, they face many challenges. In, fact Muslims are at a crossroads. Muslims as a community can be successful by implementing Islamic teachings in their daily lives and getting united for a cause to make this world a better place.

    Generally, people measure Muslim unity through observing our religious celebrations, the two Eids. Unfortunately, Muslims have been divided over the issue of local and global Hilal (crescent) sighting. Now, two months ago ISNA/Fiqh Council of North America has decided to go with calculations (“The new Islamic Lunar month begins at sunset of the day when the conjunction occurs before 12:00 Noon GMT”) – a position that disregards Hilal sighting completely. This way, we are afraid, that we will be divided further.

    The majority of Muslims agree if all of us follow the Hilal sighting in North America according to the instructions of the Qur’an and the practice of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam) as the Ummah has been doing for last 14 centuries, we can have unified beginning of Ramadan and Eidul Fitr and Eidul Adha on the same day.

    The following refutation to ISNA/Fiqh Council’s decision to disregard the Qur’an and the Sunnah and to follow astronomical calculations for beginning an Islamic month is in the same spirit of Muslim unity in North America. The Hilal Sighting Committee of North America, however, finds that the decision is flawed. This refutation is written by Br. Zaheer Uddin and approved by the respected Ulema of the Shura of the Hilal Sighting Committee of N. A. and others.

    PLease visit:

  12. Salaam,

    I do not understand why there is always so much complication in selecting the date when Ramadan begins or other holidays. If the Holy Prophet had never a problem viewing the moon his whole life then why do we? We should stick to Sunna and not compromise just so everyone can stick to one day. If some muslims want to make it some other day..then let them make it some day. They will be the ones that will have to answer to Allah. We should stick to Sunna. Arooj

  13. Assalamu Alaikum Brother

    (so called intellect members)

    Its not suprised to see finally that the influence of Khufars on the organisations. Its against Sunnah. If “YOU” adopt unislamic methods that day is not far somewhere in Dec it will fixed a IDD for good like the other holiday.

    ITS A SHAME!!!

  14. Bismillah

    As salaamu alaykum

    Could someone explain why we have a dispute on the timing of Ramadan and not a dispute on the timing of the Hajj? Allah knows best.

  15. Bismillah,

    I cannot beleive the amount of Muslims that have never read the quran with translation from the beginning to the end, leave comments bashing the scholars as ignorant and ignoring their evidence. Grow up!

    Sunan Abu Dawood:

    Book 41, Number 4758:

    Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas:

    The Prophet (PBUH) said: Good way, dignified good bearing and moderation are the twenty-fifth part of Prophecy.

    Sahih Muslim:

    Book 039, Number 6760

    Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: None amongst you would attain salvation purely because of his deeds. A person said: Allah’s Messenger, even you also. Thereupon he said: Yes. Not even I, but that Allah wraps me in Mercy, but you should act with moderation. This badith has been transmitted on the authority of Bukair b. al-Ashajj with a slight variation of wording.

    If Allah (swt) has given us the knowledge and resources to site the moon, then we should make use of this knowledge. There is no shame in this and no diversion from the sunnah of Rasullah (swt) in doing this. If observing the coming of the new moon with the intention to celebrate Ramadan is a noble deed, how could using the blessings of Allah from the knowledge he has bestowed upon us be a sin or diversion from the truth?

    Allah (swt) knows best.

  16. Aslam-o-Alaikum

    I strongly disagree. If we call union by going against Sunna of (PBUH)I would rather live alone. Answer these questions and you will know.

    1- Islam is a complete religion for now and for ever. Why we say we need to make adjustments, we did not have enough knowledge at the time of Mohammad(PBUH).Astaghfirullah, are we counting our selves more then Prophets(na-auzibillah)

    2- There is no one in the world and no one was like Mohammad PBUH. He (PBUH) new every thing bisible or invisible, why HE did not say, TODAY MOON SHOULD BE VISIBLE LETS FAST.Actually HE waited to see the moon.

    3- If some one calls you at one platform but wants you to leave SUNNAH, is this a unity??

    4- this is a joke today but seems it will become real soon. We can gather more muslims at Jumah Prayer by switching it to Sunday?. will this count as Unity??

    May Allah Forgive All of US

  17. I really don’t agree on the fiq council of north america In those days of Muhammed(pbuh). They never had calenders nor did they ever use astronomical calculations. So why start now? why is it so hard to look up in the sky?Why use the methods of those outside the religion? The council say it’s not against the religion quote “it’s not an act of ‘ibadah” even if it’s not against the religion shouldn’t we make ourselves better muslims by following the teachings and traditions of the prophet(pbuh)?

  18. Asslamu alikum, I Think it is the childish play to against the fiqah just , the people are in power can do all what they want and it is in appropriate to do astranomical calculations, were It is sunnah to see hilal of a moon and then announce it, as per the teaching of Prophet peace be upon him, we should fallow it in a right way ,not just a few alims and decide and do, if you do this you people will be answerable to Allah on the day of judjment, so it is my humble request take the duas of people at large and not budwas and do not make Ummah go astray, And i do not think it is a right think to do, so please drop the idea of going by astronomical calculations, it shows how far we have gone astray, i this letter will not be heared, if you hear from this slave of Allah you all will be rewarded by the wasila of Prophet PBUH. Thats all to say .May Allah give good Hidya for all of us to do right thing, but not unwanted ideas.May Allah help those who go astray.

    yours Brother


  19. the calculation method is not right. not islamic. ignorant muslims like it for CONVENIENCE, not because they have fear of allah.

    about ignorant shama khalil who says we have become laughing stock among non muslims. she is right, but not because we follow lunar calendar; because we are muslims and believe in allah and muhammad saw. if she wants to be appreciated by non muslims she can become a hindr or christion or sikh and go to hell.

  20. ASA,

    I appreciate the efforts of FCNA. We Muslim Ummah needs a common platform. We must have a Global Lunar Calender to established the soliderity of the Ummah to celeberate our various religious occasions like Ramadan, Eids etc.

    Every year there is so much chaos about the sighting of the moon through out the world, that we Muslims have become the laughing stock among non muslims.


  21. Dear Dr. Siddiqi,As-salamu Alikum.

    We appreciate your idea of astronomical computation. But let us use it as guide as found by Dr. Khalid.Let us use astronomy to guide us to find the correct location in the sky and predict its visibility as crescent, not new born moon.

    Use astronomical calculations in helping to find the crescent. Your organization is making it (make Islam also difficult) difficult to know the 1200GMT at a particular place when new moon is born, not the CRESENT.

    All over the world for 1400 years Muslims has started their festival by observing actual CRESENT, not new born moon. We can compute the visibility of crescent by determining sunset, moon set as done by Dr. Khalid Shaukat, ISNA advisor.

    All of your arguments are valid, for unifying start date of Islamic festivals, but instead of using GMT time of newborn moon ( and creating a new FITNA) let us use CRESENT visibility.

  22. Assalamu alaykum: The decision by the Fiqh Council of North America, following all due deliberations, to use astronomical calculations for Islamic dates, is long overdue. In many verses of the Qur’an, Allah exhorts us to seek learning of all kins–philosophy, language, science. The list of modern conveniences that did not exist or were even imaginable in the days of the Prophet is interminable. In those days, the Prophet, the Ashaab, everyone else rode camels or burrows; used legged courriers and pigeons to send communications; etc. We use cars, jetplanes, etc. to move around, and various electronic means to communicate. I can go on, but I believe the message is clear. Mohamed Mekkawi

  23. assalamu alaikum, honestly speaking i am no ulamah nor should i lie about how much i know about our deen and sunnah, but what i d know is that i absolutely disagree with this “preplanned” islamic calendar, this is not what we need to unite our ummah, a so called solution of of our “moon fighting” as it is called will not make our differences disappear, moon sighting is a part of the spiritualism that comes with ramadan and the eids, it is all about being excited and expressing feelings that we care that ramadan i s coming or that we care that a new month is beginning, if we preplan all the dates for our convenience, that is wrong and just being selfish, rather than resolving issues about “moon fighting” there are more important issues to be attended to. so then my question is why put yourself and your imans in doubt??and why ny issueing this calendar put the rest of us to the test??just think about it no matter what happens, eid will and can never be on the same day anyways throughout the ummah, just think about this, is the time ever the same and unified throught the entire world at once, when its 6 am in the usa, its 3 pm in pakistan, and 9 pm in australia, so hence this is not a pnt to be taken to unify the ummah!!!

  24. As-salaamu alaikum. Increasingly the community seems to be using telecommunications to discover when two people have seen the moon. If the community was in an age of false miracles should it rely on eyesight for signs of Allah’s favor and disapproval or make greater use of another gift perhaps? Here we seem to have an improvement over climbing a hill for a better view of the moon. And why originally a hill however symbolic that hill may be instead of from the Kaaba? If done consistently why would it matter?

    It’s still about the moon or more to the point about unity within the community. In the past I have used a website or the shadow of a stick to determine the time for prayer. And sometimes I have no access to websites although the sun is bright enough to cast shadows. But why insist on using methods with a greater degree of uncertainty or more to the point that lead to unnecessary disruption in the community’s submission to Allah? Forgive me if I’m offending anyone with this but which of my Lord’s favors should I deny? And whose example am I following by refusing to apply what the early community was strongly advised to go even to China to find?

  25. This issue has always proved to be quite difficult to explain to non-muslims and causes confusion amongst muslims as well. However I feel enlightened after having to explain it to my children. Submission to Allah isn’t always what we would deem practical, especially in our fast paced society. Although our intentions indicate a desire to ease this burden, sometimes I feel we are always trying to ‘fix’ something, rather than submitting to Allah’s will. For over fourteen hundred years we have observed fasting and celebrated Eid. There aren’t any reports of massive riots in the news or tales from grandparents to indicate that we as muslims have not been able to overcome this issue. Therefore lets focus our efforts on not trying to ‘fit in’ with the popular culture of our time but act in a way that transcends time and shows mankind that Allah nows best. These are my personal views. I do not wish to negate any of the tremendous efforts that have been made by all those concerned in issuing this opinion.

  26. salam alaikum……….

    all those examples of using clocks and watches, airplanes, calculators and so on new devices . are for false satisfaction. they are used because those devices dont contradict islamic values. moonsighting by calculation for chicago can be used if the astronomers can say 100 percent that moon will be visible. if they are doubtful, which is true, then calculation can not be used. this is so simple. ie if by calculation they say moon will be visible on monday night, then it should be visible monday night, of course the skies should be clear. but the scientists are not sure about that, that is why calculation is flawed. and again why greenwich. why not timbuctoo???… disrespect for the prophet is only suitable for nonmuslims. this is not unity, this is shaitaan in isna and icna and fcna. sorry, but i have to say the truth. majority will accept convenience readily no matter what. to the fellow who wants convenience of taking off from the job, family and friends getting together and enjoying eid, he is talking nonsense. he should take a week off, two last days of ramadaan and another two or three days after eid and enjoy. right now there are thousands in chicago for isna convention as if it is hajj or umra. in short it is not easy to convince people who are misled by shaitaan.

  27. Whatever the Prophet gives you take it whatever he prohibits you desist from it.The Ummah from time immemorial had been adhering to the teachings of the Prophet and would continue to do so and nobody would take us away from that teachings.So if we want stay on guidance we should continue to adhere to the teachings of our beloved Prophet.You in the US the intellectuals can calculate but how about people in the villages in Africa, Asia and other simple folks in the jungles who are muslims.Have you forgotten Rasulullah has been sent as Rahman to the entire humanity.You are only thinking of yourself interms of your selfish desires and not the global thinking which brought the Ummah together.This Fatwah is only for yourself not for the rest of the Ummah.So we must continue to look for the moon with our naked eyes that is following the Sunnah not following desires as suggested by the the so called new mordern Muftis.

  28. Assalamu alaikum,

    How many of us go outside to see sunset to know that the iftar time is coming. I believe it’ll be very view if we can not say none. The prophet never ever said that “break your fast when the time such and such”. But we do it, all of us use watch to determent iftar time. We don’t want to delay even one minutes, persuing the barakah of “early” iftar.

    How many of us that not use azan clock, prayer time table or similar mechanism to know the prayer time. Millions of peoples every month print prayer time table from, and other islamic websites. Millions of people download azan time software from (note: based in saudi, the azan timeis one of the most downloaded software)

    All above tools are invention, all above tool are result of calculation, all above tool were never used by the prohet or shahabah, but yet all of us use it. And nobody complaint about it, nobody say it’s bid’ah/invention.

    Anyway lets move on. Who are agree with this, let use this. If not, use sighting. Allah is the most wise the most mercifull. If our ijtihad correct we get 2 points, if not we get one. So nobody will lose.

    There is more important issue in our ummah that need more outr attention rather than “this moon fighting”; poverty, backwardness, literracy, corruption etc.

    May Allah gudie and bless us all.

  29. Aoutho bilihi minash shatinir rajeem:

    You people will see on the Day of Judgement that you were wrong in condeming something that the Prophet Muhammad Ibn Abdullah (Peace Blessing Upon Him) did in establishing hilal jamaats. It is sunnah makidah to continue with this.

    It no wonder Allah has lead a woman become your Amir at ISNA.

    The real Muslims in America and the rest of the world will always use the hilal sighting of the moon. Sufficent is Allah for us an Excellant Guadian is He.

  30. All you who disagree with FCNA by beating your chest to show how much you guys love the Prophet (SAWS) more than anyone else, please go read about the life of OUR beloved Prophet (SAWS) and learn from his humility. My Prophet teaches us the meaning of wisdom. He teaches us the value of acquiring knowledge. He does not teach us blind following of tradition.

  31. As-salaamu alaikum wrt wbt, Islam is not a religion of convinience, if following the Prophet’s tradition SAW is inconviniencing for us then we ought to be ashamed of ourselves, and go back and look at ourselves and our faith. The title of this article is downright embarrassing “moon fighting?” Allah Forgive us but the Prohet SAW warned us of innovations so please dear doctors of ICNA we know u mean well but Allah and His prophet SAW know best. Soon we shall be finding more convinient times to do our prayers and what follows after that??

    May Allah Guide us always Amin!

  32. This is an important step toward a unified Islamic World inshaa Allah. I just hope the rest of the Arab and Muslim world will follow this initiative to make this a reality.

    Thank you

  33. Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu

    I quote from the article on the decision of the FCNA that “Ru’yah as a means was indicated and used by the Prophet peace be upon him – because he himself said that the Ummah at that time was not literate and did not know how to write or to calculate (complicated astronomical data).”

    I was appalled by this statement. Astaghfirullah! To think that we today know more than Rasulullah (saws) who received direct revelation from the Source of All Knowledge!

    Islamically, there is no problem with using technology or the like for moonsighting.

    The hadith of Rasulullah saws is “Fast according to the sighting of it (the moon) and end ur fast (i.e. end the month of Ramadan) according to the sighting of it, and if it is hidden (due to cloudy skies etc) then complete the month (this refers to both Shabaan and Ramadaan) 30 days.” Nowhere in this hadith does it say that we must sight the moon with our naked eye. Telescopes can be used, but the point of the matter is that the moon must be SIGHTED! Nowhere in this hadith is there an allowance for calculation. Is the Fiqh council of N.A. claiming that the words of our noble Prophet saws are redundant now that we have become so ‘advanced’ astronomically? Aoothubillah. We need to unify the Ummah on Haqq (truth) not Batil (falsehood). The FCNA is doing a huge disservice to the ummah, which they will be held accountable for before Allah and our Rasul saws.

    Brothers and sisters please forgive me if I have caused any offence, but our great Deen is an Amanah from Allah that we cannot tamper with and change for our own convenience. The words of our Prophet saws were valid 1400 years ago and will continue to be so until the Day of Judgement.

    May Allah guide us to the Straight Path and give us all understanding. Ameen.

  34. WOW 13 of 15 are doctors thats impressive.

    doctors of what, what is the degree in Hadith, seerah, quraan etc etc.. We are following the jews and christans into the hole of that lizard for sure. We think that a title makes us scholars of Islam now to the point where we change this religion based on sciance. The kufar will have muslims doing Ramadan back to Back in the years to come. Open the door for them to help us with this religion only leads us AWAY from the teachings of the prophet(pbuh)….Why am i wasting my time as if anyone really cares, these people probally work for the US GOV to destroy islam or give us a SOFTER version because they dislike the words of ALLAH(ta) and the Prophet and the sahabba and the other 2 generations. are we there yet? are we at 73 sects yet? if not just add this to the count and we will be there soon

    Muslims lost the battle of Uhud because they did not follow the orders of the prophet, I think he advised them to stay put on the hill even if it appeared the muslims were winning the fight. In fact he wanted them to stay put no matter what they saw. In the end their DESIRES got the best of them and only a few remained on the hill like the prophet advised. In this same battel our prophet was injured and his front tooth was broken and the kuraish spred the rumor that they had KILLED MUHAMMAD(PROPHET of ALLAH(TA)…the lesson was to follow the MESSENGER till the end no matter what. Some claimed they loved the messenger and Allah said to them if you love me OBEY ALLAH(SWT) and FOLLOW the prophet. has anyone heard this stuff in a lecture or in a book b4…Is it new info for you. Did Allah saw the religion was COMPLETE or incomplete?

    End of moon fighting huh? Who was fighting? They the kufar wanted to create a rift between muslims so they make a bid deal out of the sighting, the US owns SAUDI so they encourage them to play with the start dates to disrupt and harm muslims…If we follow the sunnah it wont matter B stro

  35. As i read the artical i only shook my head and thought that this fiqh council is making more problem than it is solving. I say this because they have CHOSEN to go away from the hadith about how and when to start RAMADAN and introduced a NEW method. I guess they dont realise that you cant just simpli ignore the Prophet and do what you feel is better. After all this is what made the muslims lose the battle of UHUD but i guess they don’t understand the lessons. Perhaps they are doing it to make problems because this is something that a hypocrit would think little about. I think many socalled islamic groups or organizations are nothing but enemys to islam. All i can say is that the people who continue to follow the sunnah will stand out more like STRANGERS and i have to say Islam started as something strange and it will return to something strange so give the GOOD news to the STRANGERS…..Go on FIQH Council and show us who is true and let the HYPOCRITE separate abandon the sunnah and advice of the prophet you claim to love only shows your true colors and faith or LACk of it….. NICE job

    keep dividing till we reach the foretold 73 sects and all will go to hellfire except 1

    May Allah keep me on the path of the sahabba and the SAVED group ameen and not let me die unless i am a mulim………& and being muslim is more than just mere words or a name.

    7 conditions of shahadda need to learn those and need to learn the 10 things that will erase ALL your good deeds…whoever dies without any good deeds faces a painful tourment!

  36. Asalamu Alaikum,

    What is wrong with muslims these days, Why is everyone trying to invent something in islam calling it a 21 century islam. Prophet Muhamad peace be upon him once said that the muslims will divide into “73 parts and one” of them will be the right one that really follows all of the rules. So please try not to take muslims to different ways. We should follow islam the way it is, the way prophet (peace be upon him) followed it, and together as much as we can.

  37. wonderful?? muslims who want convenience will love it, they have no knowledge of deen, they are ignorant. most of the response will be very positive because most of us are ignorant and want convenience and if it comes from isna and icna, it is great because ignorants can follow big ignorants to have some validity. may allah save muslims from the traps of iblis. wassalam.

  38. who is fiqh council?? some mds, engineers, cpas, phds, that does not make them aalims. one goes to ivory coast or mozambique on a grant from some university, srudies artichitecture of mosques and writes a thesis and gets a phd in islamic studies, he does not become an aalim. aalim is one who has studied quran, hadees, fiqh, tafseer, mantiq, adab, and all other riligious sciences in detail which takes his or her whole student life. isna and fiqh council (supreme council, dawatul haqq, or any other impressive name) are rhrowing dust in the eyes of innocent muslims. there fatwa is not correct. i hope they are not taken by shaitaan.

  39. Mashaallah, may allah(swt) bless this decision, ameen. I wish and pray that we all adhere to this decision as ONE UMMAH, ameen!

    I never knew the “FIQHI PREMISES” as laid out on this article, which guided this decision, inshaallah.

    Finally, we all shall REMAIN UNITED AS ONE UMMAH, despite any differences, which as mentioned are permissible in fiqhi matters, inshaallah!

    Jazakallah khair


  40. At last, the FCNA took the long awaited right step that is commensurate with the 21st Century. Unfortunately, many Muslims still think with the mentality of 1400 years ago. I congratulate FCNA for considering the “time dimension” in the Prophet Ahadith related to moon sighting. Many respectable jurists have been calling for this courageous step since the late 19th Century.

    May God bless all those who contributed to this blessed and welcome step.


  41. Assalamu alaikum,

    This is a good step. We already used watch (calculation) to determent “azan time” five times a day, also timing for imsak, sahur and iftar. We no longer use stick to get the asr time or go outside to see iftar/maghrib/isha, fajr/imsak time. Why we don’t use the same approach (calculation) for knowing beginning and the end of the month of fasting.

  42. Alhamdulillah this is the best decesion.every year Ramadan and Eid are making big chaoes in my family.Insha Allah in future every one will celebrate the same day.

  43. Moon sighting is worship since it starts the month of worship and the Prophet sallahu ‘aleeyhi wa sallam ordered us to fast according to the sighting… in other words when WE SEE the moon, not when we guess it is there or calculate it. ISNA, ICNA, etc just base their fatwa and knowledge on nothing. They even twist the hadiths and verses of the Qur’aan to a certain (incorrect) understanding. We take our understanding from the Companions of the Prophet sallahu ‘aleeyhi wa sallam and they had the best understanding of the deen. Also, they usually cause the divisions any way. Why don’t they just follow the guidance of the Prophet sallahu ‘aleeyhi wa sallam and fast according to the first authentic moon sighting? The prophet sallahu ‘aleeyhi wa sallam broke his fast when a reliable person from Yemen indicated that he saw the moon the night before. ONE PERSON! Subhan Allah… that is the truth, like it or not.

  44. Fiqh Council has done a great service for Muslims. Please convey to the Muslims through out the world the importance of this decision. Inform the imams, various Islamic leaders and convince them to adopt these global dates for Islamic calendar. Your job is not yet done. You must propagate this important decision for adoption throughout the world. Thank you much.

  45. Thank you very much for taking this important decision. I hope Muslims will have enough intelligence to follow the decision taken by the Council and not to find arguments to still fight. It is Allah’s order in the Holy Book for Muslims to unite and not create sects among themselves.


  46. Unfortunately using this new development as a tool to unite muslims is a baseless argument. Muslims should be united under the Quran and the Sunnah of out Beloved Holy Prohet Muhammad (SAW), we should never compromise to pacify those who object to the right thing. Even with this ruling, there are still those people will still start to fast and celebrate Eid with Mecca. Also we can never say now lets get rid of moonsighting, because not all people have access technology or printed calendars. One last thing, sighting a new moon is the most awe-inspiring sights there are and it brings and amazing feeling to the heart that only Allah can create a universe as perfect as this.

  47. Astronomical calculations are based on mathematics. The definition of science is “The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena”. Mathematics is one way to explain phonomena. relying on astro calculations to establish the new lunar month implies the reliance on science.

    The third point in the ‘decision’ contradicts the scientific observations specific to moon sighting.

    In my understanding, there are criteria to moon visibility after an astronomically new moon has been born. The ones I remember are

    1- there is a minimum angular distance that has to be met between the sun and moon at time of sunset for the moon to be visible.

    2- From historical records, the naked-eye visibility record of minimum age of a new moon that was visible at time of sunset was 15.4 hours.

    3-the amount of time the new moon crescent stays visible after sun has set is a factor whether the new moon will be visible.

    the new decision does not necessarily satisfy the above mentioned points.

    I believe we still have to rely on sighting, in addition to astro calculations. I do not believe it is right, Islamically and scientifically, to rely solely on calculations.

  48. AA

    Our Creator told us through his beloved Prophet (s.a.w) to keep to the timings of Makkah or the nearest city with regular timings should we happen to venture into the area where the sun doesn’t set for six months, such an all encompassing sharia can’t leave out this detail!!! Don’t put your faith on the word of astronomers and satelites over a matter already prescribed. The chinese at 7th century were using calculations (they worship the moon) So if Nabi Kareem wanted he could have t old us to the same but he specifically told us to observe ramadan at the time of sighting the moon in our own regions… this had happened to the sahaba who had already observed Eid and they came across a people who were still fasting whne they were on some journey, the matter was taken infront they were surprised and matter was brought infront of our Nabi and he gave instructions to the later group’s favor.

  49. Assalamu’alaikum. The Qur’an and hadith clearly highlight the need for sighting of the moon. Doesn’t Allah swt or Rasululah saw. know that man would be more intelligent in the future and sighting of the moon via astronomical calculations would be more accurate than sighting it? There is a reason why ru’yah is the sunnah before we revert to hisab. Its best to stick to the sunnah as man’s knowledge is limited to understand all the implications involved. One good example which happened in this region many years back was that 2 experts on astronomy have differing dates for the start of Ramadhan. Man’s knowledge is limited, so don’t try to change Allah swt’s command and Rasululah saw.’s teaching. Use that little knowledge instead to understand his teachings and propogate them. Wassalam.


    It does not have any value that you invent the rules of obeying ALLAH(SWT)….which is Bid’a.

    ALLAH (SWT) knower of all knowledge directed us how to do Ibadat and how to follow “HIS” command through the “HOLY QURAN” & “SUNNAH”. Science is “HIS” creation. If ALLAH (SWT)’s will was to precalculate the moon then there should have been some indicatons or directions for it to calculate the moon without even seen it but there is clear evidence and proof to see it in naked eye. ALLAH(SWT) is the creator of science, Knower of all knowledge…..Try to know “HIS” creation and follow “HIS” direction because “HE” is the best guide.



  51. Assalamu Alaikum: There are several scholars that sit on the Fiqh council for ISNA that I have respect for. However, while I fully support the fact that we need to progress, we need to remember that the Prophet Muhammad allowed for different days of the celebration of Eid. This decision restricts what the HP (SS) told us to do and also restricts the fact that despite our best calculations Allah can make the moon be seen if He so desires. This decision does not allow for the power of Allah (ST). Hence, it should be revisited. Striving for unity is one thing, but having the right intention and understanding that nothing happens but by the Will of Allah is most important in making progrss in reaching unity. This decision will create more disunity.

  52. The title itself is so insulting the need to read the rest of this inflammatory article does not arise.

    To call it End of Moon Fighting as if it is similar to bull fighting or cock fighting is shameful.

    This group of people many self appointed leaders of the community have essentially done what Kemal Ataturk did in Turkey, make Islam a laughing stock of the world.

    The Quran and the Sunnah have numerous warnings about a time when great fitna will be caused amongst the people.

    The time is here.

    What’s next a meeting of astronomers meet to decide the moon (like Pluto) does not exist and as such the very meaning of moon sighting is meaningless.

  53. Surprised with some comments/remarks. Please UNITE. We already have enough muslims who are > hypocrites/hijacked the ISLAM/helping non-muslims to achieve their malacious agendas. It is not sunnah to criticise/make remarks/curse a muslim as long as they do not contradict the word of GOD-QURAN. The Prophet-perfect ROLE MODEL never did this even to non-muslims.

    Unity is FARZ and Priority, many other things things we fight/disagree are sunnah/Nafeel?.Some Hadiths are not authentic. Prophet didn’t contradict on many occcassions with Sahabahs during discussions on some topics. He united so many communities with friendships and guidelines. Imam Gazali said if there is fight over 8 or 20 rakah Taraweeh in a masjid, Close that masjid, because Unity is Farz.

    Do not criticize FCNA/any muslim/muslim orgs. for their physical looks (least important). The Islam and love of prophets is in your hearts and in souls. All these different orgs.should UNITE (isna,icna,tableeg etc)

    Look into yourself. Are you doing what Prophet did? He travelled on camel(not in cars /planes), He had two dresses(not suits, pants and shirts with embroideries),He did not pass such remarks as you, on anyone, He united muslims and focussed on major issues(ignoring minor),He did not live in luxury(AC home, Cell phones, Beds, carpets,computers). ARE YOU DOING ANY OF THESE SUNNAH?

    What would the Prophet have done if HE was among us? He used advised his sahabah to use modern science and technology. They used the maps(Navigation-GPS), guides(on-Star), used medicines of prophet(Tibbu-Nabawi). I advise you to attend QURAN TAFSEER classes as quran has everything about the law, science, technology, medicine, space etc.

    I know the moon sighting is a controversy. There are hadiths (local or otherwise) with many interpretations. At this critical period, why don’t we pick the Hadith which will UNITE the UMMAH that is very much needed now. I am sure this will please ALLAH -Inshaallah.


    What do i have to tell them other than that they should obey Allaah and His unlettered messenger.

    Obviously what u ve decided to do is nothing but baatil which will insha Allaah not stand the test of time. Alhamdulillaah , the people of the sunnah from the west cant be found on the team. Well, to educate u, try

    The people that matter have spoken.

  55. this is typical of our faith. we do whatever to stick to tradition without using our God-given brain to consider reasons behind our religion and its tenets. fasting is an act of worship. start it and celebrate it collectively.. emphasis on collectively not individual stubbornness! moon cycle and other details are nothing more than trying to unite the believers and there is every reason for a muslim to use technology and science where it makes sense yet the most important part of any faith is worship of One God and this must be done from the heart with all one’s being regardless of details. shiites pray without hands crossed yet sunnis do that. for 23 years our prophet prayed amongst his folk. was there no one amongst those reporting his tradition who actually noticed how he prayed? did they see him cross his hands or not? yet they seem to be so concerned with details that bear no weight on one’s faith in Enternal Being, and the quran declares: in’nama al’amalu bil-n’niat. “deeds are judged by their intentions”. it is whats in your heart that matters to God not in details how you do it.

  56. I don’t know if this right or wrong – I don’t have any knowledge of these matters (I will pretty much follow my local mosque which follows ICNA etc..)

    However, some reasons and comments (eg Khalil Ansari) are quite inane. To show non-Muslims that we are a civil lot (or uncivil if you will) is not on my list of priorities. Non-muslims will have their opinion. Another reason given was that we can have co-ordinated family, social gatherings. If your family or social circle need something like a date to be united and come together, you have more serious problems – look into it first and then think of Eid.

    Having a common date will not unite Muslims one iota.

    My $0.02


  57. Masha’Allah; Now we can arrange for our vacations and holidays in advance, but on the other hand, we are disobeying Allah and the messenger,peace be upon him. Allah says in Al-Imran:(and if you claim to love Allah, then follow me (the messenger of Allah) for Allah to love you…). Those who put themselves as the Imams of the community, and the community doesnt want them, they should check out the hadith of the messenger about that. May be they wont even know. It is a great idea; if we think holidays will unite us, then we have misunderstood the religion. The Ummah is falling in corrupted aqidah, shirk, riba, adultry, loss of shame and modesty, and here we violate the clear commands of Muhammd so we can be united fr eid! Allah-ul-must`aan.

  58. Finally a bit of good news. This will really make our lives easier and now we dont have to explain to our kids why some friend celebrate Eid or Ramadan at different dates even thought we are all muslims. This is a great break through.

  59. the problem was never moon sighting – it was that ISNA et al. wanted to take their orders from the .. “Saudi” regime… so they would insist on moon having been sighted or not depending on what the “Saudi” regime said… this is just a way to cover up their past failures… Muslims do have to see the moon, infact the date for the start of Ramadan is probably wrong – because of the very low probablity of the moon being sighted anywhere…

  60. Moon sighting is not a ibadah, but it is a sunnah of prophet Mohammed(PBUH) and FCNA is trying to abolish a sunnah. Anyway

    FCNA and their clean shaven, secular members can do what ever they want. Muslim Ummah will never accept your decisions. Atleast your decision to adopt a calendar based on science is not acceptable to me. I pray for the failure of your scheme.

    Mohammed AbdulQayyum.

  61. Assalaamo Alaikum.

    Brothers & sisters in faith !

    This is a step in right direction. Let us show to the world that Islam is not outdated, good for nothing ideas & customs.

    The “Great Principles in Islam” are not effected by moon sighting. Let us not depend on clouds or bad weather and more important is that let us stop this good for nothing confused mullah be the arbitrator.

    Islam is not just when you celebrate Idd. It is much more than that. Apologies to the real “Aalim”.

    Pardon me if I said some thing stupid but I welcome guidance.

    Khalil Ansari

  62. It’s been long, long overdue to base our calendar on science, especially when Islam has such a glorious contribution to science. International Dateline will be a better point of reference i think. Keep up the good work. Thanks.

  63. Assalamo Alaikum WRB,

    Finally sense came. Wheter this will be followed is yet to be seen.

    Scholars have lived,propagated and maintained contradictions

    and many will still continue. A fatwa form Al azhar indicating

    that westerener Muslims may follow astronomical calender to

    arrange to observe religious days in advance( for work school

    etc.). This was circulated by Canadian Islamic Congress .This

    was disregarded.

    Scholars of text and majority of context observe contradictios.

    They follow Time Clock to offer prayer , but b will be up on

    arms when question of observing Saum(Ramadan) or Eid etc. by

    astronomical calender comes.

    Whether the decision of Fiq council will be followed by many , is

    yet to be seen. Muslims who feel this decision to be appropriate

    may provide leadership. It will not be a split or disunion that

    they may be afraid of, but a demonstration of leadership for

    others to join in due course.


    Dr. Naiyer Habib


    Now we can plan family and friends reunions, vacations and offs from the jobs based on these dates. This is a great news.

    Hopefully there won’t be any controversy now among arabs,non-arabs, between ISNA and ICNA, among locals and masajeeds. UNITE..UNITE..

    We need one authority for all muslims like this at international level and all muslims must follow and show unity as one ummah. aameen.

    We need to fix the Friday’s Sermon and prayers also. I strongly suggest all masjids to have a FIXED TIME(SERMON/QUTBAH >1PM,followed by PRAYERS >1:25PM)irrespective of Daylight savings. Many Masjids do this. Any other speech may start at 12:40 and finish by 1PM. Daylight savings will not effect the schedules of Friday program atleast.

    In this way we do not have to keep a trac of daylight savings, make travel plans easy(pray and start or reach by that time), we do not have to ask or take time off at jobs or close our businesses at different times because of daylight savings.


  65. AA

    I have to say that this is most disturbing, how can you change what Nabi Kareem approve, he told us to use our eyes, and celebrate Eid on different days if we have to in our regions. Allah almighty could have told us to use the calculations of the chinese to calculate the moon cycle at the time which are accurate by the way. How can you rely on word of astronomers! In my humble opinion this is not right.

  66. bismillahir rahmanir raheem

    While I agree with the Council’s decision and believe, at this time, that the premises they use are valid I would only like to say this. That if Allah (swt) should decide to order the moon to run in a different orbit, it would immediately do so, being a true slave of Allah (swt). At that time the calculations would be totally wrong and need to be re-done. You see, you really cannot predict these future events, any more than you can predict your own time and manner of death. Only Allah (swt) knows these things.

    However, it is good to make things easier in this way. I hope that is what happens from this. To my knowledge Ramadhan last year was a point of contention even among the brothers and sisters of this community. The type of thing needs to be ended and, insha’allah, this will help to do that.

    Lastly, I would say also that, although they are correct in saying that sighting the Hilal is not, in and of itself, an act of ‘ibadah, there is great benefit in doing it anyway. The joy that is in one’s heart upon seeing it and bearing witness to it…”ya hilal rabbika wa rabbi allah”… Such a feeling of connection with our beloved creator. I will continue my monthly sightings and I hope that many will as well.

    Ma Salaama


  67. alhamdulillah!

    this is a beautiful thing. points 7 & 8 on your additional list of considerations are especially relevent. as islam is a religion of unity, anything that we can do help unite ourselves as a single ummah essential in these difficult times. it is also important to have our holidays recognized–i’ve seen far too many islamic and “sufi” calandars in america with christian and jewish holidays listed, but with islamic holidays strangely absent…

    brothers and sisters, let us hope that this is a beginning of the end of silly pedantic disputations.