11 September 2007

Yes, I think I see it, umm, no, maybe, wait...

So our people are standing on top of buildings and stuff for sightings of the moon, to confirm whether or not the Holy month of Ramadhan is finally upon us...

Moon-Sighting Panel Meets

MANAMA: A Ramadan moon-sighting committe will meet this evening at the Justice & Islamic Ministry to receive eyewitnesses' testimonies, from Bahrain and abroad, confirming the advent of the fasting month.

And so we're waiting for the sightings to see whether Ramadan is today, tommorow, or the regular argument we go through every year; the Sunni people decide it is today, but the Shiia decide its tommorow, and so on. Of course, all of this is based on "testimonies" of people who probably sit at the top of their house, mosque, or maybe even get clearance to go to the top of Al Moayyed tower (hopefully shifting to Bahrain Financial Harbour next year) to get a really close good look at the sky and see if the moon has, in fact, appeared.

Pardon me for being a little rude but this is all a bunch of crap. For one, not everyone has the same eyesight; some have stronger than others. Secondly, a sky can be cloudy, or unclear with haze, hiding the moon even if it has actually appeared. I can go on and on about how this method is subjective depending on the person, where he is located, etc, and thus brings rise to the whole complication between Sinna and Shiaa about which day to fast because the Sunni guy saw it but the Shiaa guy didn't, which day Eid is,and so on. This way of finding whether or not the moon exists is pure rubbish, in this day and age.

Why do I say this? Well, technology has given people the ability to literary stare into space with telescopes and satellites, using the latest technology to find the moon even through the murkiest sky. Not only that, but companies like NASA have the means to actually predict when the moon will appear way before it actually does (and this isn't restricted to huge organizations like NASA, but smaller astronomy centers now have the means to do this as well).

So you would think, ok, no problem, we're not using that because we don't have access to that type of equipment.

Erm... First of all, this equipment is a lot easier to get nowadays, and doesn't cost too much (especially under a government budget, whether it is from Bahrain or Saudi Arabia or anyone else). But even with that argument, we still don't NEED to buy it. You see, the internet, that invention giving the whole world access to all sorts of information and data, can link us straight up to the NASA website, the Farmer's Almanac website, or any of the other hundereds of people who set up live-cam moon feeds through their own personal computer. The technology is out there, it's pretty much accurate (well, definately more accurate than the naked eye), and it's accessible to ANYONE.

Does it still make sense that we're sitting on top of a rooftop squinting trying to see if the moon 'is' actually there? Lets just wish that this year our Sunii and Shiia brothers celebrate the joys of Ramadhan and Eid together, and blessed may this month be on all thee.

و مبارك عليكم الشهر


Re.Loaded Soul said...


I do understand your points, and I have been even more frustrated than you, once upon a time. But, I have decided to put and end for this, and met one of the well known Shai's scholar. After a very long discussion and arguments, he managed to convince me some how, to be frank with you.

Since it was a very lengthy meeting, I would summarize the main points:

- If you, pretty sure, that you sighted the moon, you have the freedom to consider the next day is the first day of the Arabic Hijri month, even if the entire majority agreed that they didn't sight it, though people do not have to follow you, with all my respect to you, only if the followings have been proved:

1. You are well known for your faithfulness and honesty among a big group of Muslims.

2. Your testimony should not be illogical. For example, the experts know that a moon sight will be in a very short period, and in a certain angle in the sky. If yours, however, contradict with the norms, your voice shall be rejected.

3. Again, two well known for their honesty and faithfulness persons, should be supporting you.

- The reason why the scholars do not follow the technology, is not because they don't want to, or because lack of knowledge or technical stuff. But, they claim that the scientists themselves can't all give you one opinion or fact about any technology. Everyone might have his own theory. I mean we should not underestimate the differences that they also have. It is not just a yes I saw it or no, I didn't. Many other characteristics are there for a moon sight. It's position, shape, brightness, distance from the sun, standard of error...etc. Even if they agree, they will come and say this is : 99.34% sure, which is, theoretically, still exposed to error. The mathematical calculations were there even before the Prophet Mohammed’s advent, so why didn’t himself fellow it?

I know it is a pain to have such a huge difference, but again, we shouldn't fight and accuse each other. Let us agree to disagree. Disagreements were always there, and it is here now, and it will be there for ever.

do0da said...

why go online and miss out on a chance to see old men squinting from rooftops :P

SILVER said...

Check out Fudlullah's website, he does it every year. He uses Astronomy and he has always been right!!
It doesnt require advance technology, most Ayatolla's and islamic scholers study it, and most of them can calculate it with an excellent accuracy. so the choice is really does islam say its only naked eye or we can use other methods. Thats the argument.

Anonymous said...

The mathematical calculations were there even before the Prophet Mohammed’s advent, so why didn’t himself fellow it?

Could it be that it was because he was an illiterate?

Unknown said...

Embarak 3alena o 3alek!

Dr. Shale bin Agnon said...

I bet you could figure it out using Google Earth.

bb q8 said...

great post and thanx for the info! your rudeness is excused... :)

M said...

Emaraaaak 3laaina ow 3laaik!!
Your point TOTALLY makes sense =P the UAE relys on what Saudi Arabia issues and states =P
9amoooooow 9mnaaaaa weyahum =P

Missy said...

OMG! :S ahahhahaha min 9jik? They sit at the roof and keep staring at the sky hoping that they'd see the moon? WALLAH?! :p

LOOOOOL.. sorry bss it's so funny :P

I bit one of ur parents is sunni and the other is shi'i. :p

Ammaro said...

ok guys, i'm going to my rooftop. if someone is gonna see the moon, it should at least be me

eshda3wa said...

im with do0da :)

plus the old men get a free bisht!

oo mbarak 3alaikom elshahar

Anonymous said...

3alaina oo 3alaikk!

Anonymous said...

I'm fascinated by cultures who use the lunar calendar. I think that's there's something magical and mystical about it.

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KJ said...

I always find it strange how so many different countries have so many different Ramadan timings.

Use Yahoo widget warewolf monitor for the love of God!

Anonymous said...

Man you rock! I said it million times but who cares about some crazy outlawed girl who wasn’t and will never be a Muslim?? :P

Oh yeh!!!... And mubarek 3lek alshahar! :D

Ammaro said...

KJ; yeah, silly! 3 different starting dates this year!

Nora; you sound too arab though; where are you originally from again, greece?

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