www.onlyislam.net         Ramadhaan – A Date with Dr. Zakir                             Episode 28                      Si...
www.onlyislam.net“They ask thee concerning the new moon. Say these are signs,marked, fixed for a period of time for the af...
www.onlyislam.netSunan Nasai Book of Fasting Hadith no. 2118, the Prophet Muhammad(Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said“When ...
www.onlyislam.netSo here the criteria is it should be 2 just Muslims, that they should beAadil, the Arabic word used here ...
www.onlyislam.netMeans once the job is entrusted to him, he has got strength and youcan trust him. so trustworthiness and ...
www.onlyislam.netIbn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), it is said that “he fastedalone, along with the people and did ...
www.onlyislam.netSo based on this therefore the astronomical Computation whetherright or wrong, it will not take into cons...
www.onlyislam.netSunan Nasai Book of Manasikal Hajj Hadith no. 3059, the Prophet said“Do not exaggerate because there were...
www.onlyislam.netpeople is important then the month of Ramadhaan starts. If its notseen, if it’s not known it doesn’t star...
www.onlyislam.netbe 2 days late and if he continues and he ends his month ofRamadhaan according to the second country wher...
www.onlyislam.netthe fast only when all the people break even if he has to fast one or 2days more.And similarly if a perso...
www.onlyislam.netIf Makkah ends Ramadhaan then everyone throughout the worldshould end Ramadhaan and if Makkah celebrates ...
www.onlyislam.netTirmidhi in the Book of Fasting Hadith no. 697 that“The fast is when you all fast and the breaking of fas...
www.onlyislam.net“You cannot fast on the day of EEid.”So here we realize that we have to follow the same rule as we follow...
www.onlyislam.netdays. Sighting the moon, from one part of the world to the other partof the world can be a difference eve...
www.onlyislam.netMeans all of you sacrifice indicating that it should be in congregation,people, of the same city cannot d...
www.onlyislam.netcommittee having many sub divisions so what happens that there’sego problem between them and that happens...
www.onlyislam.netSurah Ale Imran ch. no. 3 verse no. 103“Wa’tasimoo bihabli Allahi jamee’an wala tafarraqoo”“Hold to the r...
www.onlyislam.netDr. Zakir: There are various reasons why we follow lunar calendar andfollowing lunar calendar is much mor...
www.onlyislam.netYusuf Chambers: JazakAllah Dr. Zakir. Next question, is itpermissible for Muslims who are living in a non...
www.onlyislam.netIt says ‘Shaahidain’So he says the woman is a Shaahidaa, not a Shahid. So based on thatargument he says t...
www.onlyislam.netBrothers and sisters do join us again tomorrow the same time whenwe will be discussing the topic ‘Zakaat-...
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zakir naik ramadan Episode28

  1. 1. www.onlyislam.net Ramadhaan – A Date with Dr. Zakir Episode 28 Sighting of the Moon (Duration – 45 minutes)Yusuf Chambers: Dear Brothers and sisters in Islam and Humanity,Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh. May the peace, themercy and the blessings of Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) be on all ofyou. Welcome to the show ‘Ramadhaan - A date with Dr Zakir.’ I amyour host, Yusuf Chambers, and today we will be discussing ‘Sightingof the Moon’. Dr Zakir, Assalamu Alaikum!Dr. Zakir: Walaikum Assalamu Wa Rahmatullahi Wa BarakatuhYusuf Chambers: Dr. Zakir, could you first explain to us how is thebeginning of the Islamic month determined?Dr. Zakir: Alhamdulillah was salaatu was salaam ala rasoolillah wa alaaalihi wa ashaabihi wa ajma’een. Amaa Ba’adA’uzu billahi minash shaytan nir-rajeem,Bismillah hirrahman nirraheem,Rabbish rahli Şadri Wa Yassir Li Amri Wa Ahlul `Uqdatan Min LisaniYafqahu QawliWe find that whenever the blessed month of Ramadhaan approacheswe find there are a lot of concerns, debates, arguments and differenceof opinions as far as when does this month begin and end. And wehave different people giving their own opinion etc. but as far as thebeginning of the Islamic month is concerned Allah (Subhanahu waTa’ala) is very clear in the Qur’an that it is based only and only on thesighting of the moon. The moment you sight the new moon, theIslamic month begins. And Allah says in the Qur’an inSurah Baqarah ch. no. 2 verse no. 189 www.onlyislam.net 1
  2. 2. www.onlyislam.net“They ask thee concerning the new moon. Say these are signs,marked, fixed for a period of time for the affairs of men and forpilgrimage.”Allah is very clear that the moment you sight the new moon, theIslamic month begins. And Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam)has made it clear in various Sahih Hadith, its mentioned inSahih Bukhari Vol. no. 3 in the Book of Fasting Hadith no. 1909Abu Hurraira (may Allah be pleased with him), he said ProphetMuhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam), Abul Qasim that wasanother name, (may Allah be pleased with him), he said that“Fast when you see the crescent of Ramadhaan……Fast when you see the new moon i.e. of Ramadhaan and you stopfasting when you see the crescent i.e. the new moon of Shawwal and ifthe sky is overcast, that means you cannot see the moon thencomplete 30 days of Shabaan”And Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) was very particular tocount especially the days in the month of Sha’baan so that he could besure that when is Ramadhaan going to begin and its mentioned inSunan Abu Dawud Vol. no. 2 in the Book of Fasting Hadith no. 2318,Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her), she says that“Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) was the most careful incounting the days of the month of Sha’baan and whenever he saw thenew moon of Ramadhaan, he used to start fasting and if he could notsee the new moon because of cloudy weather etc. then he used tocomplete 30 days of Sha’baan.”Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) was particular in counting thedays of Sha’baan so that he could know exactly when does the monthof Ramadhaan start.And as far as witness is concerned whether the moon is sited or not,the beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said, itsmentioned in www.onlyislam.net 2
  3. 3. www.onlyislam.netSunan Nasai Book of Fasting Hadith no. 2118, the Prophet Muhammad(Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said“When 2 just Muslims site the moon, when they give Shahadah thenfast or stop your fast.”That means when 2 just Muslims, give their verdict you can start yourfasting… start the month of Ramadhaan or stop your fasting and endthe month of Ramadhaan.Therefore 2 witnesses are required for testifying that the month ofRamadhaan has started or ended.But there are other group of scholars who say that one witness issufficient to start the month of Ramadhaan based on the Hadith ofSunan Abu Dawud Vol. no. 2 in the Book of Fasting Hadith no. 2335where“Abdullah Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) he said that“when people were seeing the moon, trying to find the new moon ofRamadhaan, I told to the Prophet that I had seen the new moon, theProphet fasted and he commanded all the people to fast.”So based on this one witness alone, most of the scholars, they saythat for the beginning of the month of Ramadhaan, one witness issufficient, if 2 then it’s preferable but 1 is sufficient and for the end ofthe month of Ramadhaan then 2 witnesses are required.Yusuf Chambers: Dr. Zakir, you mentioned the issue of witnesses,what kind of a persons’ testimony will be accepted for the sighting ofthe moon?Dr. Zakir: As the beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) said as I mentioned earlier, its mentioned inSunan Nasai Book of Fasting Hadith no. 2118, the beloved Prophetsaid that“If 2 just Muslims,” just Muslims, “if they site the moon then you canstart fasting or you can stop fasting.” www.onlyislam.net 3
  4. 4. www.onlyislam.netSo here the criteria is it should be 2 just Muslims, that they should beAadil, the Arabic word used here is ‘Aadil’ it comes from the root wordAdal which means straight, which means upright, its opposite of acrooked person and Aadil is a person who does all his obligatory actsall his Faraiz and he does not commit any major sins and hepersistently does not commit any minor sins, completes all hisobligatory acts includes, he fasts, he prays, he gives Zakaat etc, etc.and does not do any major sins which we discusses earlier in theprevious episode of major sins, does not slander, does not backbite,etc. the person should be of a good character and should have goodeyesight, being Aadil is a must, the person besides being Aadil, theperson also should have a good eyesight because only if he has a goodeyesight, can he sight the moon. If he doesn’t have a good eyesight,only being Aadil is not sufficient because then he may be deluded. Sobesides being Aadil he also has to have a god eyesight and the criteriathat’s always laid down by Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) in the Qur’an,the person should be strong and should be trustworthy as Allah says inthe Qur’an inSurah Qasas ch. no. 28 verse no. 26“The criteria for such type of people are that they should be strong andthey should be trustworthy.”Allah says in Surah Qasas ch. no. 28 verse no. 26 speaking aboutnarration of the story of Musa (Alaihe Salaam) when one of the 2daughters of Shuiab (Alaihe Salaam) say that you should employ Musa(Alaihe Salaam) “O my dear father, employ him on your wages” thatmeans hire Musa (Alaihe Salaam) “because you truly require a man toemploy who is strong and trustworthy.”So strength and trustworthiness these are 2 criteria which are requiredand a similar message which is repeated inSurah Naml ch. no. 27 verse no. 39 when“Ifreeth one of the Jinns when he is asked to get the thrown of queenSheba, then he says that truly indeed I have got strength and may beyou can trust me.” www.onlyislam.net 4
  5. 5. www.onlyislam.netMeans once the job is entrusted to him, he has got strength and youcan trust him. so trustworthiness and strength are the 2 criteriarequired so witness should be Aadil that he should be trustworthythat’s what’s important.Yusuf Chambers: Okay, thank you for the answer Dr. Zakir. I’d liketo further ask you regarding the sighting the moon. Is one allowed touse astronomical evidence… to sight the moon? After all isn’t thatmore accurate than using a human witness.Dr. Zakir: As far as using astronomical evidence, astronomicalcalculation or computation for the sighting of moon as far as Islamicmonth is concerned and this suggestions have been given very often,it’s mainly given by those people who have lack of knowledge of Islam.Because as far as astronomical calculation is concerned they werethere even at the time of the Prophet and this suggestion was notgiven only lately, it has even been given at the time of the Prophetand when we read the Hadith we come to know what the Prophet saidabout it. It’s mentioned inSahih Bukhari Vol. no. 3 in the Book of Fasting Hadith no. 1913 whereIbn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), he says that the Prophet(peace be upon him) said that “We are an illiterate nation and we donot calculate and do not do accounts”Mainly relating to the month of fasting indicating that we do not useastronomical calculation or computation as far as calculating theIslamic month is concerned and he said that “its only so and so” andhe did thrice 1…2…3 and third time he pressed his thumb indicating itseither 29 days or it is, he did thrice like that… so and so indicating its30 days.”Now he said that we don’t use astronomical evidence, astronomicalcalculations or Computation and immediately there is one more Hadithwhich is mentioned inSunan Abu Dawud Vol. No. 2 in the Book of Fasting Hadith no. 2313where www.onlyislam.net 5
  6. 6. www.onlyislam.netIbn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), it is said that “he fastedalone, along with the people and did not rely on the astronomicalevidence, on the astronomical calculation.”From here we come to know that we have to rely only on sighting ofthe moon with your eyes, that’s important.And Shaikh Ibn Tamiya, he says when the Prophet Muhammad(Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said that we are an illiterate Ummahwhat he meant was he tried to praise us, praise the Ummah sayingthat we are simple and we don’t rely on anything else but the sightingof the moon with our own eyes. It was not a statement used to put theUmmah down but to uplift the Ummah that we follow a simple religion.and Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) purposely he didnot use the Computation because he wanted to be followed by thecommon human being and he did not want to let this evidence ofwhether the month starts or not to be in the hands of a selected fewpeople of knowledge whether it is right or wrong, it is secondary. Sobased on that, the astronomical evidence is not used for sighting ofthe moon. Only seeing with the eyes is sufficient for sighting of themoon and to rely whether the Islamic month starts or not.Furthermore it is the lack of knowledge of Arabic and Islam that peoplesuggest such things and Ibn Tamiyyah further says that the Arabicword Hilaal, it actually means to see the moon or to announce and ifthe moon is there but if people don’t see it and people don’t announceit then that means the new month hasn’t started. Though the moonmay be there but because it’s not seen by the people, its notannounced so its not started.Furthermore the Arabic word for month is ‘Shahar’, it comes from theArabic word ‘Ashar’ which means fame that means unless it becomesfamous or it becomes known to the people the month hasn’t started.Many people think that if the moon is there, irrespective whetherpeople sight it or not whether people know about it or not whether itbecomes famous or not, the month has started, No! It has to b e alsoseen by people and it should be made famous to the people then theright Arabic word Shahar that is known to the people then can we saythat the Islamic month has started. www.onlyislam.net 6
  7. 7. www.onlyislam.netSo based on this therefore the astronomical Computation whetherright or wrong, it will not take into consideration because peopleshould see it themselves, it should be announced and it should bemade common then the Islamic month starts.Yusuf Chambers: Amm.. I am sure that will help a lot of people tounderstand once you have given the derivation of the word,SubhanAllah. It makes so much sense. JazakAllah Khair. Is it correctto confirm the testimony of a person that claims to have sighted themoon via astronomical evidences or otherwise?Dr. Zakir: As I mentioned earlier that using astronomical evidences toknow whether Ramadhaan has started or not is totally wrong even touse it as a reconfirmation for the testimony given by the Muslims istotally incorrect. And there are many reasons for thisPoint no. 1 if the astronomical evidence goes against the people whohave testified, that means we are doubting those just Muslims anddoubting a just Muslim is against the Qur’an and SunnahPoint no. 2 if the astronomical evidence goes against the testimony itmay be that some of the acts of worship may be nullified which willagain create a problem andPoint no. 3 which is the most important its goes against the sayings ofthe Prophet, against the commandments of the Prophet. The Prophetsaid that “we are an illiterate nation, we do not use astronomicalevidences and computations.”So it goes against the Prophet which is the strongest reason andsufficient for us to stay away from it.Point no. 4 Allah says in the Qur’an inSurah Nisa ch. no. 4 verse no. 171“la taghloo fee deenikum”“Do not commit excess in your religion”…..Don’t commit excesses. And the beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam)said, its mentioned in www.onlyislam.net 7
  8. 8. www.onlyislam.netSunan Nasai Book of Manasikal Hajj Hadith no. 3059, the Prophet said“Do not exaggerate because there were people in the past who havebeen destroyed because of exaggerations, talking about the Jews.”Same the Qur’an also talks about the Jews that if you exaggerate thenthere are chances that they will be destroyed so what the Prophetsaid, Allah says follow it. If you go too much into exaggeration thenyou will be destroyed.And furthermore, the last reason that people fail to realize that theProphet said that“When you see the moon then you start fasting, when you see it, thenyou stop fasting.”Based on the Hadith which I quoted earlier of Sahih Bukhari Vol. no. 3in the Book of Fasting Hadith no. 1909. So the main thing I that youshould see it so true fasting begins when you see it with your eyes orsome Muslims sees with the eyes and is known to the people.If it’s not seen with the eyes an if its not known to the people thentrue fasting hasn’t begun so where is the question of astronomicalevidence.And furthermore we find it’s mentioned in the Hadith ofSahih Muslim Vol. no. 2 in the Book of Fasting Hadith no. 2393 that“Once there was a Sahaba who was performing Umrah and before hereached Makkah on his way on one of the areas he saw the moon andit seemed to be a 2 or a 3 day old moon so when later on he met IbnAbbas (may Allah be pleased with him) and told him about this thingthat you know you all are fasting in the month of Ramadhaan now butI already saw that the moon was approximately 2 or 3 days old so IbnAbbas (may Allah be pleased with him) replies that you start fastingwhen you see the moon and if the moon is obscured its possible themoon wasn’t seen so complete 30 days.So with this is sufficient that we don’t have to rely on the astronomicalevidence at all. Seeing it is important and making it known to the www.onlyislam.net 8
  9. 9. www.onlyislam.netpeople is important then the month of Ramadhaan starts. If its notseen, if it’s not known it doesn’t start.Yusuf Chambers: Okay once again…reaffirming what you have said…I mean it really is all about us seeing it with our own eyes but just onelast question on instrumentation if you like. Is one allowed to use atelescope to sight the moon?Dr. Zakir: As far as using telescope for sighting the moon, it’spermissible because finally you have to use your eyes. So telescope itonly makes it easier for you to see, it brings the object closer to you, itseems to be closer the object is there, the moon is there, the moondoesn’t come closer but it seems closer and it’s easily seen so usingthe telescope is permissible, it does not at all go against the Shariah,against the saying of the Prophet.There are some people who do object to it, but they fail to realize thenif they object to using telescope, you have to also object to seeing withyour spectacles. Because when a person sees with the spectacles likewhen I see wearing the spectacles, its nothing but a glass, its makinga correction in my eyesight and I can see clearly. So if you objectusing the telescope that means you have to object even using thespectacles. Telescope is nothing but there are some lenses, someglasses put so that it helps you in seeing. So as long as you see it withyour eyes, it helps you in seeing, there is no problem so the scholarsare unanimous in this that using telescope is permissible if you want touse it but it will make little bit difference but not much, not much ofdifference because when the moon is there and if it’s a cloudy sky withthe telescope also you can’t see. And if you have a good eyesightwithout the telescope the moon is to be sighted and it will be seen. Butsomeone wants to use it, he can use it, it’s permissible.Yusuf Chambers: Now it makes sense to me. Dr. Zakir, if a personstarts fasting in one country, he then travels to a second country, inthat country their month has started 2 days after his country of originshould he end his fast according to the country that he has traveled to,this would mean of course that he would end up fasting 31 or even 32days. Is this correct for him to do that?Dr. Zakir: As far as a person who starts fasting in one country andwhen he travels to another country and that country has started may www.onlyislam.net 9
  10. 10. www.onlyislam.netbe 2 days late and if he continues and he ends his month ofRamadhaan according to the second country where he has traveled, itmay be that he may end up fasting 31 days or 32 days so should hefast till the end of that country or should he continue with the countryof origin and when they finish the Ramadhaan, they should finish. Asfar as this questions is concerned as Allah’s Prophet has clearlymentioned in the Hadith ofSahih Bukhari Vol. no. 3, Book of Fasting, Hadith no. 1907 and 1909that the Prophet said that“When you see the new moon, you start fasting and when you see thenew moon, you stop fasting”So based on this but natural… and another Hadith ofTirmidhi Book of Fasting Hadith no. 697, the beloved Prophet said“The fast the day when you all fast and the breaking of the fast is theday when you all break the fast and the day of sacrifice is the daywhen you all sacrifice.”Indicating that it should be done in congregation, it should be inJamaah, it can’t be done individually.So because the person when he is shifts from one country to anothercountry he should follow the rules and regulations as the people ofthat country where he is staying in. So if he stays in a country wherethey starts fasting early, he should start fasting early with them and ifhe goes to a country where the fasting is delayed, the month ofRamadhaan is delayed by 2 days, he should continue with them even ifhe has to fast for 1 or 2 days more, he has to continue doing thatbecause he has to b e with the Jamaah, he has to be with the people.It cannot be that the other people are fasting and he is not fasting. Heshould maintain the Jamaah that as what the people are doing in thecountry where he is living, he should continue doing that even if hehas to fast 1 or 2 days more. I know the month of Ramadhaan is of 29or 30 days but since he has to follow the Hadith that the fast is theday when all the people fast and the breaking of the fast is the daywhen all the people break the fast. So he should continue and break www.onlyislam.net 10
  11. 11. www.onlyislam.netthe fast only when all the people break even if he has to fast one or 2days more.And similarly if a person, when he starts fasting and if he travels toanother country and may be the sunset is about 2 hours late so he hasto fast, 2 hours more, he can’t say that the country of origin, the sunwas setting at 6 ‘o’ clock and here it is setting at 8 ‘o’ clock so I willfast 2 hours less. No so the same way as far as sighting of the moon isconcerned then he has to do extra days.If its the vice versa if a person starts fasting, if the person starts themonth of Ramadhaan in a country and then he goes to a countrywhich has already started the month of Ramadhaan 2 days earlier thanthe country of origin or 1 day earlier than the country of origin, in thiscase also he has to continuer fasting with the people of that area eventhough he may have to fast one day less. May be he’ll have to fastonly 28 days but in this case since a month cannot be 28 days he hasto celebrate Eid with the people of that country but later on he shouldcompensate for the fast he has missed because the month ofRamadhaan cannot have 28 days.So if both the countries where he has started and ended both have 30days and if he fasted for 28 days then he has to compensate 2 daysbut if the country of origin had 29 days or the country of… to which hehas traveled has 29 days then he has the option of only fasting for 29days, then he has to make up only one fast. But he has to complete atleast 29 or 30 days depending upon the country of origin anddestination.Yusuf Chambers: Then may be if you want to get more reward thenyou have to travel east. Dr. Zakir perhaps you could shed some lighton the issue of why it is that the Muslims of the world are not unitedas regards to fasting and celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha.Dr. Zakir: As far as Muslims throughout the world being united instarting the month of Ramadhaan and ending the month ofRamadhaan and celebrating Eid, there are scholars which are divided.There is one group of scholars who say that throughout the world youshould follow the timing of Makkah. So if Makkah starts the month ofRamadhaan everyone throughout the world should follow Ramadhaan. www.onlyislam.net 11
  12. 12. www.onlyislam.netIf Makkah ends Ramadhaan then everyone throughout the worldshould end Ramadhaan and if Makkah celebrates Eid then everyoneelse in the world should celebrate Eid and this is view even of ShaikhBin Baaz. When a person asked him that he was a Saudi who traveledto Spain and he said that I have been fasting according to the calendarof Makkah and Makkah started fasting, I started fasting in Spainaccording to Makkah and ended fasting according to Makkah andcelebrated Eid according to Makkah so is it right? so Shaikh Bin Baazsaid there is no problem, it is right because Makkah is a holy city.But the other group of scholars, they disagree and they say that thetimings should be according the area, there should be time zones asAllah says in the Qur’an inSurah Baqarah ch. no. 2 verse no. 185 that“If you sight the moon for those who sight the moon,” those whowitness the moon or those who are present at home in the month,“they should fast.”And our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) alsosaid, its mentioned inSahih Bukhari Vol. no. 3 in the Book of Fasting Hadith no. 1907 and1909, the Prophet said that“When you see the new moon of Ramadhaan, then you start your fastand when you see the new moon of Shawwal then you end the fast.”So based on this the people of that area should see the moon and ifthat area is common, it may be one city, it may be a full country or acouple of countries together that is the right ruling.And Shaikh Ibn Taimiyah says that you cannot have that all together,you cannot have all the Muslims in the world fasting together and healso says that even according to scientific evidences, even according toastronomical evidences it’s not possible that all the Muslimsthroughout the world can fast on one day because the moon cannot besighted altogether on one day, there has to be difference. So it’sillogical to say that we should fast altogether and the beloved ProphetMuhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said, its mentioned in www.onlyislam.net 12
  13. 13. www.onlyislam.netTirmidhi in the Book of Fasting Hadith no. 697 that“The fast is when you all fast and the breaking of fast is when you allbreak the fast. And the day of sacrifice is when all the peoplesacrifice.”So as long as the people of that area, they fast, it is sufficient i.e.fasting and when people of that area in that locality or in that city or inthat country, if they break the fast then you have to break the fastbecause as we see that there is no difference of opinion as far as thetimings of the sun is concerned, as far as starting of the each day asfar as when the day starts and the day ends there is no difference ofopinion.It’s mentioned in the Qur’an in Surah Baqarah ch. no. 2 verse no. 187,its says that“Eat and drink until the white thread of dawn is distinguished from theblack thread and fast till the night falls and till the sunsets.”So here in east part of the world the sunsets earlier that does notmean because in Malaysia the sun sets earlier, in Bombay I will endmy fast earlier? So that means the people in Makkah should also end itearly and if in the western world the sun sets a bit late, I’ll also endmy fast late; there is unanimous agreement throughout the world thatyou have to follow the timing of the sun according to your local timing.If the sun sets in your area then you stop fasting and you can eat, ifthe dawn breaks in your area then you stop eating and start fasting.There is no difference of opinion. So as we follow the sun you shouldeven follow the moon the same way. Imagine if we celebrate Eid, if thenew moon of Shawwal is sighted in Makkah and we celebrated Eid,may be in America, in the west the moon may have been sighted 1day earlier that means we have to celebrate Eid one day later. And inPakistan and India the new moon will be sighted 1 or 2 days later sodoes it mean that they have to celebrate Eid in the month ofRamadhaan and imagine those people if they will have to followMakkah timing they will have to fast even on the day of Eid. InAmerica may be the moon… may be its seen one day earlier thatmeans they will have to fast on the day of Eid which is Haraam.Prophet said www.onlyislam.net 13
  14. 14. www.onlyislam.net“You cannot fast on the day of EEid.”So here we realize that we have to follow the same rule as we followfor timings of the sun otherwise there will be a big chaos, and it willnot be practically possible and many people who say that you knowhow is it possible that you know Muslims in different parts of the worldhave Eid on different days. Its normal we are used to having differenttimings in the sun, the morning time when its day time in India, it isnight time in America. You don’t say “O how is the night time thereand day time here or when its night time here, it’s day time there” wedon’t say “O what a stupid thing that the people aren’t united.”Because that’s the way it is. The timings of the sun differ and thetimings of the sun in the full world, it differs by 24 hours. Zero minuteto 24 hours, it depends upon which longitude is your area. If it is thesame longitude then the timing would be same and the world isdivided into 360 degrees, 360 longitudes, each longitude, it differs by4 minutes. So if you travel by 15 longitudes then there will bedifference of 1 hour so 360 multiplied by 4 comes top 1440 minutesthat’s equal to one full day so the world is divided into time zones, nojust for the betterment for ease what we do that though India has gotmore than 15 degrees longitude yet the time is common they take acentre point and they say whether its Bombay or Gujarat or one end ofIndia or whether its Asam, the other end of India the breadth yet theyfollow the same timing, they take the central time.But in countries like USA the width is much more which is more than30 degrees the timing may differ more than 2 hours but they haveapproximately 4 time zones. The time in Los Angles is 2 hours earlierthan the time in New York so it differs so there it will be imagine aperson flying from New York to Los Angles and he wonders that there,there are 2 hours earlier but this is how the time zones are divided andpeople are living with it.So same way people fail to realize that as far as scientific evidence formoon is concerned the new moon can differ by 1 or 2 days., it isscientific. It’s not possible that the new moon can occur throughoutthe world on the same day, it’s not possible, it is unscientific.And I’d just spoken to a scientist who was specialized in field ofastronomy, its in London when I’d been there and he told me that 1 or2 days its common sometimes there can be even a difference of 3 www.onlyislam.net 14
  15. 15. www.onlyislam.netdays. Sighting the moon, from one part of the world to the other partof the world can be a difference even of 3 days and once in a bluemoon it can even go up to 4 days. It may happen.. I don’t know …may be once in thousand years… he gave some calculation which Ididn’t understand but normally differing by 1 or 2 days is common, itis scientific. The new moon cannot be sighted on the same daythroughout the world, how the sun cannot be sighted on same daythroughout the world. So here people fail to realize that celebratingsame day throughout the world will be unscientific and it will be un-Islamic also because we have to have 2 witnesses to sight only when 2witnesses sight as the beloved Prophet said can the people of the areacelebrate.What we can have for convenience, people in a few cities they have aone area of sighting the moon or one full country can have onecommon area for sighting the moon or if a couple or countries if theyare close and fall in the same area they can have but throughout theworld its not possible and it is not even scientific. So I agree withShaikh Ibn Tamiyyah and Shaikh Utaimii when they say that its notpossible to have sighting of the moon throughout the world on thesame day.Yusuf Chambers: Okay, JazakAllah Khair. So from your answer Dr.Zakir its clear that there can be some differences from country tocountry regarding the sighting of the moon following if the Eid andstarting and the end of Ramadhaan, Alhumdulillah. What’s the rulingregarding people in the same city differing regarding Eid andRamadhaan etc.?Dr. Zakir: As far as people differing in the same city, the belovedProphet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) was very clear, itsclearly mentioned in Hadith ofTirmidhi on the book of Fasting Hadith no. 697, the Prophet (peace beupon him) said“The Fast is the day when you all fast”Means the whole Muslim community fasts“And the break of fast is the day when you break the fast and the dayof sacrifice is the day you sacrifice.” www.onlyislam.net 15
  16. 16. www.onlyislam.netMeans all of you sacrifice indicating that it should be in congregation,people, of the same city cannot differ because the city is not that bigwhere the sighting of moon will differ so the area of sighting of themoon has to cover at least one city. I don’t know of any city in theworld which is so big that covers ah.. you know a very large area.There can be occasions when few cities can be clubbed together andthey can have the same area of sighting of moon or the full countrycan have as I mentioned earlier can have same sighting of moon. Orthere can be a few countries close to each other, you know, may havethe same sighting of moon but as far as a city is concerned theyshould have the same sighting of moon, a person cannot differ like inthe same city one person starting Ramadhaan today, other personstarting tomorrow, its not permissible. All have to star Ramadaantogether, end Ramadhaan together and celebrate Eid together.Yusuf Chambers: JazakAllah Khair. Its very logical and straightforward, its not rocket science. And Dr. Zakir, there are many non-Muslims no doubt and I have met some of them who are confused andthey often ask themselves what sought of a religion is this in whichpeople of the same city, you know, are not united upon this wonderfulday, the celebration of Eid and also the beginning and end ofRamadhaan. I would really appreciate it if you could comment on that.Dr. Zakir: I do agree with you that many a times we Muslims make alaughing stock of ourselves that they wonder what sought of religion isthis Islam where they are not united in the same city; you have 2different days of Eid. Sometimes we have 3 days, 3 different days ofEid. Today, tomorrow, day after tomorrow, 3 different days of Eid sothey wonder what sort of a religion is this? And for this as I explainedto you in my earlier 2 answers, Islam is very clear there is unanimousdecision but we Muslims are to blame. It is not Islam, we Muslims areto blamed because the Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) was very clear that we should be united, the Qur’an is veryclear, it is we Muslims who are to blamed that we are divided. Theproblem is not in Islam, the problem is in us Muslims, the problem isthat we have many Hilal committees, many. One city has 3 – 4 Hilalcommittees or many a times there is one Hilaal committee but thereare sub divisions, you know, each belonging to one group. So theproblem in us Muslims, we have many Hilal committees each belongingto one group, one sect each fighting among themselves or one Hilaal www.onlyislam.net 16
  17. 17. www.onlyislam.netcommittee having many sub divisions so what happens that there’sego problem between them and that happens in many parts of theworld whether it be USA whether it be UK whether it be Pakistanwhether it be India and in Bombay it has happened several times thatEid is celebrated on 2 different days sometimes even 3 different days.And what happens that they have ego problem that if the witness ofgroup of Hilal committee ‘A’ is there and Hilal committee ‘B’ gets angryor may be they want that we should announce first and if Hilalcommittee ‘A’ announces first, ‘B’ out of the way will differ to provethat we are stronger and they want to show that who has a biggerfollowing so this is a big Fitna. And because of their own ego theproblem we have in the Muslim Ummah is that we Muslims, we arebeing troubled and we are not able to follow ouyr Deen because ofthese groups. So the main problem is the Hilaal committees becausethe ego problems between themselves and it does happen severaltimes in several parts of the world that they purposely differ, if group‘A’ announces, group ‘B’ will go out of the way to differ. So you knowwhat we should have, we should get together and no problem for thebetterment of the Ummah we should let our ego go down and weshould come together on a common platform and whoever has moreego let him lead, no problem. As long as we unitedly celebrate the Eid.As the Prophet said“You fast when all the people fast, you break the fast when all thepeople break the fast, you celebrate the Eid when all the peoplecelebrate the Eid.”So if you let your ego be reduced and let us come together and see toit that we celebrate the Eid together then this problem…. otherwisethis problem will never be solved.And previously there used to be 2 different dates, no third date hascropped up because of these people following Saudi which I discussedin my earlier 2 answers that you know now they say that okay, we willfollow the time of Saudi Arabia, that’s another problem and that hascropped up recently, that has cropped up more and we find that inCanada, in UK, in USA there are 3 days of Eid.The infighting amongst the local Hilal community is one problem andsome people saying we will follow Saudi Arabia that’s another problemso they have further increased the problem. So we Muslims should beas Allah says in the Qur’an in www.onlyislam.net 17
  18. 18. www.onlyislam.netSurah Ale Imran ch. no. 3 verse no. 103“Wa’tasimoo bihabli Allahi jamee’an wala tafarraqoo”“Hold to the rope of Allah strongly and be not divided.”The rope of Allah is the Glorious Qur’an and the Sahih Hadith so weshould hold to it strongly and be not divided.Yusuf Chambers: SubhanAllah what we need to do is bring back thelogic of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) and when hew wasplacing the black stone.. Remember the.. If we could have that backthat would be great.Dr. Zakir: And we see this problem is very little in the gulf countries.In Saudi Arabia there is only one committee where whatever they sayeveryone follows and fortunately even the countries around themwhether it be UAE whether it be Bahrain, they follow Saudi Arabiabecause they all fall in the same area, it’s not that big countries sothere..there is no problem, we are not laughing stock. They celebrateEid on one day when they announce, everyone follows, its Eid, whenthey Say Ramadhaan, everyone follows so they are the best examples,the Gulf countries. We Muslims in the non-Muslim countries, we have aproblem and we try to show off and ego etc. try to differ that’s theproblem. So we should follow the example of the Gulf countries,Alhumdulillah, they are united and they are one. At least as far as thesighting of the moon is concerned.Yusuf Chambers: And InshaAllah they should improve the moreeducated our youth get.Dr. Zakir: InshaAllah, InshaAllahYusuf Chambers: and start taking over the place, InshaAllah.Dr. Zakir: InshaAllah.Yusuf Chambers: Well Doctor, I am afraid that we’ve got time for itregarding the interview section now we gonna move on to questionand answers on the topic of sighting of the moon. Aright, well, the firstquestion we have from one of our respected viewers is why do Muslimsfollow the lunar calendar instead of the solar calendar? www.onlyislam.net 18
  19. 19. www.onlyislam.netDr. Zakir: There are various reasons why we follow lunar calendar andfollowing lunar calendar is much more beneficial as compared to solarcalendar because as Allah says in the Qur’an inSurah Baqarah ch. no. 2 verse no. 189 that“When they ask thee concerning new moons, Say that they are signsfor marking the fixed period of time and as far as the affairs of menare concerned and pilgrimage.”So in lunar calendar what we have that every year the time and theclimate… if we follow the solar calendar for example Ramadhaan orHajj will come in the same season, it will come in the same month ofsolar calendar but the season would be the same, it would notchange. But if we follow the lunar calendar if the lunar month is thesame, it keeps on changing the climate. So because the differencebetween the lunar and the solar calendar is 11 days approximately.The lunar calendar is 11 days less than the solar calendar so if wefollow the solar calendar, if suppose Ramadhaan comes in a country inwinter throughout his life, Ramadhaan will come in winter, if in onepart of the world, Ramadhaan is in summer throughout the world it willbe in summer so it will be a disadvantage.Someone may complain to Allah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) why am Iliving in a country where Ramadhaan is always in summer or someonewill say O! its good, Ramadhaan is always in winter some people willfast the full Ramadhaan, the full life always having long days, somepeople have short days.So when we follow the lunar calendar in approximately 33 years ofyour life we have Ramadhaan coming in all the seasons of the year.Sometimes it will be in summer, sometimes in winter, sometimes inautumn, sometimes the days will be short, sometimes the days will belong or it will be average throughout your life.So this is, Alhumdulillah, scientific. So to follow the lunar calendar isbeneficial, we have Hajj in all the seasons, we have Ramadhaan in allthe seasons, we have Eid in all the seasons. So no one can complain toAllah (Subhanahu wa Ta’ala) and they have taste of all the seasons tofollow Ramadhaan and to keep the fast and as well as to celebrate Eid.So it is more scientific to follow the lunar calendar as compared tofollowing the solar calendar. www.onlyislam.net 19
  20. 20. www.onlyislam.netYusuf Chambers: JazakAllah Dr. Zakir. Next question, is itpermissible for Muslims who are living in a non-Islamic country to forma committee to confirm the sighting of a new moon for Ramadhaan,Shawwal and Dhul Hijjah?Dr. Zakir: As far as forming a Hilal committee, a committee forsighting the moon in a non-Muslim country, its not permissible, it isinfact preferable or it may become compulsory that there should be ifthere are many Muslims living in that country so that Muslims areunited, it is Mustahab, its preferable that they form Hilaal committeeso that the Muslims of that area whether living in the USA or living inUK or in India, they have common point of reference but as Imentioned earlier, the Hilaal committee should be united, they shouldnot be fragmented, there should be one Hilaal committee, there shouldnot be many Hilaall committees otherwise we’ll have Eid on separatedays as I discussed earlier. There should be but one commoncommittee following Qur’an and Sunnah.Yusuf Chambers: JazakAllah Khair for the short answer. Ahh.. nextquestion and unfortunately today’s last question. Can the testimony ofa woman is acceptable in regards to sighting of the moon forRamadhaan?Dr. Zakir: As far as accepting the testimony of a woman for sightingof the moon is concerned, there are difference of opinion. According tothe Hanafis….Hanafi school of thought, if it’s a cloudy day then thetestimony of a woman can be accepted, the testimony of a woman canalso be accepted by the Hambalis and one group of Shafi also acceptsthis testimony whereas the other group of Shafis say that testimony ofthe woman cannot be accepted and the Malikis are unanimous thattestimony of a woman cannot be accepted. So there are 2 groups ofscholars’ one group says that it can be accepted, one group says, itcannot be accepted.And Shaikh Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) he says thatthe testimony of a woman cannot be accepted and he gives reasonsfor that, he says that because the Qur’an says that there should be 2just witnesses and the Arabic word used in the Hadith ofTirmidhi Book of Fasting Hadith no. 2118 www.onlyislam.net 20
  21. 21. www.onlyislam.netIt says ‘Shaahidain’So he says the woman is a Shaahidaa, not a Shahid. So based on thatargument he says that woman testimony cannot be accepted.There is a group of scholars who say, can be accepted and as far asArabic word is concerned that many a times when the male word isused there even women is included so to just pick on the word and saythat…so the other groups of scholars say that its not right to pick onthe word and say because its Shahidain, a woman cannot be accepted.And furthermore they say the group we say that the woman testimonycan be accepted, they say that when we ask a woman that which isthe direction of Qibla and the woman shows a direction, but natural wewill follow it and we can ask the timings of Salaah to a woman if yougo to a foreign land that what is the timing of Salaah and she tells thetiming its accepted. So when we accept this, why can’t we accept thesighting of the moon? That’s what they argue and further they arguethat many of the Hadith has been narrated only by one narrator, thechain of narration and Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her),the wife of the Prophet, she alone has narrated no less than 2220Ahadith. So when her alone witness is accepted even this Hadith theSighting of the moon is a Hadith of Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleasedwith her) so when you can accept her narration alone, so why can’t weaccept the Shahadah of the woman?So this argument is very strong, you know, that when we can acceptthat Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) when she narratedthe Hadith of sighting of the moon and we accept the Hadith so whycan’t we accept when she says that she has seen the moon. So thegroup which says that woman’s testimony can be accepted is muchmore acceptable though there is difference of opinion in this aspect.Yusuf Chambers: Well JazakAllah Khair for your excellent answertoday Dr. Zakir Naik and I think its… it’s a very controversial issueamongst many Muslims and I pray and I ask Allah (Subhanahu waTa’ala) to help us… lessen the difficulties and the differences betweenus so we can all celebrate Eid in each city, we can all celebrate Eidtogether and we won’t be the laughing stock of any non-Muslims orsuch like, InshaAllah. JazakAllah Khair. www.onlyislam.net 21
  22. 22. www.onlyislam.netBrothers and sisters do join us again tomorrow the same time whenwe will be discussing the topic ‘Zakaat-ul-Fitr’ until thenAssalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh! www.onlyislam.net 22

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