Ramadan 2013 Early Crescent Flutters

Today Gulf News reported that the Saudi Supreme Court, the judicial authority charged to announce the new based on testimonies of crescent sightings, met on Tuesday in order receive news of sightings. This surprised many observers since if there were testimonies of crescent sightings it would result in the anomaly of a 28 day Ramadan lunar calendar. No such crescent sighting was reported and Ramadan moves to 29 days. If there is sighting on Wednesday 7 August 2013 then `Id al-Fitr will take place on Thursday 8 August. This is the calendar based on naked eye sightings. The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) in recent years adopted a scientifically based lunar calendar and according to that calendar Wednesday 7 August is the last day of Ramadan. With this sensible approach this Ramadan and the entire Islamic calendar for decades will be predictable and certain. Unfortunately, this remains a minority view. A good number of US mosques still follow either sighting or follow the decisions of the Middle East. This year Turkey and some European countries began fasting on Tuesday 9 July 2013 which synchronized with the ISNA/FCNA calendar.

A very energetic discussion took place on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ebrahim.moosa.92

An article of mine promoting the views of Shaykh Ahmad Muhammad Shakir, a leading jurist and hadith scholar is available at https://ebrahimmoosa.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/ashakirmoosa.pdf

About ebrahimmoosa

Professor of Islamic Studies, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA
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