Sighting of the moon
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers has asked this question:
Dear brother Burhan, I am perplexed why when it comes to the timings of the prayers all Muslims depend on scientific calculations to determine the exact time of the prayers and of the Suhur and Iftaar. But when it comes to determining the day of start of a month they rely on actual moon sighting. Why dont Muslims go out and actually see the position of the sun to determine if it is time for the prayers? The following Aayahs clearly say that the orbits of sun and moon are appointed: [ar-Ra`d 13:2.22] Allah it is Who raised up the heavens without visible supports, then mounted the Throne, and compelled the sun and the moon to be of service, each runneth unto an APPOINTED term; He ordereth the course; He detaileth the revelations, that haply ye may be certain of the meeting with your Lord. [Ibrahim 14:33.7] And maketh the sun and the moon, constant in their courses, to be of service unto you, and hath made of service unto you the night and the day. If the sun and the moon are constant in their courses why don`t Muslims rely on the greater accuracy of science to determine start of the month rather than on naked eye just like they do to determine the timining of the prayers. Surely, the Prophet (PBUH) did not have this option. Wassalam.
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Sighting of the moon
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Brother, just as we use technology to determine the time of the prayers and do not actually go and see the position of the sun to determine our prayer times; there is absolutely no harm if the muslims use modern technology to determine the phases of the new moon to start their calendar months.
But it seems, there is no consensus of the Islamic scholars and the Islamic scientists who are working on this project as to the precise days of the visibility of the new moon. And when the consensus is reached by the muslim Ummah about the visibility of the moon, there is absolutely no harm in starting the Islamic months using the most modern available technology of our times.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in islam,