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July 15th, 2015

Moon crescent sighting tragedy

At the last Eid, the Eid-ul-Adha in October 2014, I said in my Eid Khutba that it was a tragedy that:

"on 24th and 25th September Muslims around the world tried to sight the new moon by human eye to determine the start of the present month of the Islamic calendar"


"On 21st September 2014 a US spacecraft reached the planet Mars and was placed into orbit around it. On 24th September a spacecraft built and launched by India reached Mars and was placed into orbit around it."

It has happened again and the tragedy is even worse this time.

While Muslims are wondering whether the new moon for Eid-ul-Fitr will be sighted on 16th July or 17th July 2015, NASA's New Horizons probe passed close to Pluto on 14th July, sending back photos of this minor planet. Pluto is at present about 3 billion miles from earth, which is about 12000 (twelve thousand) times the distance of the moon from the earth.

The tragedy is worse this time than at the last Eid because Pluto is much further away than Mars.

3 Responses to “Moon crescent sighting tragedy”

  1. … and eat and drink until the whiteness of the day becomes distinct from the blackness of the night at dawn, then complete the fast till nightfall…” (2:187)

    Keep up prayer from the declining of the sun till the darkness of the night, and the recital of the Quran at dawn. Surely the recital of the Quran at dawn is witnessed.” (17:78)

    So bear patiently what they say, and celebrate the praise of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting, and glorify Him during the hours of the night and parts of the day, that you may be well-pleased.” (20:130)

    And keep up prayer at the two ends of the day and in the first hours of the night.” (11:114)

    It is a daily experience that despite the above guidelines for starting and ending the fast, and conducting the daily prayers, not for once a Mullah distinguishes the ‘black thread from a white one’ i.e. whiteness of the day becomes distinct from the blackness of the night, to time the rituals. Instead, prayer and fasting calendars are published a year in advance and hung prominently in the mosques. Thus we can safely infer that mullah is ignoring the 'letter' of the Quran and instead following its spirit.

    Strangely, for the onset of the month of Ramadan and both Eids a Mullah has to actually see the moon. And whenever he cannot see, he will use a telescope. If this is not Judaism, then please tell me what more could be done to adopt it more pristinely?

    Quiz: Compare this link vs. this link and see if you can find any material difference.


    Ref: Translation of The Holy Quran – Maulana Muhammad Ali, Ed. Dr. Zahid Aziz

  2. July 16th, 2015 at 4:32 am
    From Zahid Aziz:

    Ikram, comparing the two links mentioned by you, the Muslim Ulama are using more advanced technology. Apart from the telescope, the man next to that Maulvi is holding a mobile (cell) phone as well as what looks like a tablet. The Rabbi may at least be more consistent in that he could be using an instrument (magnifying glass) possibly available in Biblical times!

  3. I am not sure whether this Maulvi wants to sight the moon or shoot it down with a missile. 

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