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Seeing the moon today is impossible [International Astronomy Centre]

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Guest Pure Tawheed

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Guest Pure Tawheed

Salam,

Bismillah,

To those of you not following whatever ludicrous method Saudi Arabia are employing, but rather choose to employ the true Sunnah of Muhammed [saw], it is scientifically impossible to observe the moon from the ME:

According to the non-Muslim scientific organisation (International Astronomy Center):

"In fact, all previous standards, old and new, show that seeing the crescent on Thursday is not possible with the naked eye from the Arab world. This expectation is not an opinion of a person or a party, but rather it is a consensus of specialists."        

Source: https://www.khaleejtimes.com/life-and-living/uae-holidays/eid-al-fitr-2023-crescent-moon-of-shawwal-will-not-be-visible-to-naked-eye-tonight-says-iac

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4 hours ago, Guest Pure Tawheed said:

To those of you not following whatever ludicrous method Saudi Arabia are employing, but rather choose to employ the true Sunnah of Muhammed [saw], it is scientifically impossible to observe the moon from the ME:

Saudi Arabia employs the method of scientific calculations rather than naked eye sighting, which some of our fuqaha also employ. 

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16 minutes ago, Abu_Zahra said:

Saudi Arabia employs the method of scientific calculations rather than naked eye sighting, which some of our fuqaha also employ. 

Aye. Good point. A good number of our scholars hold to the “unity of horizons” / “shared night” view which allows a sighting or the scientific possibility of a sighting to apply to the majority of the world. 

It’s important to be aware of and respectful of this ikhtilaaf

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For the OP, do you realize that when you say today it is already tomorrow in Asia and Australia? Location, location, location. 

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Guest Pure tawheed

Yes, this was in response to people folllwing Saudis announcement specifically for the ME.

The moon may well have been sighted in areas of visibility. 

Have any Shia maraji' followed Saudi in their moon calculations?

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2 hours ago, Hameedeh said:

For the OP, do you realize that when you say today it is already tomorrow in Asia and Australia? Location, location, location. 

Salam sister,

May Allah accept our amals in this holy month,

The post clarifies this refers to saudis announcement and the Middle East, and was posted when it was still today in Saudi. You replied 8 hours later after i posted it.

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20 hours ago, Guest Pure Tawheed said:

The post clarifies this refers to saudis announcement and the Middle East, and was posted when it was still today in Saudi. You replied 8 hours later after i posted it.

Salam. Yes, but the title of your topic "Seeing the moon today is impossible" confused people who had been told that today was Eid in their country. 

Eid Mubarak to everyone, whenever you are celebrating Eid. 

Edited by Hameedeh
typo
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On 4/21/2023 at 3:53 AM, Guest Pure tawheed said:

Have any Shia maraji' followed Saudi in their moon calculations?

Do any Shia jurists follow Saudi? No. 

Do any Shia jurists rule that the new month is determined by calculating the astronomical birth of the new moon? Yes, Sayyid Fadlallah and Sayyid Kamal al Haidari (possibly others as well)

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33 minutes ago, Abu_Zahra said:

Do any Shia jurists follow Saudi? No. 

Do any Shia jurists rule that the new month is determined by calculating the astronomical birth of the new moon? Yes, Sayyid Fadlallah and Sayyid Kamal al Haidari (possibly others as well)

While i do not agree with them, i stand corrected. I should not have hastily blamed Saudi for using astronomical calculations when it was impossible to sight the moon in Saudi.

I had thought visibily seeing the moon, even with unity of the horizons was a condition for all Shia scholars, but i'll be careful with my language next time, even if the target is Saudi Arabia.

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15 hours ago, Hameedeh said:

Salam. Yes, but the title of your topic "Seeing the moon today is impossible" confused people who had been told that today was Eid in their country. 

Eid Mubarak to everyone, whenever you are celebrating Eid. 

You're fundamentally correct. I should have been clearer in the title.

Ameen and Fi Amanillah

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2 hours ago, Abu_Zahra said:

Do any Shia jurists follow Saudi? No. 

Do any Shia jurists rule that the new month is determined by calculating the astronomical birth of the new moon? Yes, Sayyid Fadlallah and Sayyid Kamal al Haidari (possibly others as well)

@Abu_Zahra Do you have any articles that explain how this procedure works? I think I have a good grasp of the shared night idea, but less so about this one. 

Is it a matter of if it’s night where you are when the astronomical new moon is born, then the new month starts for you that day?

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1 hour ago, kadhim said:

@Abu_Zahra Do you have any articles that explain how this procedure works? I think I have a good grasp of the shared night idea, but less so about this one. 

Is it a matter of if it’s night where you are when the astronomical new moon is born, then the new month starts for you that day?

No I haven't actually read much about this, but I will bump this topic when I find something inshaAllah.  

I would assume that the new moon should have occured before fajr (at the latest) for a given place but I don't know if this is where the jurists are drawing the line or if they require it to already have occured before maghrib. 

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8 hours ago, kadhim said:

@Abu_Zahra Do you have any articles that explain how this procedure works? I think I have a good grasp of the shared night idea, but less so about this one. 

Is it a matter of if it’s night where you are when the astronomical new moon is born, then the new month starts for you that day?

Interestingly enough there is a new article at Iqra online which deals with the topic very interesting read 

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2 hours ago, Guest Vsg said:

Interestingly enough there is a new article at Iqra online which deals with the topic very interesting read 

Ah! It must be this one?

https://iqraonline.net/birth-of-the-moon-an-alternative-position-on-marking-the-start-of-the-lunar-month/

Ah, Sayyid Ali. He puts out a lot of fascinating things lately about the bleeding edge of fiqh discussions from the hawza. 

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4 hours ago, Guest Vsg said:

Interestingly enough there is a new article at Iqra online which deals with the topic very interesting read 

Thanks, great timing!

1 hour ago, kadhim said:

Ah, Sayyid Ali. He puts out a lot of fascinating things lately about the bleeding edge of fiqh discussions from the hawza. 

+1

Iqraonline.net is definitely up there among the best English resources online for high quality articles and discussions.

Edited by Abu_Zahra
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@Abu_Zahra

I’m partway through the article. So far, this section stands out and highlights a fascinating argument that makes the notion of starting based on the astronomical birth of the new moon more compelling: 

Quote

Third Preliminary: Lack of proof for the relevance (mawḍū’īyyat) of “sighting”

Can we use hadiths to determine the beginning and end of the city? Can we use any evidence to show that the Shari’a law has interfered in the matter of defining the month’s boundaries and stated, for example, that the month begins with “sighting” and ends with “sighting”? Is the beginning of the month in this case provable or unprovable?

In this regard, the most significant thing we have are those narrations that say, “Fast when you see the crescent moon and break your fast when you see it again“. Therefore, the blessed month begins with the “sighting” and ends with the “sighting” of the next month. But how acceptable is this argument? Referring to the narrations that mention these statements can clarify the issue to some extent. I will briefly read some of these hadiths to you.

One of these narrations is an authentic narration from ‘Ali bin Muhammad Qasani, quoting Imam Hadi (a) which Saffar records as follows:

“I wrote to him (a) while I was in Medina about the day on which there is doubt in the month of Ramadan as to whether to fast or not. He replied, “Doubt does not overpower certainty. Fast when you sight (the crescent) and break your fast when you sight (the crescent).”3

The question is about the day of doubt, and the Imam (a) mentions that certainty cannot be ruined by doubt. If you are certain that yesterday was part of Sha’ban and today you are in doubt, do not pay attention to this doubt. Observe fasting when the crescent of Ramadan appears and continue until you sight the crescent for the next month. When the crescent of the month of Ramadan is sighted, the doubt is removed, and start fasting until you sight the crescent of the next month. Note that this phrase “observe fasting when the crescent is sighted, and break your fast when the crescent is sighted” is actually an application of the principle of istiṣḥāb (continuity). In fact, Ayatollah Behjat has pointed out in his short treatise on this topic that in the narrations, “sighting” means that one cannot rely on doubt at the beginning of the blessed month of Ramadan and istiṣḥāb is applied, which negates the relevance of “sighting”. His interpretation is as follows:

“It is indicated that relying on sighting is one of the arguments for istiṣḥāb…With knowledge that the next month has arrived, the previous situation no longer remains.”4

Anyway, if we gain knowledge that the moon for the next month has entered, even if we do not see it, knowledge of that fact is sufficient for the realization of the occasion, and seeing is not necessary.

One of the authentic narrations is from Ishaq ibn ‘Ammar:

From Abu ‘Abdillah (a) who said, that in the book of ‘Ali (a) it is recorded: “Fast when you see it (the crescent), and break the fast when you see it, and beware of doubt and speculation.”5

The Imam (a) is saying that act according to seeing the crescent, and do not act based on doubt and speculation. “Seeing” is opposed to doubt and speculation, meaning that you must be certain that the moon has entered a new phase. The conventional criterion of certainty for individuals in those circumstances has been the same sighting, but it is important to understand from this contrast between sighting and doubt that we should not rely on doubt and speculation, meaning that we need knowledge. Therefore, the relevance of sighting cannot be established according to these narrations.

Another authentic narration is from Muhammad bin Muslim:

“When you see the crescent moon, fast and when you see it again, break your fast. It is not a matter of conjecture or assumptions.”6

The issue is that we cannot prove the sighting of the moon based on guesswork and assumptions, and we should not rely on conjectures. The opposite of conjecture is to attain knowledge, so this aligns with the principle of istiṣḥāb and does not refute the validity of knowledge. Rather, it emphasizes the importance of knowledge in the matter of the month of Ramadan. In this third preliminary, it is claimed that the narrations “fast for the sighting and break your fast for the sighting” do not prove the relevancy of sighting (rather knowledge and certainty), and this preliminary is very necessary for this discussion.

As I understand it, the point it’s getting at is the notion that the crescent sighting is not itself necessarily the criterion. To use modern philosophy language, it is a pointer, a readily observable low-tech signifier that very obviously gives certainty that the criteria had already arrived. 

It is something of the same idea we were discussing in the thread about the time for breaking the fast, and the debate between the redness in the east versus simply sunset. The idea we discussed there that the disappearance of redness in the east is not itself the criterion. That it’s just an unmistakable marker that if you couldn’t see the sunset, but you see that, you can be certain sunset already arrived. But really it’s the sunset that is the real criterion. 

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7 hours ago, kadhim said:

@Abu_Zahra

I’m partway through the article. So far, this section stands out and highlights a fascinating argument that makes the notion of starting based on the astronomical birth of the new moon more compelling:

I find using Astronomy for determining the new moon rationally weak. In Islam certainty is vital, especially when literally everything in Islam revolves around time, days, start/end of months. For one, there is always a difference of opinion when it comes to the scientists and there is literally margins of error in calculations. That in itself weakens certainty. Two, not everyone has access to astronomy so from a rational perspective making such a notion the consensus makes no sense and again this adds another layer to certainty for how can God command something that is not accessed technologically  (no resources/out in the country/mountainside) or even intellectually (people that do not have the intellect to use the internet or scientific instruments)? Three, majority I would say 90% of the hadiths I have seen on this matter continuously point to having witnesses from the same location AND confirming it with your own eyes. That is why I hold Ayatollah Sistani's position as the most rational and correct. The video I linked from Sistani's people makes good arguments too.

Edited by Ethics
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3 hours ago, Ethics said:

I find using Astronomy for determining the new moon rationally weak. In Islam certainty is vital, especially when literally everything in Islam revolves around time, days, start/end of months. For one, there is always a difference of opinion when it comes to the scientists and there is literally margins of error in calculations. That in itself weakens certainty. Two, not everyone has access to astronomy so from a rational perspective making such a notion the consensus makes no sense and again this adds another layer to certainty for how can God command something that is not accessed technologically  (no resources/out in the country/mountainside) or even intellectually (people that do not have the intellect to use the internet or scientific instruments)? Three, majority I would say 90% of the hadiths I have seen on this matter continuously point to having witnesses from the same location AND confirming it with your own eyes. That is why I hold Ayatollah Sistani's position as the most rational and correct. The video I linked from Sistani's people makes good arguments too.

These criticisms are oriented toward the assumption that a visible crescent is ultimately the gold standard criterion, and that the goal of the astronomy exercise is to predict a visible crescent. 

The argument elaborated in the article is actually subtly different than that, as I alluded to in the the other couple of paragraphs in the post. It has to be assessed in its own right. 

Edited by kadhim
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On 4/20/2023 at 11:34 PM, Abu_Zahra said:

Saudi Arabia employs the method of scientific calculations rather than naked eye sighting, which some of our fuqaha also employ. 

Salam it shows that you are completly unaware of sighting in Saudi Arabia which it just relies on seeing moon by naked eyes by anyone which it's enough that two persons say that they have seen it .

On 4/22/2023 at 5:55 PM, Guest Pure tawheed said:

While i do not agree with them, i stand corrected. I should not have hastily blamed Saudi for using astronomical calculations when it was impossible to sight the moon in Saudi.

I had thought visibily seeing the moon, even with unity of the horizons was a condition for all Shia scholars, but i'll be careful with my language next time, even if the target is Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has not used astronomical calculations but on the other hand always find unknown people in form of two witness in order to confirm calendar calculation under guise of following astronomical calculations which always calculation & seeing new moon in Saudi Arabia is just a poor joke .

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On 4/23/2023 at 7:21 AM, kadhim said:

@Abu_Zahra

I’m partway through the article. So far, this section stands out and highlights a fascinating argument that makes the notion of starting based on the astronomical birth of the new moon more compelling: 

As I understand it, the point it’s getting at is the notion that the crescent sighting is not itself necessarily the criterion. To use modern philosophy language, it is a pointer, a readily observable low-tech signifier that very obviously gives certainty that the criteria had already arrived. 

It is something of the same idea we were discussing in the thread about the time for breaking the fast, and the debate between the redness in the east versus simply sunset. The idea we discussed there that the disappearance of redness in the east is not itself the criterion. That it’s just an unmistakable marker that if you couldn’t see the sunset, but you see that, you can be certain sunset already arrived. But really it’s the sunset that is the real criterion. 

This is indeed what I have also understood from this fascinating article. The author distinguishes between the reality of the occurrence and the means of identification.

As you have mentioned, the crescent would then be one way of identifying the new phase of the moon and similarly the colouring in the sky would be one way of identifying sunset. 

Now when new methods of identification become available, if the pointers (as you aptly describe them) are only pointers and not criteria, then one would deduce that they could/(should?) be replaced.

I do think the prayer time example is particularly interesting here because even aside from the discussion about maghrib and sunset, in general we live in a time where calculated prayer times are almost universally accepted (despite differences in calculations) and hardly anyone tries to determine them by staring into the sky or by measuring out shadows with a yard stick.

 

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1 hour ago, Abu_Zahra said:

I do think the prayer time example is particularly interesting here because even aside from the discussion about maghrib and sunset, in general we live in a time where calculated prayer times are almost universally accepted (despite differences in calculations) and hardly anyone tries to determine them by staring into the sky or by measuring out shadows with a yard stick.

I do not think you can equate the astronomical calculation of figuring out the phases of the moon to the length of the day in determine our prayer times, which has been consistent since the discovery and universality of time in the world. Besides the other ambiguities I have mentioned in my previous post on moon sighting, time is attainable and understood by literally the entire world, ineffective of material means and intellect. Plus, there is no margin of error or difference of scientific standards/tools, since time will always be understood the same. The sun even when there is an eclipse, we still understand that the sun is there, and it does not effect our time. Besides, even when it comes to figuring out the exact moment at which the prayers begins or ends, there is a precautionary level of waiting a few more minutes for the athan. You cannot do that with the moon sighting, and it effects the entirety of the month.

Edited by Ethics
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On 4/22/2023 at 12:53 PM, Ethics said:


I love that they are addressing comments under the video. I think this video is very rationally put and well explained. Are the commenters actually watching the video in entirety where their questions are already answered... Only Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) knows.

 

image.thumb.png.23609c867a1ae6c3d839d92d910d025c.png

image.thumb.png.ab0b1237f2b3b1cf146912a6356fe200.png


image.thumb.png.70cffc178565ae58c75e7492b71c9e2a.png

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4 hours ago, Abu_Zahra said:

So in relation to a question I posed earlier, looks like they are using “conjunction/birth of new moon before sunset of the previous day” as the criterion. 

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2 hours ago, kadhim said:

So in relation to a question I posed earlier, looks like they are using “conjunction/birth of new moon before sunset of the previous day” as the criterion. 

In the case of Saudi, apparently yes.

I am not aware of how Sayyid Fadlallah or Sayyid Kamal al Haidari consider this. Would it also have to occur before sunset or can it also be during the night?

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9 hours ago, Abu_Zahra said:

Not that it matters so much, but just to avoid misinformation:

Salam justification of it by all Saudi media is not strange because all of them backed by Al-Saud family in order to justify their mistakes .

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On 4/20/2023 at 9:45 PM, realizm said:

You should add 'in the middle east' in your title. 

Salam greeting for eid by delay :blush:respectfully best title instead of 'in the middle east' is 'in the west Asia'again happy eid al Fitr with delay.:party:

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10 hours ago, Abu_Zahra said:

just to avoid misinformation:

 

The Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia determined the time of sighting of the crescent of the month of Shawwal

The Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia asked people to investigate the sighting of the crescent moon on the evening of the 29th of Ramadan.

According to Shabestan news agency, quoted from CNN Arabic, the Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia in a statement asked the Muslims in this country to investigate the sighting of the Shawwal crescent on Thursday evening (April 19), which coincides with the 29th of Ramadan.

 

It is stated in this statement: The Supreme Court of the country asked people who saw the crescent moon with the naked eye to inform the nearest court and record their testimony there or contact the nearest center.

 

The Supreme Court of Saudi Arabia stated: It is hoped that those who have the ability will show interest in this issue and join the committees that have been formed for this purpose in the regions and participate in its reward.

http://www.shabestan.ir/detail/News/1262230

Taadolnewspaper

The Saudis announced that they recorded a picture of the moon sighting in the evening of 29 Ramadan.

According to Khabar Online, Saudi Arabia was able to record an image of the Shawwal crescent using special photographic sensor technology at the moment of sunset, and with the registration of the moon sighting in this country, Eid al-Fitr was announced on Friday. This happened while it was not possible to observe the moon in Iran and Iraq.

Quote

تصویری از هلال ماه شوال که در عربستان رصد شد

 

Quote

پیش‌بینی یک منجم: یکم اردیبهشت، ۳۰ رمضان در ایران و عید فطر در عربستان خواهد بود

 

Earlier, Iranian astronomer Kazem Kookaram had said about why it is not possible to see the crescent moon of Shawwal at sunset on Thursday in Iran: "On the evening of Thursday, April 19, the angular separation of the moon and the sun is very low (lesser than 5 degrees) on the horizon of most cities in Iran." And from this point of view, the crescent moon is seen in the sky very close to the sun disk. To put it more simply, on the evening of 29 Ramadan, the crescent moon after sunset, although it is above the horizon and sets after the sun, but due to the separation or a very low angle, we see that the angular separation of the moon from the sun is even 2 degrees lesser on that day., which this makes us sure about the invisibility of this crescent from arena of Iran."

Quote

Regarding the sighting of the crescent moon of Shawwal 1444 and the day of Eid al-Fitr, Kookaram also said: it is likely that it will not be possible to see the crescent moon of Shawwal on the evening of 29 Ramadan (19 April 2023) in Iran; But in some countries of the region, it is possible to see it, and it is not unlikely that the month of Ramadan will last 30 days in Iran and 29 days in Saudi Arabia.

https://www.taadolnewspaper.ir/بخش-اخبار-روز-163/203851-عربستان-رصد-هلال-ماه-شوال

https://www.khabaronline.ir/live/1756833/عربستانی-ها-با-حسگر-تصویر-ماه-را-دیدند-در-ایران-و-عراق-ماه-رصد

https://www.jadidpress.ir/بخش-خبرهای-عمومی-88/22865-عربستان-ترکیه-جمعه-را-عید-فطر-اعلام-کردند

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwj-uo3wpMT-AhXeQaQEHSuwBFEQFnoECBgQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.instagram.com%2Fkookaram%2F&usg=AOvVaw2J8SFvPoVv3xfQXSlp2nOE

How to see the crescent moon in Saudi Arabia and Iran
If Eid is announced in Saudi Arabia and several other countries, the first question that may arise for our people is that all around you, all countries have announced that it is the beginning or the end of Ramadan! What is the advantage of Iran that you can't see the moon in its soil and others can?
There is a false belief among some people and from many years ago that they say if today is Eid in Saudi Arabia, tomorrow is Eid in Iran!

In this regard, Seyed Mohsin Ghazi Mirsaeed, the world record holder and the owner of  Istihlal, said: In Saudi Arabia, two righteous witnesses are enough to prove the sighting of the new moon. There they announce that people should go for a sighting and that any two people who tell the curator of their place that they have seen the moon and he also reports this issue, is acceptable from the point of view of Saudi Arabia!

He added: In 1376 (Hijri solar ), when I had traveled to Saudi Arabia, I spoke with one of the Saudi Shias who was a member of the Saudi Crescent Council, and he said that his strength would not go anywhere and he also believed in the mistakes they are making there.

Qazi Mir Saeed continued: Compare this issue with our country, which has about 150 trained observation groups equipped with binocular telescopes, and they go to hard-to-reach places, and in other countries, such as Saudi Arabia, only seven scientific groups conduct observations.

https://farsi.khamenei.ir/others-page?id=10082

 

 

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