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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Should we follow the Saudi moon sighting for Ramadan and Eid/'Id?

This is something that is being discussed by many people now. Why aren't we following Saudi and why are we not fasting together?

Unity argument

This is perhaps the most vocal argument of them all. We should have unity and all do the same things. This is perhaps the weakest argument because what people want is conformity and not unity. Unity is being together and respecting differences. Conformity is when everyone agrees which is akin to communist thought.

Caliphs used to decide

Also note in a time gone by the caliph of the region would declare 'Id so there was an official announcement and therefore no need for carrier bags at twenty paces! The moon sighting would be made the judge would inform the caliph and the annoucement would be made. 

In the UK, the Muslims follow their group or sect rather than recognising authority. In other Muslim countries, they follow the governments. Therefore, there is no problem in those countries and it is a localised problem.

How was it explained in hadith?

‏صُومُوا لِرُؤْيَتِهِ وَأَفْطِرُوا لِرُؤْيَتِهِ فَإِنْ غُمَّ عَلَيْكُمْ فَاقْدُرُوا ثَلاَثِينَ"

"Fast when you see it [the moon] break when you it, if it cloudy then complete thirty days."


The hadith makes everything clear on the 29th night at Maghrib if you can see the moon the next day is Eid and if not then you complete 30 days and the day is Eid. It is that simple but because we have complicated things then Eid could be 4 days based upon both opinions.

Imam Ibn Hummam said book Fath Al-Qadir, “The manifest of the school of Imam Abu Hanifah is that when the sighting is evident in a place, then all the people around them must fast. As such, fasting upon the people of the east will be binding through the sighting of the people of the west”.

"Whoever witnesses the month should fast." Quran: 2:185.

The witness is linked to seeing and this has a link to witnessing the moon.

Hanafi and Witnesses

In Labab fi Sharh Al-Kitab, commonly known as Quduri, by Imam Al-Ghunaymi Al-Maydani said, "If one person sees the moon of Ramadan then he fasts even if the imam rejects it. When there is an obstruction in the sky then one testimony is [can be] accepted of one just persons testification, in seeing the moon be they: man, woman, slave or free. If there is no obstruction then testimony is not accepted until a great deal amount [of people] see it for knowledge to be confirmed by it." (p.155-156)

The great deal of people has no exact number but it has to be without doubt for the Qadi to accept so this has to be considered the same as mass transmission in hadith. So around seventy would be agreeable or just a number that would be undeniable. But two witnesses when there is no obstruction is not acceptable.

It needs one upright witness according to most Hanafi books and if the sky is clear then if it is unclear then the Shafi madhab said the day after is Eid (Reliance of the traveller p281 i1.8).

A Qadi of an area would be sufficient. (Rad al-Mukhtar by Imam Haskafi p.145)

In Fatawa Tatakhaniyyah p.93, he says that Abu Hanifah accepts the testimony of two witnesses but permitted one person. 

Tahfah Al-Mulk by Zayn Al-Din Al-Razi said that one just witness is accepted to begin and the end of the month needs two witnesses. (p.137 -8) Hidayah p.252.

Imam Tahawi said the veracity of the witness is not considered but this was already unacceptable by Abu Hanifah.

Rejection of astronomical data

The following scholars reject the usage of astronomical data for the moon to be seen. In other words using that data and not moon sighting to declare Eid. This could also be considered to include following calanders because that is not based upon sighting rather calculations.

The following scholars reject the usage of astronomical data:

Al-Subki Al-Shafi in Fataawa al-Subki vol.1 pg.209

al-Jassas al-Hanafi Ahkām in al-Qur’ān 1/280

al-Baji al-Maliki in Al-Muntaqa Sharh al-Muwata 2/38.

Ibn Rushd al-Maliki in Bidāyah al-Mujtahid 1/283-284.

Ibn Taymiyyah Majmu’ in al-Fatāwa 25/132-133

Ibn ‘Abidin Al-Hanafi  in Hashiyah Ibn ‘Abidin 2/387.

Sheikh Hisham Burhani p.51 A believers guide to fasting.
Sidi Ahmed Zarruq and Ahmed Ad-Dardir, both Malikis, Ibn Nujaym, Sahib Al-Hidayah, Imam Al-Suhrbulai, Imam Hilwani, and Imam Sarakhsi all reject the use of astronomical data.

Some scholars have said that if the calculations match the moon sighting by the eye then we can use it and if it does not then we reject it.

Moroccan moon sighting?

Following the moon sighting in Morocco has become an issue, because it was agreed as a comprise between following local and global sighting. Albania is the closest Muslim country and this is ignored. It is true that Morocco is on the same latitude but it is too far for it to be considered. The main reason for not following this moon sighting; because it is not a classical opinion rather it is a new one based on weak reasoning. 

Imam Zayla'i allowed it but Kamal ibn Hammam said it was more precautionary to take the relied upon opinion. (Rad al-Mukhtar by Imam Haskafi p.145). The more precautionary position is that we do not accept testimony from other countries. Imam Shafi also agrees (Nur Al-Idah p320) but this might not be the standard position of the Shafi school.

In Fatawa Tatakhaniyyah p.95 confirms that a vision of the moon in one area is not necessary on another area. Similar is confirmed in the Hashiya Al-Tahtawi on Nur Al-Idah P.657.

These are also two evidences that confirm that following a sighting in another country other than the one the person is in, is not accepted.

How is decided in the UK

Local masjid committee decide when it is 'Id/Eid. Based on one of the four methods explained which does work out to be global or local.

There are times in which the date to end fasting is different.

Calculations and sighting

The two classical opinions are local moon sighting and global sighting. The global sighting is the opinion of Abu Hanifah and the local is Imam Muhammad and Imam Shafi.

The modern opinions are based on calendars and what has so and so country declared?

The Saudi calendar is 30-32 years forward so there are bound to be errors. Majlus Al-Qadhaa a’Alaa set the Saudi calendar years in advance.

Reasons not to follow Saudi moon sighting

1. Saudi reject fellowship -mufti Menk and other Wahabi clerics reject the notion that people should be following them. 

2. Invalid method - we are unaware if they are following the calendar or valid sightings.

3. Blind following - how do you its right? Just because you like Wahabi's you think, they are right and everyone else is wrong. This is also believe their group is right over everyone else.

4. Innovation - no Quran and no hadith that explicitly say that you should follow the Saudi moon sighting.

5. The calendars are 30 -32 years in advance.

6. Errors made - in 16 years of observing the notices about Eid they have made an error just about every year.

We can use our local sighting here but what about when we are on Hajj? 

Well, this is an interesting question because we have no choice but to use the Saudi government sighting. Some say this lacks consistency to use a different sighting in the UK.

In the UK, we have the choice and at Hajj, we have no choice. 

Therefore, it is not about consistency rather it is about being compelled. Rules of Islamic law can change dependent on circumstances, so if one has no food but pork and he eats what he needs to survive. It is the same principle here, we can choose the local sighting but when performing Hajj one has no choice. Just like making prostration on the back on the person in front of you is allowable at Hajj but that would not be permitted elsewhere.

So we can follow the local sighting in the UK and use their sighting when at Hajj. As I am sure that the local authorities will not allow you to make Hajj on a different day.

Which sighting will we use?

We have proven that Saudi global sighting is not reliable and looking for Moroccan sighting is not accepted. This leaves us with local sighting. If we follow the local sighting then this should bring more unity.

Know that some Hanafi groups go with Saudi sighting and many Arabs will also follow it. Therefore, when there is no acceptable method for the global opinion we must follow the second which is the local sighting.

Can the sighting be declared before the sighting?

For Ramadan the moon must be sighted before the moon is declared. But for Eid/'Id al-Idha the start of month decides the date. So as soon as the first of Dhu Hijjah is declared then we can work out that ten days later is Eid. Nevertheless, this cannot be used for Ramadan; end or beginning.

Is it such a major problem?

Even if we start on different days the most we miss fasting together is one or two days. One at the start and one at the end of the month. Most of the month we are fasting together.

We should just accept the fact we are fasting on different days and not harm the other for fasting on the 'wrong' day. We will always have differences and that will never change but there are bigger fish to fry in our time. In Western countries there are myriad of social issues that need to be addressed as well as fighting for the truth by nullifying the voice of fools. Rather than saying the least we should do is fast together, in reality we do all fast together with the exception of a day or two.

Please do not make it an issue in your families or work places, just let it go and move on. 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

The Disputations

Part forty one

1. Imam al-Haddad said, "rituals [acts of worship] absent from hudur [presence] are like dust in the wind." P.37 setting out

2. About the misunderstanding that the Imam should have a fist length beard : Nur Al idah, maraqi Al falah, Hidayah, tuhfat al-muluk, ikhtiyar, it's commentary including the hashiyah of nur Al idah. All do not mention that having a beard is part of imamah. The first three points are knowledge, valid tajweed and piety.
The description of fasiq is someone who has no care for his religion at all. Not someone without a beard.
Nuff said

3. You are asked twice about your earnings: how you earned and how you spent it. Make sure it's lawful.

4. Nine types of people are cursed because of their involvement in wine. The same applies for illegal drugs. Yes it does.

5. "A person who speeds in a fast car in built up areas. Has a sin for each person he disturbs. 1000s of sins. Plot lost"

6. The reason why pak girls are doing better in education and work than boys: girls have responsibilities and work at home so it easy for them to study, work hard and achieve academic excellence when outside the home. The boys are treated like kings at home and everything is handed to them on a plate. So when they go into education and the work place they expect the same and cannot handle it when they don't get it. So do not achieve their potential.
Lesson: don't spoil your kids because you ruin their lives. Parents have a lot of responsibility to make boys realise they are not kings.

7. Learning to deal with loss is the lesson you need to learn to survive

8. In one of the books imam al-Ghazali someone asked a belligerent child why he was not obeying his parents, he said, "because they don't fear Allah."
 This paints quite a picture about the parents complaining about their kids. Do they fear Allah? If they don't then their kids will not.

9. A sign one is cursed is blaming others for your sins when you are well aware you are wrong

10. It's a full time 24-7 to correct the incorrect information about Islam on the Internet so don't take your religion from it. Take it from real teachers not updates!

11. General rule about kids: tire them out or they will tire you out.

12. When Sidi Abu Madyan (r) went to fez in 11th century, he only found one teacher he connected to, Sidi Ali Hirzihim (r). So this was at the height of knowledge. So do you really think our times are better? Real teachers are rare and even rarer now.

13. Seems like there are a lot of parents who don't know how to bring up children.

14. Ibn Ajibah (r) said, "Ones tasawwaf is like a tree without fruit when you do not perfect one's character."

15. The blossom of a weed and the blossom of a flower are totally different but to some they seem the same?!

16. What's the point crying over the death of a scholar who you did not study with, during his life?

17. Parents who complaint about their kids being spoilt should look in the mirror and blame the person staring back!

18. Ali كرم الله وجهwas asked about the world, he said, "the lawful of it is accountable and prohibited is punishable." Ihya

19. What wajib can a woman not do without sin? Not replying to a greeting from a man she does not know or fears harm

20. "False hopes are more dangerous than fears." J R r Tolkien

21. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, "Allah will torture those who tortured people in the world." Muslim

Dr Abdul hakim murad

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Dr Abdul hakim murad

British and Islamic values

What are values?

According to Mind tools website, "Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. They (should) determine your priorities, and, deep down, they're probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to."

According to Ofsted, British values are: "democracy; the rule of law; individual liberty; mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith."

These are very interesting in the times we live in. Islam and Muslims have become the poster boys for hate mongering and false news across the world. Therefore, respect or tolerance for Islam is something that needs a lot of work to achieve. 

According to the Oxford dictionary website, "Values: Principles or standards of behaviour; one's judgement of what is important in life."

There are many meanings to the term value and this meaning is narrowed down to the word value.

Its origin, "Middle English: from Old French, feminine past participle of valoir ‘be worth’, from Latin valere." (Ibid)

Our values give us worth, not only in the eyes of the world but ourselves.

British values in religion

British Values are remnants of the religious values of biblical texts. These values were based upon the high moral conduct of biblical narratives. These include: honesty, trustworthiness, helping people, hard work, generous, forgiveness, humility and working for the greater good, and so forth.

Forgiveness was a particular trait learned from the conduct of Isa (upon him peace). These values were present before Islam came.

Islamic Values?

There is no such thing as 'Islamic values' rather there is conduct based upon the character of the Prophet (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him).

The core characteristics that he (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) has are: honesty and trustworthiness. These are things that he (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) was known for before the calling of Islam. He said, 'I was only sent to complete noble character."

Noble character was present but there was no example, to follow, who embodied these characteristics. As often we need to see them put into practice, so we can understand how to do them. Books can teach us some things but the heart is truly affected by what the eyes see.

So that actions have a greater impact that words alone.


In terms of character most religions have common ground of honorable conduct to roam. Our beliefs do differ with each other but our values and actions are the same or very similar.

We are not living in a bubble where we where we do not see the other or that someone else is persona non grata. Rather we live in an interdependent world where we all rely on each other. The common ground is that we have more things similar than are different. We live in a divisive world full of hate mongering for the other.

Each claiming we cannot 'get along' with the other is a false idea that war mongers have force fed us. Do not succumb to the hatred.

"O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that you may know one another. Lo! the noblest of you, with Allah, is the best in conduct." Quran: 49:13.

We were made different for a reason, to know each other and not to hate, despise, sow discord with each other. It does not matter where or who you come from the thing that matters is conduct. Then the one with the best conduct is the noblest with Allah the Exalted.

Our values

Our values join us and do not separate us. True our beliefs, that we hold, in our hearts are different but that should not stop us from transacting with our fellow human being with nobility. Our hands should be out to help our fellow man.

Islam is probably the only religion that has helped humankind immeasurably in areas of: science, mathematics, astronomy, glasses, literature, law, all have a trace of Islam in them.

Due to effect of civilisation, the renaissance started in Baghdad and that came to Europe and then the world. Islam gave rights to their other by placing them as citizens of a state who had their own rights. This was unprecedented in history in many places of the Muslim world. Islam is not about helping humanity alone rather it is built into Islam. Helping others is part of Islam, that is your religiousness.

Core values

The code of conduct of Islam and British values, in my terms, are based on high moral conduct. It is true that we live in a world were high moral conduct is becoming more rare. But it is still present so do not let them distract to you.

I have benefited from the moral conduct of many of my co-workers and teachers who were non-Muslim. I do owe them that and maybe more. The greatest example of leadership that I have seen in a person was a non-Muslim female. Whose leadership skills were based on the Sunnah without her even knowing it. I have yet to find a similar example in a Muslim. I am not joking.

Shared ground

The Islamic code of conduct is acceptable to every country in the world because it is based on high moral conduct. High moral conduct is what every country in the world has and holds in high esteem. We have this strong connection built in.

When we live without rules, and this code of conduct, do we go astray. So let us come back to what we know is right.

All nations share common traits of high moral conduct and this is nothing that we should simply neglect. We should revive it and realise we are part of the same tapestry.

Humankind is one and eventually we have to come to that realisation. There is another person who has every right to live a peaceful right as any of us do. These are the shared values of respects that Islam and British values contain. This is our common ground that we should freely roam, the ground of high moral conduct.