On the Official Decision of the High Judiciary Council Regarding the Start of Dhul Hijja

Assalamu alaikum, so have we dispensed with any pretentions of moon sighting altogether? Note that the below official announcement, at least the one posted on http://www.fatwa-online.com, makes no mention of any moon sightings taking place within Saudi Arabia. So is the assumption then that the moon was sighted? And if so where? And if not, what was the criteria that was used?

Official Decision and Announcement of the High Judiciary Council of Saudi Arabia…

Just a short time ago, Fatwa-Online was informed of the official decision and announcement of the High Judiciary Council (HJC) of Saudi Arabia regarding the beginning of Dhul-Hijjah.

1 Dhul-Hijjah will be tomorrow, Sunday 7 November 2010, and the Muslims performing Hajj will be in ‘Arafah on Monday 15 November 2010 (9 Dhul-Hijjah 1431), and the Muslim Ummah shall be celebrating ‘Eed al-Adhaa on Tuesday 16 November 2010, (10 Dhul-Hijjah 1431), inshaa.-Allaah.

On referring to http://www.sunrisesunset.com’s moonrise/set and sunrise/set info for Makkah on today 11/06/2010, I get the following data:

6

Twi A: 5:10am
Sunrise: 6:26am
Sunset: 5:42pm
Twi A: 6:58pm
Moonrise: 6:28am
Moonset: 5:46pm
New Moon: 7:52am

Note that the moon sets a mere 4 minutes after the sun. For the experienced astronomers/moon watchers out there, is this enough time for someone to have been able to site the moon? And note that even on 11/07/2010, the lag between sunset and moonset is only 58 minutes.

7

Twi A: 5:10am
Sunrise: 6:26am
Sunset: 5:42pm
Twi A: 6:58pm
Moonrise: 7:32am
Moonset: 6:40pm

For Winter Haven, Florida, which is where I live, here is the sunrise/set and moonrise/set data for today 11/06/2010:

6

Twi A: 6:21am
Sunrise: 7:41am
Sunset: 6:39pm
Twi A: 7:59pm
Moonrise: 8:08am
Moonset: 6:56pm

Even here in Winter Haven, the lag between sunset and moonset is only 15 minutes, which I still don’t think is enough time to be able to see the moon.

And if Saudi Arabia is using global sighting, then have any sighting reports come in? And if so where?

Per moonsighting.com’s Dhul Hijja page, the only places that could see the moon tonight would be the Polynesian Islands, and Crescentwatch is saying that there may be a chance in South America.

I’m not talking global vs local here, I’m asking whether or not a moon was sighted in Saudi Arabia and what criteria the High Judiciary Council is using to make this determination that Eidul Adha is 11/16/2010 and that the month of Dhul Hijja starts tomorrow 11/07/2010. And this in a nutshell is exactly the “problem” or the “issue” that I’ve had with these announcements now and in the past. Is that there is not even any mention of moon sighting, and that it merely seems to be a following of the calculated Ummul Qura calendar because if you look at said calendar, it conveniently shows that Dhul Hijja starts 11/07/2010 and that the Eid is 11/16/2010. And this may indeed be the case if the moon is sighted by qualified Muslims somewhere on the globe tonight. But what if the moon is not?

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About Ginny

A blind Muslim woman currently living in Florida, just trying to make sense of the world around me! !
This entry was posted in Islam and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to On the Official Decision of the High Judiciary Council Regarding the Start of Dhul Hijja

  1. PinkMuslimah says:

    assalamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah
    Stange, isn’t it, that a government would try to replace fiqh.

    • Ginny says:

      Well, if the moon is sighted somewhere else on the globe tonight them I’m good, but if it’s not? Well, hmmm. what then as many people will be following Saudi’s announcement assuming that the moon was sighted?

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