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Younus AlGohar weighs in on the divisive issue of the Sighting of the Moon (Royat e Hilal) in relation to the start of Ramadan and Eid ul Adha.
- In the modern era, we now know that when it is cloudy in a particular region, it is not cloudy in other regions. There was no such technology in the era of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). The celebration of Eid and fasting were dependent on the sighting of the Moon. This was because they didn't have the technology to sight the Moon through scientific equipment; nor did they have the option of calling someone in London or the USA to check if they could see the Moon. Therefore, If they couldn't see the Moon, then they wouldn't celebrate Eid or observe fasting.
- Human beings have reached the Moon yet Muslims are still arguing over the sighting of the Moon. In London, mosques on the same street celebrate Eid on different days. To this day, the sense has not developed in Muslims to utilise the advancement of technology to determine the right time for their festivities. There is only one Moon - If the Moon has not been sighted in London but it has been sighted in Washington, then that is enough because they are looking at the same Moon.
- The celebration of Eid and fasting must be done at the same time by all Muslims. However, they are stuck on the words of a Prophetic Tradition which states, 'Sight the Moon and then celebrate.' And they say, 'No, we haven't seen it yet.' Back then, they didn't have any other way. They would depend on the clouds. But now technology enables you to predetermined the phases of the Moon. Therefore, with the help of technology, you can announce it in advance the exact date Ramadan will begin.
- Google tells you in advance when Ramadan and Eid ul Adha are. They get their readings of the Moon from the astronomical observatories. We have the technology which can eliminate the feud between us but the problem is that our hearts are corrupted. We all want to be stubborn and say we will celebrate when our mosque says. People are loyal to their individual mosques like loyal customers are to a specific brand. They will only celebrate Eid on the day their mosque announces it - even if the entire world is celebrating it on another day. This is ignorance.
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