Fixed Calendar for Ramadan 2006 / 1427

We at For People Who Think are delighted to see that the Fiqh Council of North America and the Islamic Society of North America have finally decided to break out of the ossified constructs of medievalism (moon sighting by at least two reliable witnesses) and use the knowledge that the Almighty has provided for humankind. The Qur'an spoke of the stars as guidance, for at the time of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w), navigation was done by stars only. In these times, unless s/he is without modern technology, no pilot or sailor looks only to the stars, but uses the wealth of modern science and equipment to plot courses. The same is true for Muslims who pray on a daily basis using watches / clocks instead of measuring shadows.

For centuries we have studied astronomy and now in the twenty-first century, we can plot the course of the moon precisely. The Qur'an asks several times: "Do you not think?" Yet today, we find a group of Muslims who insist that the practices of seventh century Arabia must be our basis for shaping the Islamic calendar. If the most basic of scientific knowledge is being met with such rejection by some Muslims, how can we reasonably expect to be considered as citizens of the twenty-first century? Furthermore, if we cannot get a calendar right, how can we be expected to address the more complicated issues facing Muslims today (like political, social, economical, scientific, etc.). For more on this subject, we recommend searching this website using the term “moon sighting”.

Posted September 23, 2006