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Lesson 10 Laws of Moon Sighting. Is sighting the moon obligatory?. ALBAQARAH (THE COW 185). فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ

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lesson 10 laws of moon sighting

Lesson 10Laws of Moon Sighting

Is sighting the moon obligatory?

albaqarah the cow 185
ALBAQARAH (THE COW 185)
  • فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ
  • therefore whoever witnesses the month, he shall fast therein, and whoever is sick or upon a journey, then (he shall fast) a (like) number of other days;
slide3
فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ
  • SHADAH is testimony or witness:
  • And in the English interpretations of the Qur’an : (four opinions)
  • KNOWS THE BEGINNING: Any one of you who knows that the month of RAMADHAN has begun, he must start to fast-SARWAR
  • WITTNESSES THE MONTH: So let those who witness it (the month) fast in it- QOLI/Mir Ahmed
  • WITNESSES THE MOON: Who ever observes the moon
  • PRESENT IN HIS HOME: Therefore whoever of you is present in the month, he shall fast therein, -SHAKIR
alkhoei
ALKHOEI فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ
  • The real existence of this month is the cause of the obligation in fasting it.
  • The plenty narrations indicate that the new month emerges by the emerge of the sun light on the moon in a way that it can be seen or sighted.
  • If such emerge occurs for a region then it is enough for the entire earth, but since the night does not cover the whole earth at one time, then the unity of the night should be observed in the sharing of the moon sighting.
  • The night sharing regions could be in the sunset and the dawn.
tabatabae
TABATABAE فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ
  • The witness of the month by the knowledge of its coming.
  • It happens by the knowledge of its start.
  • It does not mean that the moon has to be sighted, nor a person must be present in the home town (in oppose to the traveling person), for there is no evidence for such claim.
  • Yes the moon sighting can be an indication for the entrance of the month.
sabzawari
SABZAWARI فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ
  • The criteria is the real existence or the coming of the month, by moon sighting or by any other measures of such was possible.

Other scholars of TAFSEER:

SHADAH of the month means:

  • SHADAH of moon, that means every one must sight, if not then no fasting is obligated.
  • Being resident in the home town (Sh. MAKARIM)
the words of the scholars
The words of the scholars
  • There are two types of wordings:
  • ALKHOEI and SISTANI, when they mention the rules of proving the holy month they use the following WORDS:
  • Method of ascertaining the first day of a month (or the beginning of the month) –the focus is on the beginning of the month.
  • 1739. The 1st day of a month is established in the following four ways..
  • The moon is proven by KNOWLEDGE which is acquired by the personal sighting, or multiple reports or any other ways ,

2. Others used the word method of ascertaining the moon sighting . (the focus is on proving the existence of the moon)

astrologer monajim vs astronomer falaki
Astrologer (MONAJIM) vs. Astronomer (FALAKI)
  • Astrologer gives predictions based on the observations of the movement of the stars, planets and other celestial bodies.
  • Astronomer is a scientist who makes the predictions based on the scientific facts and figures, mathematical calculations, and the science of astrophysics of the celestial bodies .
  • The words of the great scholars mention the Astrologer or MONAJIM and some times the astronomer.
the fatwa regarding the predictions of the astronomer
The FATWA regarding the predictions of the astronomer
  • 1741. The first day of a month will not be proved by the prediction made by the astronomers. However, if a person derives full satisfaction and certitude from their findings, he should act accordingly. (laws of S. SISITANI (MAP))
  • Two conditions:
  • Knowledge or certainty
  • Satisfaction
the scholars who support the prediction of the astronomer
The scholars who support the Prediction of the Astronomer:
  • S. ALKHOEI (MAM)
  • S. KHOMENI (MAM)
  • S. GOLPAYGHANI (MAM)
  • S. SABZAWARI (MAM)
  • SH. WAHEED KHORASANI (MAP)-QUM
  • SH. MIRZA JAWAD TABREEZI (MAP)- QUM
  • SH. NASIR MAKARIM (MAP) -QUM
  • SH. FADHIL LANKARANI (MAP) -QUM
factors of satisfaction
Factors of satisfaction
  • An astronomer is a human being who is also subjected to making errors in his calculations, so there must be factors of satisfaction.
  • Such person though he is a human too who might have made an error in his calculations but his previous record of in his calculations were almost zero.
  • The experience of the astronomer
  • If he calculations are supported by other astronomers who are not linked to him and have their own observatories and own resources
  • The faith and understanding of Islamic laws could be a plus point in the creating a satisfaction
  • Other points which might be related to each responsible individual (MOKALAF) and so on.
new moon
New Moon

When the Moon is between the Earth and the Sun in its orbit. It can not be seen for the people of the earth, because dark surfaces faces the earth (the sunlight exists on the other half of the moon which is not visible to the people of the earth. This typically marks the end of the Lunar Cycle which lasts.

When the sunlight or the sunray moves towards the surface of the moon facing the earth, then that first appearance of the sunlight which is visible for the people of the earth in a way that they can sight it, is considered the first crescent and marks the first day of the lunar month.

when can the moon be sighted
When can the moon be sighted?
  • AGE of the moon: Time passed after New Moon Birth. Sighting is possible at different age in different months.
  • The age when it can be sighted varies based on the speed of the movement of the moon, geographical factors, seasonal factors, and others. So, age cannot be a criterion for sighting. It could be from smaller age (like 17 hours), to larger age (like 23 hours). The main factor that makes the moon visible is the angle between moon-earth-sun. When this angle becomes about 9 degrees, the moon starts to be visible. How much time it takes to get this angle depends upon the speed of the moon in its orbit.
three important facts
Three important facts
  • If the moon was old enough to be sighted
  • If the moon was above the horizon where it can be sighted
  • If the time of moonset was after the sunset

If a person has these three facts, and they are accurate in a way that it gives certainty and satisfaction, then based on the FATWA of almost all the JURIISTS (MOJTAHID), that one must follow the scientific predictions, and the sighting is not required.

Reference: TAWDHEEH of all the JURISTS in Persian, Urdu, English, and the laws in Arabic. This can be found in the section of moon sighting in the chapter of the LAWS of FASTING.

what is the criteria for following other cities moon sighting
What is the criteria for following other cities moon sighting
  • There are four opinions regarding this issue:
  • Unity of the sunset or the horizon and closeness of the cities (unity of the sky)
  • Unity of the night (unity of the sky)
  • Unity of the continent (land)
  • Unity of the EARTH (land)
unity of the horizon and closeness of the cities
Unity of the horizon and closeness of the cities
  • That means that the cities share the horizon can follow each other:
  • They share in the time of sunset
  • They share the vertical or horizontal lines in a way that if the moon is sighted in a city it has to sight in another if the clouds or mountains were not obstructing.
  • These cities must not be very far (some say 880 km).
  • The western regions can follow the sighting in the eastern regions if there was no obstructing factor it would have been sighted.
notes
Notes:
  • Close cities in distance which share the sun set (they share the same sky) (the difference in the time of sunset is less like 5-10 minutes) , these cities can share the sighting because they share the horizon regardless of being the in EAST or WEST.
  • Far cities which do not share the sun set, only the western cities can follow the sighting of the eastern cities, if the all fall under the astronomical visibility curve, that is if there were no barriers in the western cities it would have been cited.
unity of the horizon and closeness of the cities1
Unity of the horizon and closeness of the cities
  • Those who support this opinion:
  • S. SISTANI (MAP) -NAJAF
  • S. KHAMENAI (MAP)- TEHRAN
  • S. GOLPAYGHANI (MAM)
  • S. KHOMENI (MAM)
  • Sh. NASIR MAKARIM (MAP) -QUM
unity of the night
Unity of the night
  • The cities of east and the west can follow the sighting of each other if they share one night.
  • The reason for the concept of sharing the night is that the moon is sighted in the with the naked eye night, so if a city does not share the night when the moon was sighted, then that city can not depend on that sighting.
unity of the night1
Unity of the night
  • The first great scholar who made this concept and supported it with strong evidences was the MASTER of JURISTS ALSYED ABO ALQASIM ALHOEI (MAM)
  • Then some of his strong students followed him, those who support this concept:
  • SH. WAHEED ALKHORASANI (MAP)–Qum
  • SH. MIRZA JAWAD ATTABRIZI (MAP)–Qum
  • Sh. LANKARANI (MAP) -QUM
the difference between the unity of the night and the unity of the horizon
The difference between the unity of the night and the unity of the Horizon
  • Both theories imply on the cities which share the same sky, because the moon is sighted in the sky.
  • Unity of the night indicates that the all the cities share the same night (under one dome of night from sun set in one region to dawn in another region) have same sky so they can follow each other, regardless of the west or the east. (wide range of the sky)
  • Unity of the sunset or the horizon indicates that all the cities share almost the same time of sunset have same sky, regardless of being in the west or east as long as they are not too far. (narrow range of the sky)
unity of the continent
Unity of the continent
  • S. MOHAMMAD SAEED TABATABAEI ALHAKIM –NAJAF
  • The west can follow the sighting in the east
  • The east can follow the sighting of the west
  • If they share the continent
unity of the earth
Unity of the EARTH
  • If any spot on the earth sights it, then it will be enough for the entire earth.
  • The concept says once the moon is out from the shadow, then it is out for the entire earth, so on any spot it is sight, then it is enough for the whole earth.
  • SH. AFAYAADH- NAJAF
  • SH. BASHEER –NAJAF
  • SH. SANIEE- QUM
  • SH. BAHJAT-QUM
  • This opinion must be supported by some types of limits, other wise many scholars have criticized it if it is taken absolutely.
why on monday in usa
Why on Monday in USA??????
  • Followers of ALKHOEI and all those who support the unity of the night and the unity of the earth, had to fast on SUNDAY in USA, because it was sighted in different parts of the world on Saturday night.
  • Followers of others who support the concept of one continent or the unity of the Horizon:
  • There was no authentic moon sighting in USA on Saturday.
  • The astronomical predictions were not at the level of satisfaction, they predicted the sighting from Florida to California, but none of these places which were under there prediction sighted the moon, which weakened the satisfaction.
eid expectations
EID EXPECTATIONS
  • Visibility Curve on October 23, 2006
quiz of lesson 10
Quiz of Lesson 10
  • ( ) The Quran clearly indicates that one must sight the moon
  • ( ) There is no difference between the astronomical new moon and the religious new moon.
  • ( ) If then moon was 14 hours old then if has to be seen.
  • ( ) If the astronomer informs about the birth of the new moon and his words gave certitude and knowledge then it proves the first day of the month.
  • ( ) Visibility curve is completely reliable.
  • ( ) The cities which share a night they can share their sighting regardless of their location in the west or the east.