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Theology

Moon Wars – 5 things to remember about moon sighting

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We would assume that for Eid we are calm, peaceful, spiritual and kind. Al-hamdulillah, that is the case for many.

However, for others it’s the time for a never-ending onslaught of attacks on others over fiqh matters; our leaders, our scholars, and in some circles the system of Taqleed all come under attack for the disunity of the celebrating of eid.

I can say for myself that this is the most stressful time, not that I have to reply to questions on whether the moon has been sighted or not, but how much abuse is hurled at me and our respected grand scholars.

The beauty of Ijtihad is that one scholar does not copy paste from another, but derives their understanding of our religious duties from the sources and extracts a verdict.

This intrinsic and strenuous process is extremely complex and difficult, and it’s all built on taqwa and fearing Almighty God. A Faqih will never issue a verdict unless he is absolutely confident with the outcome, knowing that he will be responsible and accountable for it.

Millions and millions of people will be following this outcome.

Those of shallow and narrow minds refuse to understand this. Not because they don’t know, but because they are self-centered. They think that no other scholar has thought of their highly technical innovative idea of “Why don’t they just sit together and solve this issue”.

Some think that because they are educated with a University degree and have (extremely limited and selective) exposure to religious teachings, they are now able to “criticise” and hold their own views. Sadly there are some pseudo scholars who accommodate to this.

These far-from-qualified pseudo scholars mix Western academia, supposed progressive Islam, their own perverted distorted understanding and their “Aim for Fame”.

Some harbour so much negative thoughts of how our Maraji’ are, and stop at nothing just to feed their ego.

And so what if I have Eid today and my children have Eid tomorrow. It’s not like Christmas. No Santa is coming down the Chimney!! Eid Day is a ‘Ibadah Day’. Simple as that. Of course, it would be ideal that we all have it together, but if we don’t, we don’t.

Moon sighting is one of thousands of issues in Fiqh. Why are we so fixated on it? Why have we allowed ourselves to disrespect and drag down the status of our great scholars or abuse others.

So:

1. Learn and educate yourself about the Philosophy of Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, the meaning of Ijtihad and the process of deriving fatwas.

2. Keep within the perimeters of mainstream religion, in Taqleed and everything else, and be careful of deviants and distorted ideologies and views.

3. Study and research about the concept of moon sighting, and what mainstream Sunni and Shia scholars say. There are many extensive books on this, in Arabic and Farsi. One is the famous voluminous encyclopedia called Ru`yat Hilal [Bustan Kitab, Qom].

4. Don’t go into panic mode. Just wait until you receive news from a reliable source that the moon was sighted, and it’s complies with the moon sighting rules that you follow.

5. Difference in interpretations from religious authorities and when one has Eid or Arafah or any other day, or any other ruling should not lead to disunity, or fitnah, or assaulting others.

Eid Mubarak to everyone in advance!

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