London Central Mosque Trust & The Islamic Cultural Centre


30 May 2024

Religious Services > Moon Sighting Guide

(a) The beginning of prayer timings follow a certain astronomical data , which we obtain from British Observatory and also this should be in accordance with the SHARIA PHENOMENA, but not necessary to depend on British Observatory for sighting of the moon although we use the Observatory for calculations of prayer time table.

(b) About sighting of the Moon from the Fiqh stand point:

The Quran and Sunnah require the actual visibility of the crescent moon, and not mere 'knowledge' of its existence. It goes against the established norms of 'evidence' (shahadas) as well.

The Messenger(s) pointed to "Imkaan" of sighting on 29th evening. The moon is always there, but he asked Muslims 'Not to go by mere Imkaan', they were instructed to go look for the visible New Moon to be sure, and began the next month only when a crescent was actually confirmed. In case it was not visible he (p.b.u.h.) asked to count 30 days of lunar month, as on the 30th evening, as moon is always seen.

One may begin the Islamic month on 'local sighting' (IKHTILAF AL MATALE) and other school of thoughts which are based on sighting any where in the Muslim world Ittihad Al Matal. This school of thoughts are valid Islamic Fiqh positions.

Astronomically: some data are definitive and conclusive (i.e. the time of Birth of the crescent (New Moon) and timing of rise and set of moon and sun. However, determining the visibility of the crescent is not as definitive or conclusive rather it is dependent upon several factors including the available recording around the world.

On Year 2001 the Islamic Cultural Centre and London Central Mosque organised a meeting of London Imams to discuss mainly Ramadan time table and it was chaired by Dr Ahmed Al Dubayan, the Director General of Islamic Cultural Centre and Dr Anas Abu Shady Deputy Director General representing the Islamic Cultural Centre.

Herewith are some of the Resolutions concluded at this meeting?

  • The Islamic Cultural Centre should draw a new Prayer Time Table based on Sharia Phenomena and Scientific data.
  • Out of the attendees (Imams) 80% agreed to follow Makkah in Moon sighting to unify celebration of Ramadan and Eid ul Fitr at least in London
Makkah Al Mukarram Policy or strategy of Moon sighting is according to the conference which was accommodated by King Abdul Aziz City For Science and Technology on (7th-9th) November 1998.

Some of the Resolutions of the Conference are:

  • Consider the Kaaba Al Musharrafa's data , position and calculation for moon sighting as a focus of Makkah Al Mukarramah, consequently to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The timing and astronomical calculations which mentioned above called (TAQUWEEM UM AL QURA) for Moon Sighting.
  • The moment of sun set in Makkah is considered the beginning of the Lunar month, and the Moon sets after the sun set in Makkkah Al Makarramah. After the astronomical Moon birth on the earth, this is subject to the astronomical birth of the crescent occurred before the sunset in Makkakh Al Mukarramah, comparing the setting time of crescent and the sun in Makkah al Mukarramah.
  • If the moment of the sun set after the moon set in Makkah, then the next day is from the lunar current month and the following day after that day is the commencement day of the lunar month.
  • If the sun sets in Makkah before the Moon sets, then this situation means The moon is born according to the Sharia, because the moon is on the Horizon After the sunset, and the crescent born before sunset, then the next day is the beginning of new lunar month.
Abdullah Abdou

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