Pick of the Day – The Eid Confusion

Assalamu ‘Alaikum, 

I apologise for going on about this but it seems apparent to me from what has happened this year that Eid was supposed to be on Sat 13 October 2007. However, following our local Jam’ah, many of us celebrated Eid on Friday 12 October 2007. In this case it is advisable for us to make up the missed fast as suggested by Dr Usama Hasan based on a previous fatwa by Shaykh Yusuf Qardawi.  

So those brothers and sisters that have celebrated Eid a day early should try and make up the missed fast. The following was Dr Usama Hasan’s response to someone asking him about the Eid Date Confusion: 

Dear all,

as-salamu ‘alaykum. Several people have asked me for public advice on this matter, so here goes, with the Name of Allah:

1) All astronomers (whether Muslim or not, although that doesn’t actually matter) agree that the moon was not visible with the naked eye on any continent tonight (Thursday 11th October 2007). Cf. http://www.crescentmoonwatch.org/nextnewmoon.htm www.moonsighting.com and other similar websites. Therefore, there was no hilal tonight. The same websites show us that most of the world will see the hilal (new crescent moon) tomorrow evening, Friday 12th October 2007. Therefore, Eid should be celebrated on Saturday 13th October 2007 throughout the world because the lunar dateline effectively coincides with the solar dateline, based on the Sharia principles of a global sighting and of accepting a valid sighting from the east of one’s location. (Those who do not see the hilal on Friday and don’t accept these principles would celebrate Eid on Sunday 14th October 2007.) Eid on Friday 12th October 2007 should be impossible. However …

2) Some countries, including Philippines and Saudi Arabia (source: http://www.icoproject.org/icop/shw28.html#day) and also Afghanistan (source: Geo TV News) claim to have seen the moon tonight and are therefore celebrating Eid on Friday. Many other Arab countries are following Saudi Arabia. Nigeria claimed to have seen the hilal a day earlier and have celebrated Eid onThursday, according to the ICOP website!

3) Mosques in the UK are generally divided between celebrating Eid on Friday or Saturday. See the announcement to this effect on the MCB website at http://www.mcb.org.uk/article_detail.php?article=announce ment-677. Because of the importance of unity and jama’ah congregation, it is advisable to follow your local mosque or community, i.e. where you normally pray Eid:

a) If the mosques in your area are celebrating on Saturday, fast on Friday and celebrate Eid on Saturday. E.g. I am reliably informed that all the mosques in Slough are celebrating Eid on Saturday yet some people are arguing and fighting over this, to the extent of storming out of i’tikaf from one mosque in order to find a mosque, probably in London, where they can pray the Eid prayer on Friday! I am also informed that all the mosques in Glasgow are celebrating Eid on Saturday, yet some people are thinking of travelling to Edinburgh in the morning to pray the Eid prayer on Friday! Had these brothers known either Science or Shari’ah, they would know that they are obliged to follow their jama’ah, especially when its Eid date is in accordance with the clear-cut science! May Allah guide us all.

b) If the mosques in your area are divided, e.g. parts of South London (majority: Saturday), fast on Friday and celebrate Eid on Saturday with the appropriate mosque, because this is clearly the correct date.

c) If the mosques in your area are celebrating on Friday, e.g. most of East London, celebrate Eid on Friday with them. However, I recommend that if you understand that this date is incorrect, you should make up one day of fasting later. There was an authoritative fatwa in 1420 H (2000) to the same effect: http://www.albalagh.net/general/eid-ul-fitr-1420_fatwa.htm

Many of us in this situation (including myself) were looking forward to a great end to Ramadan: the blessed Friday prayer, then staying in the mosque until sunset in a state of prayer and remembrance. We have been robbed of this opportunity! 

4) Whenever you celebrate, have a great, happy and blessed Eid. Avoid arguments, fighting and bad feeling over the matter – do not let it ruin the end of your Ramadan and/or your Eid al-Fitr. May God accept all our worship and unite us upon Truth! was-salam,Usama Hasan 

I would be interested to get your views on this topic as I feel very passionately about it and the solution seems pretty straight forward and simple to me. Am I missing something here? 

Was Salaam 


One thought on “Pick of the Day – The Eid Confusion”

  1. Assalamu ‘Alaikum
    in reply to your last paragraph, the problem lies in the fact that families end up celebrating eid on different days, my parents live on the other side of town and go to a different mosque from the one I visit, therefore they celebrated eid on saturday, whereas the mosque I visit and live near by celebrated eid on friday, it is also embrassing at work when colleagues take off different days to celebrate eid.
    The leaders or committies of these mosques need to stop playing politics. my anger is that there is only one moon and visibility should be clearly identifiable in this modern day and age.

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