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Eid al-Adha is on the 10th day of D. Hijja by the sighted moon

  • The Qur’an affirms “Ahilla” (the crescent moons) as the “Mawaqeet” for all Islamic dates and for the Hajj. (2:189)

  • The Messeneger (S) obligated the Muslims to pray Eid al-Adha on the 10th of D. Hijja (wherever they are on that day), and make their sacrifice. He said: the sacrifice done before Eid al-Adha prayer does not fulfill the obligation.

  • All Ahadith mention 10th of D. Hijja as the date of prayer and sacrifice. None mentions Eid al-Adha as Eid al-Hajj or complementary to Hajj rituals.

  • Muslim Ummah followed this Qur’anic instruction and the practice of the Messenger (S) for the last 1400+ years.

  • No Fiqh school ever obligated the Muslims all over the world to fix their Eid al-Adha by the Hajj date in Makka. None ever claimed that it is Eid al-Hajj.

This “Bid’ah” of fixing Eid al-Adha date by the Hajj date in Makka started in some Arab countries and Turkey not long ago on the assumption the Hajj/Arafah in Makka in on 9th. Therefore, the next day would be the 10th all over the world.

Sh. Baaz warned in an article that there is no valid “Daleel” to support that all the Muslims have to follow the Makka horizon for moon-sighting. Sh. Uthaimeen urged the Muslims in N. America to follow the sighting in North America for fixing the Eid al-Adha date. Just two years ago, the Shura Council, following ISNA Fiqh Council, confirmed that all the Ulema who were consulted in this matter said that they did not find any supporting argument in the Qur’an and the Sunnah for fixing Eid date by Hajj date

Please try to ask these questions from any Alim who asks you to follow Saudi dates:

 Qur’an:  (The Crescent moons) are the Mawaqeet…  for (determining the date of) Hajj. (2:189).

(Aayat2:185, 2:200 and 22:29 have no relevance for determining the Hajj date.

 The only correct date of Eid al-Adha all over the world is 10th  Day of D. Hijja, counted from the evening D. Hijja Hilaal is seen. It is well-known that NONE of the 6 committees in S. Arbia ever see the Hilal on the officially announced dates. It is always SEEN in S. Arabia a day later.)

1.   What are the 'Mawaqeet' for fixing the Islamic dates and for Hajj?  (See Ayah 2:189)

a)  The crescents (Ahilla)                  b) The New Moon              c) Saudi Taqweem

2.   What should the Muslims do when it is beyond any doubt that the Saudi dates are fixed against the Qu'anic directive?         

a)  Follow their actual sighting      b) Follow Saudi date even if wrong

(If the Muslims follow Saudi dates {Fast on Saudi 9th D.Hijja (local 8th ), and pray on Saudi 10th D.Hijja (local 9th ) then several complications arise.

1)   What should the Muslims do on their actual 9th and 10th D. Hijja?

b) What about their "Udhiya"? What day should they count as the day of "Nahr" locally?

If they do it according to the Saudi date they are doing it on actual 9th D.Hijja. A 'sacrifice' made before the prayer on the 10th D.Hijja is not counted as fulfilling the obligatory "Udhiya". Another one has to be done. Obviously, any of the "Udhiya" done on the wrong Saudi date is on 9th D.Hijja according to the 'Miqaat' specified in the Qur'an.

2)   Should we pray again on the actual 10th day of D. Hijja?

3)   Is Eid al-Adha prayer made on local actual 9th  (but Saudi 10th) valid?

 Hadith

 Hadith: Eid al-Adha is on the 10th day of Dhul-Hijja.

(All Ahadith mention only the 10th as the day of Eid al-Adha. No Hadith mentions: the day after Hajj or Eid al-Adha  is a celebration of Hajj.) If Eid al-Adha was a celebration of the completion of Hajj then why did the Messenger (S) pray it regularly for 9 years when there was no Hajj for the Muslims?.

1.   How did the Messenger (S) fix the day of "Nahr" in Medina?

a) By the sighted crescent wherever he was.        Or            b) By the day of Arafah in Makkah.

2.   When did he (S) start Eid al-Adha prayer?

a) After Hajj was made obligatory in the 10th year   Or    b) From the second year in Medina

(There was no Hajj for the first 8 years of the Messenger (SAW) living in Medina, but he and all Sahaba prayed Eid al-Adha from the second year.)

3.   Did the Messenger (S) ever try to check Arafah/Nahr date in Makka or adjusted his dates accordingly?

4.   Did any of the Khulafa al-Rashidun ever try to announce the dates of Arafah/Nahr in Makka to the Muslims living outside Makka so that they do not miss Hajj, Eid prayer and Sacrifice?

(In several instances the Companions living outside Makka missed the Hajj when they reached Makka on the 9th day according to their sighting. The Hajj in Makka was over because of an earlier sighting in Makka)

5.   Did any of the Sahaba ever try to send the news of Hajj date to other towns or acted on the news?

(Umar b. Abdel Aziz used to alert the governors of various provinces about the dates of Ramadan ahead of time as mentioned in Ahadith).

6.   Did the Sahaba ever decide their Nahr/Prayer dates on the "news" from Makka or witnesses from another place if a crescent was not seen in their town?   (Kuraib’s famous Hadith clarifies this point well)

Fiqh

1.   Did any of the Fiqh Schools ever issue a ruling that the Muslims living outside Makka must/may fix their Eid al-Adha date by the Arafah day in Makka?

(To avoid chaos and dissension among the Hujjaj the Fuqaha agreed that the valid date of Arafah is when D.Hijja crescent moon was seen in Makka, and not when the Hujjaj saw it in their hometowns away from Makka. It was only to avoid Hajj on two or three days as it happens at Eid al-Fitr now all over the world. )

2.   Is there any new "Dalil" now to tie Arafah/Nahr all over the world to 9-10th D.Hijja in Makka?

(If the day of Nahr in Makka is the determining factor then the countries east of Makka from Australia to Pakistan may have Eid prayer and sacrifice before the day of Nahr begins in Makka. Should they wait till next day?

The Muslims living west of Makka may often see a crescent moon a day ahead of when it is actually visible in Makka. Should they wait a day, in case Saudis ever start following the sighted crescent moon?)

3.   Why is it not a 'Bid'ah', and imposing an undue hardship on the Muslims scattered all over the globe?

 Facts

1.   The earth is a globe, not a flat field.          

(The Moon cannot be visible all over the world at the same time.)

2.   Once a crescent moon is first visible at any place, every place west of it (in a parabola) will see it. Most of the world will see it within 24 hours. (A 'lunar' Islamic day/date).

3.   The moon is first seen at a different place every month.

4.   The Muslims living west of Makka will often see a crescent a day ahead of Makka.

5.   A lunar day/date is always two solar days/dates as they are fixed differently. The solar date is fixed by the International Dateline in the Pacific Ocean and the day/date begins at mid-night locally. The Lunar dateline is fixed by the earliest visible crescent and the day/date locally begins after the sunset.

6.   The Lunar dateline moves westwards every month.  

 Some More Questions

 1.   Why the Saudi Hajj, Ramadan and Eidain dates are always ahead of the rest of the world? In other words, how can they see a crescent moon before others who are living west of them?

2.    Can a crescent moon be‘seen’ before the conjunction (as the Saudi authorities announced for  Ramadan and Eidain 1419, Dec. 18,1998, Jan.17 and March 17 1999)?

3.    What if Saudi fixed date of Hajj makes our D. Q’ada only 28 days, and D.Hijja 31 days?

4.    If the Saudi authorities ever start following the 'sighted’ crescent for D. Hijja, should the Muslims in N. America who will often see D. Hijja crescent a day ahead of the Saudis wait till D. Hijja 11 for their Prayer/Nahr? The Muslims living in the east of Makka will face a reverse situation. Their 10th of D. Hijja may often be a day later than Makka. Should they adjust their dates according to Makka?

5.    Not only prayer/Nahr will be affected by any such adjustment but the days of “Tashriq” as well.

 The answer is very clear. The Muslims must follow the Quran, the Sunnah, and the consensus of the Ummah for the last 1400 years. The Qur’an specifies the crescent moons as determining the Islamic dates, and the Hajj. Saudi authorities fix the Islamic and Hajj dates by other than 'Ahilla', and therefore the Muslims must not follow them. We checked the books of Fiqh, and did not find any support for the assertion that Eidul Adha  should be made on the basis of Hajj decision. The Hadith of the Prophet - peace be upon him - that al-Hajj yauma yahujju al-nas is for those who make Hajj. Of course those who go to Hajj must go to 'Arafah according to the decision of the authorities there, even if that is contrary to the astronomical data or someone's own moon sighting. But people in far away lands do not make Hajj in their locations. They have to make Eid prayer and make Qurbani. They cannot have Eid on 9th of Dhul Hijjah, if the moon was not sighted in their location and sighted in Arabia one day before. They cannot have Udhhiyaha a day earlier.

Omar Afzal            Chairman Committee for Crescent Observation Intl.

The answer to the question of Fasting on the Day of Arafah, as the respected Mufti from S. Arabia explains is very simple if we keep in mind a few basic facts:

            1.   The earth is a globe and not a flat field.

            2.   There is no reason that D.Hijja crescent moon (or any other month's moon) will ALWAYS BE FIRST SEEN in S. Arabia. A Crescent moon is first seen from a different place on earth every month.

            3.    S. Arabia decides about Islamic dates NOT BY THE HILAAL (the crescent moon that you first see after sunset) but by calculating: 

                        Moon is setting after sunset (even by a second)

(Although the claim is always made that a "moon was seen at....(many places), by a large number of "Adil" witnesses in the kingdom" or 30 days of the month are completed.)

 Most Arab states just follow S. Arabia.)

            4.    If a moon is really seen in S. Arabia/Egypt or anywhere in Asia, Europe, or N. Africa it will CERTAINLY BE SEEN in N. America 8-10 hours later. If it is not seen on a clear sky (and the whole N. America is never be cloudy just at sunset) then Saudi claims are

            False.

            5.    It is also a fact that if 30 days of the Islamic month are really complete then a moon will ALWAYS BE SEEN. If it is not seen on a clear sky then 30 days are NOT COMPLETE.

ISNA’s Waffling

 1967-1975               (Br. Muzammil Siddiqi, Br. Atiqur Rahman:         Criterion: Sighted moon in N.A.)

 1973        Kuwait Conference of Auqaf Ministry                  (March 1973: IH June 1981 p. 3)

 1976:       Br. Muzammil Siddiqi            (I.H. v.5 : 9 p. 3 (Sep. 1976)

1) Sighted moon after the sunset.  2) On a clear day, sighting is authentic only if a number of Muslims have seen the moon; on a cloudy day two Muslims. 3) Each locality must follow its horizon. 

 1978        Istanbul Conference                (Nov. 27-30, 1978)                 (IH          June 1981 p.3)

 Ramadan on Aug.3, 4, 5 and Eid al-Fitr on Sep. 3,4,5            (IH Feb. 1979)

In 1979, Shawwal moon could not be seen anywhere in N. America a day after Saudis celebrated Eid. But Muslims in N. America followed Saudi announcement on ISNA’s advice. In 1980 the same confusion was repeated. Muslim in Noerth America started Ramadan

1980 MSA (now ISNA since 1982) created the serious problem of fixing Ramadan and Eidain dates for the Muslims. It replaced “Sighted moon in North America” criterion by its “News from a Muslim country” ( i.e. Saudi Arabia).

Fiqh Committee   consensus              (News and Eid al-Adha with Eid of Hujjaj in Mina)

1) A ‘verified’ news of sighting on Sha’ban 29 from any Muslim country. 2) If no news comes, and no sighting in N. America then Sha’ban to be 30 days. 3) Any announcement in complete contradiction to the undisputed established astronomical knowledge may be disregarded by a unanimous decision of the Fiqh Committee.4) Eid al-Adha in N. America on the same day the pilgrims celebrate their Eid in Mena.     (MSA Fiqh Committee Flyer 1981:July?)

1981:Under public pressure, MSA organized a meeting in Chicago (Nov. 6, 1982) but the discussions were derailed as ISNA moderator insisted that the real issue is Fiqh disagreement of “Ittihad al-Matal’i vs. Ikhtilaf al-Matal’i”, and not erroneous sighting in Saudi Arabia.                                 (IH Dec. 1982)

CFCO speakers at the conference, on the other hand, insisted that it is really a matter of “Hilal’s visibility” in Saudi Arabia and not “local vs. global sighting”. We clarified that “the whole world is “one Malt’a but in 24 hours”. Saudi announcements always contained the phrase: “Shuhud Udul in several places saw…” or “30-days of …completed”. CFCO analysis of visibility data at Makkah proved beyond doubt that the moon could never be visible there in the evening when it is claimed as sighted or the 30th day of the lunation. It took another five years before ISNA Fiq Council could accept Saudi mistakes.

ISNA FC strictly adhered to the “News” (from S. Arabia) and the “Eid al-Adha on Eid day in Mina) despite strong protests and statements from astronomical experts conforming that the Saudi dates are based on the “Conjunction”.

1985       (FC reaffirms its 1980 criterion, with minor changes)     (20 min. lag and Eid in Mina)

1)The whole world as One Matl’a (News).     

2) Contradictory to the undisputed astro. Knowledge means:

a) If the moonset is before the sunset             

b) Moonset 20 minutes after sunset means “Good possibility” of sighting and any claim will be “acceptable”.  

c) FC will ignore even this 20 min. test if overwhelming reports of sighting received. d) Eid al-Adha on the day of Eid in Mina.

1986: IIIT (an ISNA institution) organized an international conference of ‘experts’. The papers presented at the conference are available as “Proceedings”. ISNA was forced to admit erroneous Saudi claims and changed its criterion again to “Visible moon in N. America for Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr”. For Eid al-Adha, it insisted on following Saudi official dates of Hajj even when proven wrong. However it did not change the chaotic date-fixing. Faulty and sometimes bogus claims of sightings within N. America plague the Muslim community year after year. CFCO’s fact-sheets provided enough evidence to force ISNA a retraction on several occasions.

CFCO’s questionnaire (1986) about ISNA’s decision of making Eid al-Adha “Eid al-Hajj” and valuable papers by Dr. Muzammil Siddiqui, Maulana Abdullah Saleem, and Mufti Taqi Usmani created enough awareness that ISNA revised its decision after 21 years.

1999: ISNA Fiqh Council agreed that the Qur’an, Ahadith and Fiqh do not support its “celebrating Eid al-Adha next day of Hajj”, and decided to uniformly apply “Sighted Hilal in N. America” for all months including Ramadan and Eidain.

Dr. Jamal Badawi

2001: Dr. Jamal Badawi and a few other members, without any support from the Qur’an and the Sunnah, insisted that ISNA Fiqh Council made a mistake in 1999 by abrogating its Eid al-Adha ruling. They forced ISNA Fiqh Council to go back to “Eid al-Adha the day after Saudi Hajj date” – a criterion they admitted has NO SOUND BASIS. Here is ISNA’s explanation:

Last year, the Fiqh Council ...  recommended …that the determination of Eidul Adha be based on sighting the Crescent in North America.  This recommendation was based on numerous Fatwas …(that) indicated that there is no sound basis for distinction between the determination of Ramadan and Eidul Adha

 The Fiqh Council’s recommendation was contingent on educating the Muslim community prior to Eid ...  This did not materialize.  Due to the unfamiliarity with this information prior to Eidul Adha, heated discussions and lesser unity occurred in several communities, contrary to what was hoped.

 There is room in Islamic Fiqh to adopt a weaker, but still acceptable opinion if that achieves greater benefit (maslaha); in that case greater unity.  Therefore, the Fiqh Council recommends the restoration of the previous method of… Eidul Adha to follow the announcement in Makkah about… Dhul Hijjah.

Eid al-Adha prayer on the 9th day of D. Hijja ?

Praying Eid al-Adha on the 9th day of D. Hijja is meaningless and a “Sacrifice” (Udhiya) on 9th does not fulfill obligatory (Wajib) ‘sacrifice’of Eid al-Adha.

Unity of the Muslims will come only by following the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and not by deviating from them.      May Allah save us from following a “Bid’ah”. Amin.

Please try to ask these questions from any Alim who asks you to follow Saudi dates:

Qur’an

1.   What are the 'Mawaqeet' for fixing the Islamic dates and for Hajj?         (See Ayah 2:189)

      a)  The crescents (Ahilla)      b) The New Moon         c) Saudi Taqweem

2.   What should the Muslims do when it is beyond any doubt that the Saudi dates are fixed against the Qu'anic directive?              

      a) Follow their actual sighting     b) Follow Saudi date even if wrong

 (If the Muslims follow Saudi dates {Fast on Saudi 9th D.Hijja (local 8th ), and pray on Saudi 10th D.Hijja (but their local 9th) then several complications arise.

3.    What should the Muslims do on their actual 9th and 10th D. Hijja? What about their "Udhiya"? What day should they count as the day of "Nahr" locally?

If they do it according to the Saudi date they will do it on actual 9th D.Hijja. A 'sacrifice' made before the prayer on the 10th D.Hijja is not counted as fulfilling the obligatory ‘Udhiya’. Another one has to be done (Hadith). Obviously, any of the "Udhiya" done on the wrong Saudi date is on 9th D.Hijja according to the 'Miqaat' specified in the Qur'an.

4.  Should we pray again on the actual 10th day of D. Hijja?

5.  Is Eid al-Adha prayer made on local actual 9th  (but Saudi 10th) valid?

Hadith

1.   How did the Messenger (S) fix the day of "Nahr" in Medina?

 a) By the sighted crescent wherever he was.     b) By the day of Arafah in Makkah.

2.   When did he (S) start Eid al-Adha prayer?

a) After Hajj was made obligatory in the 10th year          b) From the second year in Medina

(There was no Hajj for the first 8 years of the Messenger (SAW) living in Medina, but he and all Sahaba prayed Eid al-Adha from the second year.)

3.   Did the Messenger (S) ever try to check Arafah/Nahr date in Makka or adjusted his dates accordingly?

4.   Did any of the Khulafa al-Rashidun ever try to announce the dates of Arafah/Nahr in Makka to the Muslims living outside Makka so that they do not miss Hajj, Eid prayer and Sacrifice?

(In several instances the Companions living outside Makka missed the Hajj when they reached Makka on the 9th day according to their sighting. The Hajj in Makka was over because of an earlier sighting in Makka)

5. Did any of the Sahaba ever try to send the news of Hajj date to other towns or acted on the news?

(Umar b. Abdel Aziz used to alert the governors of various provinces about the dates of Ramadan ahead of time as mentioned in Ahadith).

6.   Did the Sahaba ever decide their Nahr/Prayer dates on the "news" from Makka or witnesses from another place if a crescent was not seen in their town?   (Kuraib’s famous Hadith clarifies this point well)

 Fiqh

1. Did any of the Fiqh Schools ever issue a ruling that the Muslims living outside Makka must/may fix their Eid al-Adha date by the Arafah day in Makka?

(To avoid chaos and dissension among the Hujjaj the Fuqaha agreed that the valid date of Arafah is when D.Hijja crescent moon was seen in Makka, and not when the Hujjaj saw it in their hometowns away from Makka. It was only to avoid Hajj on two or three days as it happens at Eid al-Fitr now all over the world. )

2. Is there any new "Dalil" now to tie Arafah/Nahr all over the world to 9-10th D.Hijja in Makka?

(If the day of Nahr in Makka is the determining factor then the countries east of Makka from Australia to Pakistan may have Eid prayer and sacrifice before the day of Nahr begins in Makka. Should they wait till next day?

The Muslims living west of Makka may often see a crescent moon a day ahead of when it is actually visible in Makka. Should they wait a day, in case Saudis ever start following the sighted crescent moon?)

3. Why is it not a 'Bid'ah', and imposing an undue hardship on the Muslims scattered all over the globe?

Facts

1. The earth is a globe, not a flat field.            

(The Moon cannot be visible all over the world at the same time.)

2. Once a crescent moon is first visible at any place, every place west of it (in a parabola) will see it. Most of the world will see it within 24 hours.                  (A 'lunar' Islamic day/date).

3. The moon is first seen at a different place every month.

4. The Muslims living west of Makka will often see a crescent a day ahead of Makka.

5. A lunar day/date is always two solar days/dates as they are fixed differently. The solar date is fixed by the International Dateline in the Pacific Ocean and the day/date begins at mid-night locally. The Lunar dateline is fixed by the earliest visible crescent and the day/date locally begins after the sunset.

6. The Lunar dateline moves westwards every month. 

Some More Questions

1. Why the Saudi Hajj, Ramadan and Eidain dates are always ahead of the rest of the world? In other words, how can they see a crescent moon before others who are living west of them?

2. Can a crescent moon be‘seen’ before the conjunction (as the Saudi authorities announced for  Ramadan and Eidain 1419, Dec. 18,1998, Jan.17 and March 17 1999)?

3. What if Saudi fixed date of Hajj makes our D. Q’ada only 28 days, and D.Hijja 31 days?

4. If the Saudi authorities ever start following the 'sighted’ crescent for D. Hijja, should the Muslims in N. America who will often see D. Hijja crescent a day ahead of the Saudis wait till D. Hijja 11 for their Prayer/Nahr? The Muslims living in the east of Makka will face a reverse situation. Their 10th of D. Hijja may often be a day later than Makka. Should they adjust their dates according to Makka?

5. Not only prayer/Nahr will be affected by any such adjustment but the days of “Tashriq” as well.

The answer is very clear. The Muslims must follow the Quran, the Sunnah, and the consensus of the Ummah for the last 1400 years. The Qur’an specifies the crescent moons as determining the Islamic dates, and the Hajj. Saudi authorities fix the Islamic and Hajj dates by other than 'Ahilla', and therefore the Muslims must not follow them. We checked the books of Fiqh, and did not find any support for the assertion that Eidul Adha  should be made on the basis of Hajj decision. The Hadith of the Prophet - peace be upon him - that al-Hajj yauma yahujju al-nas is for those who make Hajj. Of course those who go to Hajj must go to 'Arafah according to the decision of the authorities there, even if that is contrary to the astronomical data or someone's own moon sighting. But people in far away lands do not make Hajj in their locations. They have to make Eid prayer and make Qurbani. They cannot have Eid on 9th of Dhul Hijjah, if the moon was not sighted in their location and sighted in Arabia one day before. They cannot have Udhhiyaha a day earlier.

The answer to the question of Fasting on the Day of Arafah, as the respected Mufti from S. Arabia explains is very simple if we keep in mind a few basic facts:

1. The earth is a globe and not a flat field.

2. There is no reason that D. Hijja crescent moon (or any other month's moon) will ALWAYS BE FIRST SEEN in S. Arabia. A Crescent moon is first seen from a different place on earth every month.

3. S. Arabia decides about Islamic dates NOT BY THE HILAAL (the crescent moon that you first see after sunset) but by calculating: Moon is setting after sunset (even by a second)

(Although the claim is always made that a "moon was seen at....(many places), by a

large number of "Adil" witnesses in the kingdom" or 30 days of the month are completed.

Most Arab states just follow S. Arabia.)

4. If a moon is really seen in S. Arabia/Egypt or anywhere in Asia, Europe, or N. Africa it will CERTAINLY BE SEEN in N. America 8-10 hours later. If it is not seen on a clear sky (and the whole N. America is never be cloudy just at sunset) then Saudi claims are False.

5. It is also a fact that if 30 days of the Islamic month are really complete then a moon will ALWAYS BE SEEN. If it is not seen on a clear sky then 30 days are NOT COMPLETE.

Dr. Omar Afzal           Chairman Committee for Crescent Observation Intl.