ISNA consultants ratified a “naked-eye sighting” claim by a lone witness from Phoenix, AZ against unanimous opinion of the astronomers. ISNA Muftis instantly approved this claim as “credible” against overwhelming odds and declared Eid on the last day of Ramadan.
What happened to the scientific rule of “repeatability” before accept a claim? Why did ISNA experts fail to consider the simple fact that all others who were present at the same location with this person were unable to see any moon? Why did ISNA Fiqh Council throw the “Ghalabat-al-Yaqeen” (Near-certainty), and “Jamun Azeem” (a large number of witnesses from a town, if the sky is clear) requirements out of the window for ending Ramadan month? Were they that desperate to have Eid with those who started Ramadan on Tuesday Oct. 4 they asked Muslims to miss a day of obligatory Ramadan fasting?
Incompetent ISNA Astronomical Consultants
Let us analyze the role of ISNA’s two astronomical consultants (Mohib and Salamah) in Eid fiasco and their amazing incompetence. ISNA, until 10:00pm on November 2, 2005 has been proclaiming:
All Muslim astronomical consultants are unanimous that with NAKED EYE it is IMPOSSIBLE to see it anywhere in North America.
At 10:00 pm ISNA declared: Tomorrow, Thursday 3 Nov 2005 CE is the first day of Shawwal (Eid al-Fitr).
How did this miracle happen?
ISNA consultants, Khalid Shuakat, ruled that Phoenix naked-eye sighting claim is not credible., As usual he was ignored. Two other ISNA consultants assured the Muftis that the lone witnesses ISNA could find in whole of N. America was “Credible”. The two declared a naked-eye sighting “Possible” against a unanimous opinions of all astronomers that it was IMPOSSIBLE for North America.
The written statement of the witness on Mohib’s web reads in part:
In Phoenix Arizona… out of a large group… (ONE witness) saw illusive Hilal at 5:42 …for a few seconds … to the left of … the sun – (Hilal) spanning the distance from the seven o’clock and two o’clock hand of an analog clock.…continually observe it until about 5:41pm…One other brother … was able to see it…Our Imam saw it at first sight but… was not certain of his sighting.”
It is amazing how ISNA consultants found NO fault with this account.
How a 29 day Hilal could be visible within 4 minutes of the sunset?
Why was it visible only for “a few seconds”.
Why was the Hilal upside down -extended from 7 to 2 on a clock?
Why was the second witness not asked to provide details to corroborate?
Why did the third person (Imam) abandon his claim of sighting?
Why nobody from Phoenix to Pacific coast could see this moon again?
Why did everybody in the “large” group NOT SEE what only one could see?
From the description of the observed object as “illusive” the witness appeared doubtful. He saw the object only for a few seconds and then it eluded him. The crescent appeared to him 7 o’clock to 2 o’clock. The unfortunate tragedy lies with the two experts who accepted it. Note that there was no second witness’s statement in support of this faulty evidence.
ISNA experts have to answer all these questions with solid observational data to back their decision.
ISNA FIQH COUNCIL IGNORED SHAHADAH RULE FOR EID MOON
ISNA FC itself had agreed that naked-eye sighting in N. America was IMPOSSIBLE.
ISNA Muftis have to explain which Fiqh principles they used to accept only one witness (the second and the third in Phoenix cannot be counted as the real witnesses). All Fuqaha specify Ghalabat al-Yaqeen rule for ending fasting month. Some may require only two, but the majority requires a larger number, 50-500 from a town. How could they justify only one witness from a whole continent is enough?
Only Salama surmised (without any supporting observational data) that a moon could be seen in southern US states. For him, it was an opportunity to prove his wild guess as a fact.
For Durrani, every claim, however spurious, is credible. One wonders on what grounds he rejected Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, 2005 claims of Shawwal moon-sighting but accepted the Phoenix claim?
Later, Phoenix observer corrected his written statement: He said the Hilal was visible to him till 5:51 pm (and not 5:41). It makes his claim more doubtful. If he could see it for nine minutes then how could his large group, including the Imam, not see it?
Obviously, ISNA Fiqh Council and its consultants proved again that they are INCOMPETENT for determining the Ramadan and Eidain dates. They also bear the responsibility of all those MUSLIMS who DID NOT FAST ON THE LAST DAY OF RAMADAN as a consequence of their faulty decisions.
Chicago Eid Committee added to the chaos.
After rejecting three other witnesses earlier, they accepted two (plus one) witnesses as “credible”. The two appeared before the Ulema and affirmed that they saw a crescent moon fifteen minutes AFTER the sunset for another 5-6 minutes.
In Chicago, the moon had set eight minutes after the sunset. How could anyone see its crescent 15-20 minutes later when there was nothing to see?
The faulty reasoning of the Eid Committee was that the “witnesses are known persons, and are “Adil”. Therefore, the Committee should ignore the calculations and go for the Islamic requirement of “Adil” Muslims witnesses. How Islamic is accepting a grossly wrong evidence?
Chicago Committee’s decision opened the floodgates. Masaajid and Islamic centers that for years, insisted on a credible sighting changed to Thursday Eid by mid-night.
ICNA shares the blame equally for the blunder. It used to be cautious and often differed from ISNA. But this Eid ICNA also fell for the “unity” argument.
Muslims Should Fast for the Missed Day of Ramadan
ISNA, ICNA, Chicago Eid Committee, etc all were misled by faulty moon-sighting claims and declare Eid al-Fitr on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2005 – the last day of Ramadan.
How is it possible that only one person in Phoenix and three in Chicago, Il could see a moon that was NOT SEEN from East to West coast of N. America anywhere else?
Muslims who celebrated Eid on Nov. 3 SHOULD MAKE UP AT LEAST ONE DAY OF KAFFARAH for the MISSED day of Ramadan.