Rabat - The first day of Ramadan will be on Monday June 6, according to the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA).
Rabat – The first day of Ramadan will be on Monday June 6, according to the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA).
Unlike the overwhelming majority of Muslim countries, which count on the sighting of the moon with naked eyes to determine the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, the FCNA bases its decision on astronomical calculations.
The FCNA said on its official website that it “recognizes astronomical calculation as an acceptable Shar’i method for determining the beginning of lunar months including the months of Ramadan and Shawwal. FCNA uses Makkah al-Mukarrama as a conventional point and takes the position that the conjunction must take place before sunset in Makkah and moon must set after sunset in Makkah.”
Determining the first day of Ramadan is a hotly debated issues in Muslim countries. While some scholars have called in recent years for relying on science and on astronomical calculations in order to avoid confusion, others cling to the traditional sighting of the moon with naked, as set out in the holy Koran.
Every year Muslims living in North America and Europe faces the dilemma of whether to follow Saudi Arabia or the Fiqh Council of North America.
To put an end to the confusion created every year around the first day of Ramadan, scholars and astronomers representing more than 60 Muslim countries agreed during a conference held in Istanbul last week on unifying the Hijri calendar and for enabling Muslims to fast on the same day.
During the conference, Egyptian scholar, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, President of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, said: “Our societies are seeking to unify the calendar, where Muslims fast on the same day, and break their fast on the same day.”
Al-Qaradawi called on astronomers to “help Islamic scholars to unite Muslims regarding the Calendar.”
“Sharia Law is with astronomy, and there is no religion that encouraged science better than Islam. We have outdone the West in science, but they took it from us and made it evolve,” he said.
It remains to be seen whether all Muslim countries will abide by this agreement and enable Muslims across the planet to begin Ramadan on the same day.