Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Ramadan starts Wednesday Oct. 5

According to reputable astronomers' data it was impossible for the hilal to be visible anywhere in the world on Monday.

See: www.moonsighting.com or www.hilal-sighting.com

Curiously, some countries cited seeing the hilal in the afternoon, during the solar eclipse. However, astronomers say that this is nonesense, since the moon is by definition "dark" when it is between the earth and the sun. Hence, the hilal cannot be seen at that time (moonsighting.com).

Nonetheless, a widely publicized fatwa by Al-Qaradawi said that if the hilal is seen during a solar eclipse that occurs after noon, it counts! See: the fatwa posted here.

Since we complete 30 days of Sha`ban today (Tuesday, October 4), Ramadan begins on Wednesday.

Of course, there is a serious moral hazard problem if you promise a financial reward for the one who reports seeing the hilal, as they do in most Islamic countries.


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