What happens if Conjunction takes place after 22:00 UT ??
Dear Brothers & SistersAssalaamu Alaikkum wa Rahmathullaahi wa Barakaathu hu
We have been asked the following question:
If the conjunction takes place at 22:00 UT on a Friday, Japan would be at 9:00 am on Saturday and how can they start the month at Fajre on Saturday, before the conjunction ?
We can judge the apprehensions many may harbor regarding the start of the new month in Japan, New Zealand and Australia “before” the Geo-centric conjunction takes place at after 16:00 UT.
One should note that in Islam a day consists of 5 mandatory prayers starting with Fajr and the fifth being Isha, followed by Witr which can be performed till just before Fajr, as per authentic hadeeth. When one prays, on a Thursday, these 5 mandatory prayers and ends with Witr just before Fajr of Friday, he has completed one day and has entered into the new day of Friday. Like- wise, each day is completed and new day started in a systematic way for six days a week till Thursday with 4 rakaths of Zuhr after zawaal . On Friday at the same time, ie., after zawaal, one prays 2 rakaaths, instead of 4 rakaaths and before these 2 rakaaths a sermon ( khutba ) is also mandatory. This marks the Jummah of a week.
This cycle of 7 days continues irrespective of the start and end of a month.
The Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) has taught us that months can be of either 29 days or 30 days. It is not 29 days for some and 30 days for others for the same lunar month. There is only one calendar for the whole mankind and it shows the same date for the same week-day. Multiple Calendars with same weekday having 2 or 3 or 5 dates as well as one lunar date falling on 2 or 3 or 5 weekdays are contrary to Sharia.
We have been directed, by Almighty Allah and His Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) to observe the moon-phases and to start and end the lunar month as per the observation of the moon-phases.
The Asbabul Nuzul for verse 2:189 clearly states that people were asking about the waxing and waning phases of the moon (not the first crescent seen on the west) and the Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) taught them: “Ja’alallahul ahillatha mawaakeetha linnasi fa soomoo li ru’uyathihi wa afthiroo li ru’uyathihi, fa’in gumma alaikum fa uddoo salaaseena youman” (“Allah has appointed phases of the moon as dates for the people, so fast according to its view and celebrate Eidul Fitre according to its view and when it became covered, then count the month as 30 days). This is a very clear explanation regarding phases of the moon and lunar dates depicted by them.
As you are aware, in the Jewish calendar prevalent at that time, Sha’baan was always taken as of 29 days and Ramdhaan as always with 30 days. The Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) corrected the people and taught them that the months are either of 29 days or of 30 days, depending on the phases of the moon.
It is unwise to translate “Ghummah” into ‘clouds’. The Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) has also used “Ghummiyah”, “Uffiyah”, Ghaffiyah”, “Ghammiyyah”, “Haffiyah” and also “Ghubbiyah” to denote and explain the phenomenon of conjunction. These words cannot be translated as “clouds”. But, majority of Muslims translate “Ghumma” as ‘clouds’ and have misunderstood the sayings of the Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) as a blanket-one permitting them to keep on changing the months of 29 days into 30, whenever, the hilaal is not seen on 29th day. (In fact, it is an Astronomical truth that no waxing hilaal will be seen on the 29th or 30th day of the month!). Seeing the hilaal and starting the new month will lead to multiple calendars with same weekday having 2 or 3 or 5 dates as well as one lunar date falling on 2 or 3 or 5 weekdays which are contrary to Sharia.
As you are aware, the duration of Conjunction is just an instant. But, the day in which it takes place is taken as the Day of Conjunction and the week-day in which it occurs, is considered as the last day of the month. The conjunction occurs, every month, on either 29th day or on 30th day of the lunation. In other words, the new month starts after 145 mandatory prayers (alongwith the Witr) or 150 mandatory prayers (along with the Witr).
Please note that two adjacent neighboring countries having same week-day & same date, cannot be divided into 2 dates or into 2 weekdays just because of the Geo-centric conjunction falling on one of these countries.
It is also not correct to state that Geo-centric conjunction takes place on two week-days or on two dates. Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) also did not ask us to wait till the instant of geo-centric conjunction in order to start or end a month. He (Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) in fact, mentioned about the Day of Conjunction which should be added to the old month.
If the geo-centric conjunction takes place after 16:00 UT, some countries like New Zealand, Australia, Japan etc enter the following day, after 29 days or 30 days of lunation and thereby enter the new month too. Some are upset as they cannot understand how these countries can enter into new month, many hours “before” the Geo-centric conjunction.
They do not understand that these countries entered into the new month, by their own right, after completing 29 days or 30 days, as per the moon-phases, or in other words, after 145 mandatory prayers (alongwith the Witr) or 150 mandatory prayers (along with the Witr). They do not understand that these countries entered into new month as per the cyclic repetition as explained earlier.
To illustrate further, please consider that Conjunction takes place on 30th day, say a Thursday at 16:00 UT. Japan, New Zealand and Australia have completed their 5 mandatory prayers of Thursday and also the Witr and they entered into Friday at Fajr. For them it is the first of the new month which started at Fajr. If they waited till the Geo-centric conjunction to take place, to which month they will add this day of Friday? They cannot add this Friday to the old month as it is forbidden to have 31 days in a month. Some may justify that they can straight away start the new month at Fajr of Friday as they have completed the 30 days.
But, here the point of discussion is whether to wait for the Geo-centric conjunction to take place or not in order to start the new month.
Let us consider another scenario. Conjunction takes place on 29th day of Sha’baan, say a Thursday at 16:00 UT. Japan, New Zealand and Australia have completed their 5 mandatory prayers of Thursday and also the Witr and they entered into Friday at Fajr. They have also observed all the moon-phases, especially “al urjoonal qadeem” on their 28th day, ie Wednesday and it was very thin and very much closer to the horizon which ensured that Thursday is the Day of Conjunction. They also did not see the moon on Thursday on the Eastern horizon, even though the sky was clear. .
As all will agree, for the Muslims of these countries, it is the first of the new month which started at Fajr. If they waited till the Geo-centric conjunction to take place at 16:00 UT on Thursday, they cannot start their new month on Friday, even if they are sure and convinced of Thursday being the last day of the month, as per the observation of moon-phases. If they did not start the new month (Ramdhaan) on Friday at Fajr, they are going against the command of the Prophet (Sallallaahu alsihi wa sallam) who directed Muslims to start fasting as per the observation of moon-phases.
Why should they be deprived of virtues of first day’s fasting, when they have obeyed the Sharia and when they are convinced and sure that Thursday is the last day of the month ?
The Prophet ( Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) observed the phases of Sha’baan meticulously so that Ramdhaan can be started on the correct day. Does not it prove that there is only one calendar? If Ramdhaan can be started on any day or as and when hilaal is seen on the West, then why Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) meticulously observed the moon-phases of Sha’baan? Those who rely on the misconstrued blanket-permission to change the months of 29 into 30, are in fact accusing the Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) of preaching something and practicing something else. NAUDUBILLAH. It is Blasphemy, no doubt.
Authentic hadeeths like opening of gates and shackling of Shytaan on the start of Ramdhaan as well as the hadeeth which says that Lailathul Qadr will occur on the ODD day among the last 10 days also prove that there cannot be Multiple Calendars with same weekday having 2 or 3 or 5 dates as well as one lunar date falling on 2 or 3 or 5 weekdays which are contrary to Sharia.
Ramdhaan as well as other Hijri months should be started only on same weekday throughout the world and not on multiple week-days.
Noble Qur’an clearly states that the phases are the dates for the mankind (2:189); the manaazil of moon can be used to reckon the age and years (10:5); Last visible phase of the moon is al urjoonal qadheem (36:39); It is moon which overtakes the Sun and not the Sun which overtakes moon & that Night follows the Day (36:40).
Tafseer Ibn Kathir also teaches us that the day in which moon gets shadowed/veiled (Day of Conjunction) is the last day of the month and that we can deduce the passing of the month from al urjoonal qadeem (Refer explanation for verses 71:16 & 36:39).
Hence, Islam which has been certified by Almighty Allah as Perfect and Complete has given clear cut instructions for starting and ending the lunar months. The method which we have to follow in ascertaining the start and end of the month is taught in the abovementioned verses of Noble Quran and in the Thafseers. In short, once “al urjoonal qadheem” is identified, the new month starts after nearly 48 hours from its appearance.
Coming back to the question, we would like to explain as follows:
Let us take the month of Ramdhaan 1435 which starts on a Saturday (28 June) and ends on a Saturday (26 July) with 29 days. The Geo-centric Conjunction takes place at 22:41 UT at 158 deg West on Saturday (26 July) . Why we have selected this month is that the conjunction time is almost nearer to what the questioner has asked and also that it decides the date of Eidul Fitre.
The first waxing crescent of Ramdhaan will be visible on First day of fasting ie. on Saturday, after Magrib. If the people of Japan keep on counting the moon-phases they can see the Full Moon on 15th which falls on Saturday and the last quarter on 22nd day which also will be Saturday and finally “al urjoonal qadeem”, on the Eastern sky on Friday at Fajr, which will be very thin and very much closer to the Eastern horizon.
On Friday, the day of “Urjoon”, in Japan the Moonrise will be at 03:09 and Sun rise will be at 04:43 and the moon illumination will be around 3%. The “Urjoon” will be seen. On Saturday, the Day of Conjunction, the Moonrise will be at 04:01 and Sunrise will be at 04:44.
Since the difference between moon-rise and Sun-rise will be only 33 minutes and the illumination will be less than 1 %, the Japanese will not see the waning moon on Saturday which is the Day of Conjunction. As per the Qur’an verses as well as the explanation given by Ibn Kathir (Rah), this Saturday ( 26 July) is the last day of the month of Ramdhaan 1435. The month of Shawwal starts on Sunday at Fajr and Eidul Fitre is on Sunday for all the people of the world.
More over, on Sunday, the 1st of Shawwal, the Sun-rise will be at 04:45 and the Moon-rise will be at 04:54. So, the moon rises after Sun.
As we have explained earlier quoting Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Verse 91:1-2), on the First day of the month the moon rises after Sun, follows the Sun and becomes visible on the Western sky after the setting of the Sun. ( Wal qamari izzaah talaaha ….”). SUBHAANALLAH !
As explained earlier, the Japanese have completed 29 days or 145 mandatory prayers and Witr of Ramdhaan just before Sunday Fajr. As per the observations done as directed by the Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam) they have counted 28 visible phases and did not see the waning moon on Saturday and hence correctly derived that Saturday as the last day of Ramdhaan.
Also note that once the Japanese have prayed the 5 mandatory prayers of Saturday along with the Witre, their day of Saturday is over and they have entered into their next day, which happened to be the first day of Shawwaal.
So there is nothing wrong on Japanese ending the month of Ramdhaan on Saturday and entering the month of Shawwal on Sunday, even if the Geo-centric Conjunction takes place on Saturday at 22:41 UT.
If they waited for the instant of geo-centric conjunction to take place, they should be on fasting on Sunday, even after being fully aware of the fact that it is the Day of Feast. Why should they commit a haraam act after doing very many good-deeds in Ramdhaan ??
Let us now see what happens, in Ramdhaan 1435, with the method of those who advocate “Imkane Ruyiah” (starting the new month only after seeing the hilaal on the West) :
When the first waxing crescent of Ramdhaan 1435 will be seen on Saturday evening in South America around 19:00 hrs local time, the people in Japan and Australia would have completed their 29 days of Sha’baan but could not start Ramdhaan on Sunday as no crescent was seen at Japan !! When the crescent is seen at S. America at around 19:00 hrs local time, the corresponding local time in Japan will be only 04:00 am on Sunday. But still they cannot start the fast from Sunday dawn and are compelled to wait for another 24 hours till Monday dawn to commence the fasting. Is it correct ???
In other words, even after getting the news that crescent has been sighted, they are compelled to wait for another 24 hours, till Monday dawn. Is it correct?? Is it justifiable as per Sharia??
First waxing crescent of Shawwal will be seen on Sunday (27 July) evening in Polynesian Islands and on Monday evening at many places of the world. Though Eidul Fitre falls on Sunday, as per the observation of moon-phases, for those who advocate Imkane Ruyiah, Eidul Fitre falls on Monday for some and on Tuesday for others.
In Japan the waxing crescent of Shawwal will be seen only on Monday and they would have completed 29 days of fasting from Monday to Monday. When the First crescent of Shawwal was seen at Polynesian Islands, the corresponding local time in Japan will be 01:00 am on Monday, but still they cannot celebrate Eid on Monday morning, but have to wait till Tuesday morning.
In other words, even after getting the news that crescent has been sighted, they are compelled to wait for more than 24 hours, till Tuesday morning. Is it correct ?? Is it justifiable as per Sharia ??
Other pertinent questions like “Are not Japanese, by following “imkane Ruyiah” losing the First fast of the month as well as committing the sin of fasting on the haraam day ??” requires convincing answers from those who advocate “Imkane Ruyiah.
Astronomically, a day starts at Noon and ends at Noon at IDL. The day and date are changed at all countries including New Zealand, Japan , Australia as and when each country attains 00:00 hrs, locally. No one sees any anomaly in this. Let us go a bit deeper into this. New Zealand, Japan and Australia change their day and date nearly 11 or 10 hours before the day and date changes at UK, the prime meridian. Those who try to see fault with us see no incongruity in this and take such changes, in advance, as normal and natural.
We would like to remind about what Noble Qur’an says about Qibla:
2:143. Thus We have made you true Muslims ـ real believers of Islamic Monotheism, true followers of Prophet Muhammad and his Sunnah (legal ways), a Wasat (just and the best) nation, that you be witnesses over mankind and the Messenger (Muhammad ) be a witness over you. And We made the Qiblah which you used to face, only to test those who followed the Messenger (Muhammad ) from those who would turn on their heels (i.e., disobey the Messenger). Indeed it was great (heavy, difficult) except for those whom Allah guided. And Allah would never make your faith (prayers) to be lost (i.e., your prayers offered towards Jerusalem). Truly, Allah is full of kindness, the Most Merciful towards mankind.)
Only we Muslims have been given Kaa’ba as Qibla and when we apply the concept of Calendar, Kaa’ba should be taken as the base to give truthful Universal application.
More over, to get the correct connotation about Qibla, we must read together the verse 2:177 & Verse 2:189 which says about “Ahillah”.
2:177 says : It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness) that you turn your faces towards east and (or) west (in prayers); but Al-Birr is the one who believes in Allah.) and
2:189 says: “It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, etc.) that you enter the houses from the back, but Al-Birr is from Taqwa. So enter houses through their proper doors, and have Taqwa of Allah that you may be successful.
You may also note that the door of Kaa'ba is towards South East. The correct rationale why the "entering the house through proper doors" immediately after saying that "moon-phases are dates for man-kind" is known to Almighty Allah alone. But, the present-day knowledge teaches us that the month as well as day starts from the East and not from West.
The order of entering the months should be through proper way and not through opposite direction. In other words, the months must start at the Eastern end and not from Western end, just like the day starts from East. .
Hope all are now convinced that there is nothing wrong in Japan celebrating Eidul Fitre on Sunday, though the Geo-centric conjunction takes place at 22:41 UT on Saturday.
May Almighty Allah keep all of us in the Right Path. Aameen
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