Moon Sighting: A tragedy in slow motion

Moon Sighting: A Tragedy in Slow Motion.
Adnan Jumani

In the Name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.

All praise is due to Allah, the All Knowing.

“Verily, We have sent it down in the Night of Power. And what will make you know what the Night of Power is. The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein descend the angels and the Ruh by their Lord’s permission with every matter. There is peace until the appearance of dawn.” (Quran 97)

[Following is fictitious dialogue between two Angels, and only Allah knows the knowledge of unseen.]

As the sun set on the horizon, the Angels started to descend, and brought with them the commands of Allah for the rest of the year to be implemented. Also, they brought huge packets of blessings and tranquility.

Angel# 1: “Hello, AsSalamuAlaykum brother.”

Angel# 2: “WaAlaykumAsSalam brother. Your voice is very crisp and clear. Did you get the new heaven mobile?”

Angel# 1: “Yeah, my supervisor put in a good word for me to get me the upgrade. All glory belongs to Allah”
“Brother, I am here at east part of the town on my NOP (night of power) delivery, but the people are very few in the Masajid, and there is no sharbat (milk drink), or mithai (sweet). Did we got the schedule wrong? I know we are suppose to be flawless in implementing His commands.”

Angle# 2: “Oh No, No! they are following a different schedule, and calculated the night of 27th Ramadan as yesterday, so don’t worry, and just make your delivery to whoever is praying. I am 20 miles away from you and they have 27th tonight, so I will be busy. You got the easy one!”

Angel# 1: In the puzzling voice, ” I don’t understand this. How can two Muslim communities within 20 miles have different days of Ramadan? Don’t they talk to each other? I am new to this, so please help me understand.”

Angel# 2: “Brother, I can’t explain it to you, as Allah told us on the first day of their creation that he knows about them which we do not know. The humans have weakness in their ego and pride, and they will not accept other group as an authority, although they are in majority. They say that they can not deny their roots. It is funny though, because they all have the same root, and their differences are skin deep.”

Angel# 1: ” So, does that mean they will celebrate Eid on different days?”

Angel# 2: “Yes, most likely, as the larger group is basing it on calculating moon phases, whereas others still insisting on looking through their eyes.”

Angel# 1: “But, that is what our beloved Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him told them right to look through their eyes?”

Angel# 2: “Yes, Yes. He said that, but you have to understand that he also said to use phases of Sun to determine the time of Salah. However, once they perfected the science of determining time of day, they have calendars now which they follow. So, the idea is to know the time period, and not cling to the sunnah as an obligation. Remember what our Lord said “(They ask you (O Muhammad) about the crescents. Say, “These are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind” (Quran 2:189). The moon phases are created for them to know periods of time, and when the knowledge was limited, certainty can be achieved by moon sighting, or counting 30 days.

Angel# 1: “You are right brother. Humans are following the letter of the law, but not the spirit of the law, which was the original intent of the law giver. But, surely these communities within one city can unite on one method. Don’t they talk to each other, or have meetings of leaders to share each other’s opinion?”

Angel# 2: “No, brother, because each of them have an organization, and they are committed to that organization, and some of them get paid, so their loyalty is with their organization. They collect money in the name of the organization, and they deal with their affairs in the name of that organization. Each organization has an agenda, which drives the decision, so it takes a lot of courage to stand up and question the authority, and their faith is weak right now, due to love of this world. But, some have modified their opinions to create unity by accepting global moon sighting, and may be it is a start.”

Angel# 1: “Wow! It is certainly a tragedy! A tragedy in slow motion. Every day the Muslims here wonder when is Eid, and whether their cousin on west side of town would be celebrating Eid during their fast. These humans are certainly fools to allow this. But, Allah knows best.”

“I feel bad for the people who were here last night thinking it was night of power, and I am here standing, but only a few to receive it. Anyways, let me wrap it up, and I will head to your area to get some milk and sweet. I love those things.”

Angel# 2: “Sure! Come on over. We are not humans. We can visit each other areas without invitation. We love each other for the sake of Allah, and don’t have loyalties to any other organization except the Kingdom of Allah. I really miss Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, because if he was alive, he would have ordered them to drop the silliness and follow the most certain way. “Leave what has doubt for what has no doubt” is what he said, according to Hasan ibn Ali. See you in few minutes, and bring the left over blessings here, as there are a lot of folks here today.”

Angel# 1: “Yep, on my way. Almost done distributing in this area. All praise is due to Allah. Lord of the Mighty Throne.”

JazakAllah Khairin

A Seeker of Certainty
AbuArman Jumani

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