FIQH COUNCIL OF NORTH AMERICA DECIDED ON ASTRONOMICAL CALCULATIONS FOR ISLAMIC DATES
The Fiqh Council of North America is an independent body, comprised of qualified Islamic scholars in North America. The Council communicates with experts and consultants to meet expected needs for rulings and advice in various areas of Islamic life in North America.ISNA’s Majlis Ash-Shura, the highest policy making body of ISNA, has resolved to follow the Fiqh Council’s position on the issue of determining the beginning of the Islamic lunar months for North America.Position of the Fiqh Council of North America
The Fiqh Council of North America after careful research, deliberations and discussion has adopted a new position regarding the determination of the beginning of the Islamic lunar months. This position is based primarily on the following Fiqhi premises:
- Sighting the Hilal (ru’yah) is not an act of ‘ibadah in itself; it is rather a means to know with certainty about the beginning of the new month related to Islamic ‘Ibadat.
- Ru’yah as a means was indicated and used by the Prophet –peace be upon him- because he himself said that the Ummah at that time was not literate and did not know how to write or to calculate (complicated astronomical data).
- Some classical jurists were willing to accept the calculations.
- Some classical jurists refused to allow calculations in this matter because in their time astronomy and astrology were not quite distinct sciences. Jurists were suspicious that astronomical predictions may not be based on exact science but on whims, conjectures, superstition etc.
- During the last century an increasing number of Muslim jurists indicated that calculations could be used to negate erroneous reports of crescent sighting. Some jurists were of the opinion that calculations could also be used as a positive method to determine the new Islamic lunar months.
- There are now many Muslim astronomers who have been working for many years to develop a global lunar Islamic calendar. Fiqh Council particularly appreciates the efforts of its consultants Dr. Imad ad-Dean Ahmad, Dr. Khalid Shaukat, Dr. Muhib Durrani and Dr. Ahmad Salamah.
- Dr. Salah Soltan and Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah also presented scholarly papers to give thorough evidence from Fiqh Perspective that the use of calculations is not against the Sunnah of the Prophet –peace be upon him.
Please do read the link provided below as well. One should also realize that any opinion of the scholars of a certain madhhab. Is not neccessarily the opinion in the madhhab.