By Zia Ahmad
Alhamdolillah, we thank Allah Subhanotaala that He has given us the opportunity to observe fasting in the blessed month of Ramadan again this year. May Allah accept our efforts and shower His blessings during this great month of training and devotion.
The Ramadan eve also brings about issues as to the start of the month and the day of the Eid. Usually most of us sleep over for the last eleven months relatively with calm in the community and suddenly wake up and engage into arguments and bickering just before Ramadan starts. Ramadan is supposed to bring about better relations in the community but the reality is otherwise.
Realising my position, neither being an aalim, nor an astronomer and certainly not in any kind of administrative authority, as an Islamic activist, I would like to share some of my thoughts on the issue, provide some relevant data and views at this juncture and appeal for some reflection, understanding and community harmony.
We must do a reality check and realise that there are differences of opinion in the Ummah on the issue of determining dates for the Islamic calendar in general and the beginning of Ramadan and Eidain in particular. Rather that just thinking locally, we should think globally and act locally. We should appreciate the various views on the issue, show understanding, follow what we feel is best without condemning others. It should not be the case of myway or the highway.
We should note that all members of the Ummah are sincere in adhering to Islamic principles and differences can occur due to a number of secondary reasons. Each of the various opinions on the issue will have strengths and weaknesses and till our ulama, scientists and administrative authorities come up with a solution on the Islamic calendar, all the views should be considered Shariah-compliant for the time being.
It would be highly desirable that we observe these dates together as much as possible in order to maintain unity and social harmony on global level, regional level, national level, city level, mosque level or at least on a family or household level.
I present to you a simplified data for Sydney as we have published in the My Choice MEFF Ramadan Calendar.
Simplified scenarios published in My Choice MEFF Ramadan Calendar for Sydney:
Ramadan and Eid dates:
Islamic dates are subject to the visibility of the new moon and variation can take place if this sighting of the crescent is done globally, regionally or locally. The following possible scenarios can occur this year:
1. Global Sighting (or prediction of sighting)
Ramadan (30 days) starting Tuesday 9 July and ending Wednesday 7 August with Eid on Thursday 8 August.
2. Regional Sighting
Ramadan (29 days) starting Wednesday 10 July and ending Wednesday 7 August with Eid on Thursday 8 August.
3. Local Sighting
Ramadan (30 days) starting Wednesday 10 July and ending Thursday 8 August with Eid on Friday 9 August.
When you are notified of the commencement of Ramadan through your community, indicate the dates you will follow under the relevant “Ramadan” column.
Please stay in contact with your local mosque for announcement of Ramadan and Eid dates