Islamic Dates

ESTABLISHING ISLAAMIC DATES

Quran And Sunnah Society

Today, there are two groups among the Muslims whose theories about crescent sighting only help to further divide the Muslims. The first group gives the greatest weight and most definitive consideration to astronomical calculations. The second emphasizes different sighting locations. Both groups adamantly claim that they derive their theories from Islaamic principles! Members of the first group have clearly left the boundaries of proper application of the few texts that they refer to; and unfortunately, they are the louder voice among the two. As for the second group, its members attempt to rely on authentic texts. However, once their initial objective is proven, its outcome leads to a paradox! They become forced to agree to differing and fall victim to indecisive speculation about the proper application of their theory.

NEW CRESCENT DETERMINES THE ISLAAMIC DATE

Allaah (swt) has set crescent sighting as the only means for establishing dates of various Islaamic occasions such as Eids and Hajj. He says: They ask you [Muhammad saws)] concerning the crescents. Say: They are but signs to mark fixed periods of time for men and for Hajj. (Al-Baqarah 2:189)

THE COUNT OF A MONTH

Aa’ishah, Anas, Ibn Abbaas, Ibn Umar, Jaabir, and Umm Salamah (peace be upon them all) reported that the Messenger (saws) said: A month can be twenty nine days. ( Al-Bukhaaree, Muslim and others)

Abu Hurayrah (rau) reported that the Prophet (saws) said: A month can be twenty nine days; and it can be thirty days. So, fast when you see the crescent; and break your fast when you see it. If it is obscure to you, then complete the count of thirty days. (Recorded by an-Nasaa`ee; judged authentic by al-Albaanee)

THE OBLIGATION TO SIGHT THE CRESCENT

Prophet Muhammad (saws) emphasized that crescent sighting is required in determining the beginning and end of the month of Ramadaan. A large number of sahaabah reported that the Prophet (saws) said: Fast (Muslims) when you see the crescent; if it is obscure to you, then complete thirty days in the count of Sha’baan. And break your fast when you see the crescent; if it is obscure to you, then fast thirty days. [ Recorded by Al-Bukhaaree, Muslim, and others; narrated by Abu Hurayrah, Aa’ishah, Adiyy Bin Haatim, Huthayfah, Ibn Abbaas, Ibn Umar, Jaabir Bin Abdillaah, and other Sahaabah]

Furthermore, the Prophet (saws) forbade starting or ending the month without the required sighting. Ibn Abbaas and Ibn Umar (ru) reported that he (saws) mentioned Ramadaan and said: Do not fast until you see the crescent; and do not break your fast until you see it again. If the crescent is obscure to you then count thirty days. (Al-Bukhaaree, Muslim and others)

THE CRESCENT OF SHA’BAAN

The Prophet (saws) took great care to precisely determine the beginning of Sha’baan, because one can then count twenty nine days and watch for the crescent of Ramadaan, or complete thirty days before beginning the fast. Aa’ishah (raa) said: “The Messenger (saws) was more concerned about (determining the beginning of) Sha’baan than other months. He would then fast at the sighting of (the crescent of) Ramadaan. If it were obscure, he would count thirty days (of Sha’baan) and then fast.” (Recorded by Abu Daawood, Ahmad and others; judged authentic by al-Haakim, ath-Thahabee and al-Albaanee)

Abu Hurayrah (ru) reported that the Messenger (saws) said: Start counting for Ramadaan from the crescent of Sha’baan. (Recorded by at-Tirmithee and al-Haakim; judged authentic by al-Albaanee)

WITNESSES NEEDED TO ESTABLISH THE SIGHTING

The ulamaa’ agree that two trustworthy Muslim witnesses are sufficient to establish a crescent sighting. This is based on a report by Abd ur-Rahmaan bin Zayd bin Al-Khattaab that a number of the sahaabah told him that Allaah’s Messenger (saws) said: Fast when you see it; break your fast when you see it; and keep the day count for sighting. If it is obscure to you then complete thirty (days). And if two just Muslim witnesses testify (that they saw it) then fast or break your fast. (Recorded by Ahmad, an-Nasaa`ee and ad-Daaraqutnee; judged authentic by al-Albaanee)

Many ulamaa’ further believe that only one trustworthy person’s testimony is necessary for determining the beginning of the month. The basis for this is that Ibn Umar (ru) said: “The people were looking out for the crescent (of Ramadaan). I informed the Prophet (saws) that I saw it. So he fasted (on the following day) and ordered the people to fast.” (Recorded by Abu Daawood and others; judged authentic by ath-Thahabee, Ibn Hajar and al-Albaanee)

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BID’AH AND SUNNAH ACTS OF ISLAMIC HIJRI MONTHS

Source http://www.fatwa-online.com/islaamiccalendar/index.htm

1 – Muharram

• Day 9 and 10 or 10 and 11 – S U N N A H: ‘Aashooraa – Fasting recommended

• Day 10 – I N N O V A T I O N: Performing a sacrifice during the day

2 – Safar

• Day 6 – I N N O V A T I O N: Performing a sacrifice during the day

3 – Rabee’ al-Awwal

• Day 12 – I N N O V A T I O N: ‘Eed Milaad an-Nabee – Celebrating the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam)

4 – Rabee’ ath-Thaanee / al-Aakhir

• No sunnah or bid’ah acts

5 – Jumaada al-Awwal

• No sunnah or bid’ah acts

6 – Jumaada ath-Thaanee

• No sunnah or bid’ah acts

7 – Rajab

• Day 1 to 30 – I N N O V A T I O N: Increasing in worship because it is the month of Rajab

• Day 26 – I N N O V A T I O N: Celebrating the night journey of the Prophet Muhammad (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) to al-Quds (Jerusalem), and from their his ascension to the Heavens

• Day 27 – I N N O V A T I O N: Performing a sacrifice during the day, then standing the night in voluntary prayer

8 – Sha’baan

• Day 15 – I N N O V A T I O N: Fasting during the day and standing the night in voluntary prayer (also referred to as “shabbee baraat”)

9 – Ramadhaan

• Day 1 to 30 – F A R D H / W A A J I B: Fasting

• Day 1 to 30 – S U N N A H: ‘Umrah recommended once on any day

• Day 17 (Battle of Badr) – I N N O V A T I O N: Gathering in the masaajid at night to recite Soorah Yaaseen

• Day 27 – I N N O V A T I O N: Celebrating the night in anticipation of Laylatul-Qadr (The Night of Power)

10 – Shawwaal

• Day 1 – F A R D H / W A A J I B: `Eed al-Fitr

• Day 2 to 30 – S U N N A H: Fasting recommended for any six days

• Day 15 – I N N O V A T I O N: Performing a sacrifice during the day

11 – Dhul-Qi’dah

• No sunnah or bid’ah acts

12 – Dhul-Hijjah

• Day 1 to 9 – S U N N A H: Fasting recommended

• Day 10 – F A R D H / W A A J I B: `Eed al-Adhhaa

For those performing Hajj:

• Day 8 to 13 – F A R D H / W A A J I B (once in a lifetime) Performance of Hajj rites

Throughout the Islaamic Hijrah year:

• Every Monday and Thursday – Fasting recommended

• Every 13th, 14th and 15th of every month – Fasting recommended

• Every other day of every month – Fasting permissible (the fast of the Prophet Daawood (‘alayhis-salaam))

• On the occasion of anyone’s birthday – Nothing specific recommended

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