Long time, no see! I have just returned from the moon with some great news. Read on.
Another Eid al-Fitr is around the corner and so is lunar confusion. But need one confuse things given the very clear scientific data below? Beware: no amount of science can cover the flaws of human observation, cloudy weather or extreme geographical locations.
I have provided the crescent visibility curves and data for Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Peshawar (Pakistan) which seems to blindly follow the distant Saudi horizon to falsely report crescent sightings, Karachi, then Lahore and finally those of London. You can easily see from the coloured legend (bottom right hand side) if your country falls within one of the visibility curves on a given date.
|Shawwal 1433 AH crescent at sunset on 19 August, 2012 (bright curve shows DAY)|
Finally, I have provided realistic representations of where the sun and the moon will be on 17, 18 and the 19 August, 2012 (Shawwal, 1433 Hijrah). The horizontal line, with compass degrees marked on it, represents the horizon.
The lunar calendar will always remain a necessity for determining occasions such as Ramadan, Hajj (pilgrimage at Makkah) and the two Eid festivals. At this time, we need not dive into an oily kingdom’s preference for unsettled crescent observation criteria. The onus of responsibility clearly falls on those who falsely report crescent sightings or support outright liars. This institutional wrong means that Muslims could end up starting the holy month of Ramadan (fasting) and celebrating Eid on the wrong dates.
The idea behind writing about lunar astronomy is to help one look with precision at the sky. Astronomy must be studied by each Muslim, as was done during the zenith of Muslim rule, to appreciate the inner workings of God's System. Observation matters need not be left to the experts; even novices can enjoy watching the sky in order to fulfil God’s Will and the sunnah (practices of Prophet Muhammad, peace on him).
A simultaneous global sighting of the crescent is an astronomical impossibility due to the moon’s eccentric rotation and orbital behaviour. Hence, celebrating Eid on a single day across a huge land mass (USA, China, India) is not a religious requirement but rather a new age idea propounded by the religious globalists. It has now become a fitna (trial, tribulation), frequently leading to disagreements and discord; please ignore this effort designed to divide Muslims further on non-issues.
A few important points need to be borne in mind this time:
- The birth of the new moon (conjunction) will take place on 17 August 2012 at 15:54 UTC (20:54 Pakistan Standard Time).
- Moonset will occur 00:27 minutes before sunset.
- The Shawwal crescent will be born 02:35 hours after sunset (at 15:54 UTC). Hence, it will be invisible on some parts of the globe until maybe the next evening (18 August).
- A 'fat' crescent will be clearly seen on the evening of 19 August. Therefore, in Pakistan Eid al-Fitr will fall on Monday, 20 August 2012—unless the Riyals will it otherwise.
I thank Allah and remain indebted to my astronomer friends whose accurate predictive software programmes and research have lit up my path of lunar astronomy.
I welcome your questions and comments on this important subject, and hope that you will attempt to not only understand what I have provided here but also help others understand matters for their own good.
Once you wish to be guided by taking a few essential steps in the direction, Allah's Promise will come true: you will be protected and guided.
They will ask thee about the new moons. Say: "They indicate the periods for [various doings of] mankind, including the pilgrimage." (Qur’an 2:189)
Have a lovely Eid al-Fitr!
Jeddah, SAUDI ARABIA (Saturday 18 August, 2012)
Sunset: 18:51 LT
Moonset: 19:13 LT
Moon Age: +23H 57M
Moon Lag Time: +00H 22M
Moon Altitude: +05°:04':23"
Moon Azimuth: +271°:59':17"
Distance: 378,126.87 Km
Crescent Visibility: Visible with optical aid only (hence, Eid on 19 August)
Peshawar, PAKISTAN (Saturday 18 August 2012)
Sunset: 19:01 LT
Moonset: 19:08 LT
Moon Age: +22H 06M
Moon Lag Time: +00H 08M
Moon Altitude: 00°:58':11"
Moon Azimuth: +274°:15':58"
Distance: 378,388.95 Km
Crescent Visibility: Not visible even with optical aid (but then who knows!)
Karachi, Pakistan (18 August, 2012)
Sunset: 19:03 LT
Moonset: 19:19 LT
Moon Age: +22H 09M
Moon Lag Time: +00H 16M
Moon Altitude: +03°:44':30"
Moon Azimuth: +272°:45':21"
Distance: 378,383.59 Km
Crescent Visibility: The Crescent Visibility is: Not Visible Even With Optical Aid.
Lahore, PAKISTAN (Friday 17 August 2012)
Sunset: 18:46 LT
Moonset: 18:19 LT
Moon Age: -02H 08M
Moon Lag Time: -00H 27M
Moon Altitude: -05°:55':22"
Moon Azimuth: +284°:11':07"
Distance: 382,142.78 Km
Crescent Visibility: Not visible even with optical aid (because the moon sets before the sun, and the conjunction occurs after sunset).
Lahore, PAKISTAN (Saturday 18 August, 2012)
Sunset: 18:45 LT
Moonset: 18:55 LT
Moon Age: +21H 51M
Moon Lag Time: +00H 10M
Moon Altitude: +01°:40':25"
Moon Azimuth: +273°:49':20"
Distance: 378,426.83 Km
Crescent Visibility: Not Visible Even With Optical Aid.
Lahore, PAKISTAN (Sunday 19 August, 2012)
Sunset: 18:44 LT
Moonset: 19:31 LT
Moon Age: +45H 49M
Moon Lag Time: +00H 47M
Moon Altitude: +09°:20':35"
Moon Azimuth: +263°:10':20"
Distance: 375,307.79 Km
Crescent Visibility: Easily visible by naked eye.
London, United kingdom (Sunday 19 August, 2012)
Sunset: 20:16 LT
Moonset: 20:29 LT
Moon Age: +51H 21M
Moon Lag Time: +00H 14M
Moon Altitude: +02°:00':56"
Moon Azimuth: +264°:11':57"
Distance: 374,685.52 Km
Crescent Visibility: Visible with optical aid (could be seen by naked eye).
©Tahir Gul Hasan, 2012