Friday, October 3, 2014

Eid, moonsighting & rebellion

Narrator: Abdullah ibn Abbas
Sahih Muslim
Hadith_No 2391
Kurayb said: Umm Fadl, daughter of Harith, sent him (Fadl, i.e. her son) to Mu'awiyah in Syria. I (Fadl) arrived in Syria, and did the needful for her. It was there in Syria that the month of Ramadan commenced. I saw the new moon (of Ramadan) on Friday. I then came back to Medina at the end of the month. Abdullah ibn Abbas asked me (about the new moon of Ramadan) and said: When did you see it? I said: We saw it on Friday night. He said: (Did) you see it yourself? I said: Yes, and the people also saw it so they observed fast and Mu'awiyah also observed fast. Thereupon he said: But we saw it on Saturday night. So we shall continue to observe the fast until we complete thirty (fasts) or we see it (the new moon of Shawwal). I said: Is the sighting of the moon by Mu'awiyah not valid for you? He said: No; this is how the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) has commanded us. Yahya ibn Yahya was in doubt (whether the word used in the narration by Kurayb) was Naktafi or Taktafi.

Narrator: Ibn 'Umar
Sahih Bukhari
Hadith 2:359
When 'Abdullah bin Ubai (the chief of hypocrites) died, his son came to the Prophet and said, "O Allah's Apostle, Please give me your shirt to shroud him in it, offer his funeral prayer and ask for Allah's forgiveness for him." So Allah's Apostle (pbuh) gave his shirt to him and said, "Inform me (When the funeral is ready) so that I may offer the funeral prayer." So, he informed him and when the Prophet intended to offer the funeral prayer, 'Umar took hold of his hand and said, "Has Allah not forbidden you to offer the funeral prayer for the hypocrites? The Prophet said, "I have been given the choice for Allah says: '(It does not avail) Whether you (O Muhammad) ask forgiveness for them (hypocrites), or do not ask for forgiveness for them. Even though you ask for their forgiveness seventy times, Allah will not forgive them. (9.80)" So the Prophet offered the funeral prayer and on that the revelation came: "And never (O Muhammad) pray (funeral prayer) for any of them (i.e. hypocrites) that dies." (9. 84)

From the above two ahadith, we need to take a different lesson. 

In the first hadith, Kurayb had a difference of opinion with Abdullah ibn Abbas about the moonsighting. He explained to him his opinion. Ibn Abbas did not accept his opinion. Then what happened? Kurayb celebrated eid on a date picked by Ibn Abbas.

In the second hadith, Umar ibn Khattab had a difference of opinion with the Prophet, pbuh. He vehemently conveyed his opinion to the Prophet so much so he took hold of his hand. The Prophet did not accept his opinion. What did Umar do? He prayed the funeral prayers.

In both cases, there was no rebellion even when there was a difference of opinion. They followed their leaders after their efforts failed.

What do we do these days about eid? The first thing we do is to look for a mosque that celebrates eid on the date you like deserting your community and many times times your family. If you do not find a mosque with the date matching yours, you gather like-minded people and arrange for an eid prayer on your date.  This is in plain words "rebellion," which is haraam. 

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “The best among your rulers are those whom you love and they love you in turn, those who pray (make supplication) for you and you pray for them. The worst of your rulers are those whom you hate and they hate you in turn, and you curse them and they curse you.” 

Someone asked: “O Messenger of Allah! Shall we confront them with swords?” 

The Prophet (pbuh said: “No, as long as they hold prayers among you. If you see from your rulers what you hate, hate the action they do but do not rebel against them.” [Sahîh Muslim

Hudhayfah b. al-Yamân asked the Prophet (pbuh): “O Messenger of Allah, we were living in an evil (atmosphere) and Allah brought us good (Islam) and we live in it now. Will there be evil after this good?” 

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Yes.” 

Hudhayfah b. al-Yamân said: “And any good after this evil?” 

He said: “Yes.” 

Hudhayfah b. al-Yamân said: “And any evil after this good?” 

He said: “Yes.” Hudhayfah said: “How will it be?” 

He said: “Rulers after me will come who do not abide by my guidance and Sunnah. Some of their men will have Satan’s heart in a human’s body.” 

Hudhayfah said: “What should I do, O Messenger of Allah, if I live to see that time?” 

The Prophet (pbuh) said: “You should listen and obey them even if the ruler smites your back and takes your wealth.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim] 

Remember, unity is fard. Moonsighting is lesser than fard. Follow your leader and stay with your community. Give up on this idea of holding your own eid salah.


And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you - when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided. (The Noble Qur'an, Surah Al-Imran, Vese 103).

Friday, July 18, 2014

Moonsighting: Missing hadith

I have not come across any hadith where RasoolUllah, pbuh, himself went out or climbed a hill to sight the crescent. I have not seen even one where he instructed the sahaba to do this. He questioned them if anyone saw the crescent but did not issue specific orders to go out and climb a hill or a high spot to sight the moon. Neither are there ahadith about sahaba going to a hill in a group and gazing at the sky and waiting for the crescent to appear and some of them seeing the crescent and some not (like we do in India and Pakistan) If this was so crucial, why didn't he do it? If anyone knows of such a hadith, please send me the hadith with reference.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Ramadan Moonsighting: Mosques Uniting

As Salaam Alaikum. A few mosques in Central New Jersey formed a new alliance this year, and they started Ramadan on Saturday June 28, 2014 using Yemen's moon-sighting. I wish they had followed the Fiqh Council of North America because I believe it constitutes a local sighting (being an American organization) while using the global sighting criteria. 

Everywhere, the structure of unity should start from smaller units (local organizations) to the bigger units (global organizations). It is good that neighboring mosques are forming a union. But these should follow the order of a state organization (I don't know if they exist in any state in the US), which should follow a national organization (Fiqh Council or ISNA being the perfect example). In Islam, this is demonstrated by the weekly Jumuah (local eid when the smaller masajid close for salaat in the jamai masjid), the annual eidul fitr (a state level or national level gathering in a big open ground) or the once in a lifetime Hajj (a global gathering),

Also, the orders should flow from top to bottom. The global organization should issue an order to be followed by everyone in the world. In the absence of that, the national organization should issue an order to be followed by the people of that nation. In the absence of that, a state organization should issue  an order to be followed by all residents of the state. Anyone who disobeys this is actually a rebel. 

And I see a total rebellion and anarchy among Muslims regarding the moon-sighting. This anarchy and rebellion is displayed by each organization forming its own moon-sighting committee. I believe the moon-sighting job belongs to a higher organization ( a state level or a national level organization) rather than a local neighborhood masjid. May be this is what was taught to us by Hazrath Abdullah Ibn Abbas  (RA) in the Kurayb hadith.

So in the example below, I wished they had followed Fiqh Council instead of going crazy over who saw the moon in the world and eventually following the doubtful Yemen.

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