Friday, August 29, 2008

Ramadan, 2008

As I was wandering around Deira, someone handed me the official Dubai Government Ramadan 2008 Calendar. Everyone says Dubai is a very progressive city, and this is proof: it won't be Ramadan, 2008 for another 571 Islamic years or 554 Gregorian years.

What is also strange about the calendar is that it says Ramadan, 2008 will start on 1 September 2008 in Dubai, and that Eid al Fitr will be celebrated in Dubai on 30 September 2008.

According to a fatwa from Saudi Arabia, Islamic months must start based on the report from the moonsighting committee, which meets on the 29th of each Islamic month. The 29th of this month, Sha'aban, 1429, will coincide with August 30, 2008, and, according to the fatwa, one must not use the pseudo-sciences of astronomy and meteorology to predict whether or not the moonsighting committee will or will not see a new crescent moon, one just has to wait.

But the Dubai government did not wait, it has already printed and distributed the calendars.

Which implies that when people race up shouting, 'I saw it, I saw it, I saw the new crescent moon,' the head of the UAE moonsighting committee will reply, 'It is your mistake, my son. I am a scholar in moonsighting, and I can assure you that, whatever you might have seen, it was not the new crescent moon.'

And that when, on 29 September the UAE moonsighting committee goes out, the head will announce, 'Now that, my son, is what a new crescent moon really looks like, so you should get it right next time.'

If the head of the UAE moonsighting committee does otherwise, the Dubai Government will have the expense of reprinting the official Dubai Ramadan, 2008 calendar. And the Dubai Government seldom makes mistakes that cost it money.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really liked the part when you mentioned that dubai government seldom makes mistakes that cost it money. anyway I had something to say about the moonsighting. usually if anyone sees the moon I believe it should announce the beginning of the islamic month. and the government wont have to waste the money as nothing much would change. timings will remain the same, there will only be 1 day shift in the calendar. we are used to it. and you also se that in the preprinted yearly calendars. they assume and then verify.
Happy Ramadan to everyone

4:38 pm  

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