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SOME BASIC PRINCIPLES OF RU'YAH AFTER SUNSET (CRESCENT MOON SIGHTING)
- The world is like a globe and not a flat field. Hence a sighting at one place does not necessarily mean a sighting throughout the globe at the same time (Crescent moon sighting is after sunset and sunset occurs at different times around the globe).
- The moon has no light of its own. The rays of the sun are reflected from it. This light is dim with respect to the reflection of other celestial bodies. On the first night, the moon is only 1% illumined.
- Only one half of the moon is facing the earth. The other half is unseen and it is this half which faces us at the time of Conjunction. Hence the Conjunction is unobservable by the naked eye. A claim of having seen a crescent moon at this time is absolutely false and is most certainly an optical illusion.
- The surface of the moon is uneven (mountains, craters). Hence there is a delay in the reflection of the sun's rays after the Conjunction caused by the obstruction of these mountains and craters. This delay is in the range of 14-50 hours depending upon the place on the globe.
- Basic fundamental rules of Astronomy allow us to calculate the orbit of the moon very accurately (1/1000th of a second). These calculations are not based on guesswork, estimates or astrological predictions. The HOLY QURAN has removed this doubt by the verse:
"The Sun and the Moon follow courses (exactly) computed." (Quran 55:5)
- One day before and after the CONJUNCTION TIME, the moon can rarely be sighted by the naked eye (SOLAR ECLIPSE is a form of conjunction; the day the solar eclipse is noted, after sunset the crescent moon is never sighted anywhere on the globe). Occasionally one can see a crescent on the day of CONJUNCTION i.e. when CONJUNCTION is in the early hours (just past midnight) and sunset is late (say around 1800.1900 hours). The moon would be about 16-18 hours old and may be sightable if in proper configuration. It appears as a crescent moon (after sunset in the WEST) on the 29th or the 30th day of the ongoing month. Its brightness grows until it is full and then decreases in the reverse order until it is a crescent moon seen early in the morning in the EAST. During the lunar month, the moon is always seen half complete on the 7th night and complete (BADR) on the 14th night. The following Quranic verse points to this principle of moon cycle.
"And the Moon, We have measured for her stations to traverse till she returns like the old (and withered) lower part of a date-stalk." (Quran 36:39)
- When a crescent is sighted, the 1st date of a particular lunar month begins. On the 30th day of the same month the crescent moon for the next month will invariably be sighted after sunset. If the crescent is not sighted on the 30th day despite a clear sky then the claim of previous sighting for the month is rendered false (HUKM-E-SHAR'EE). Hence to commence Ramadan or Eid by saying that 30 days have been completed irrespective of moon sighting, is totally against the principles of Ru'yah. Furthermore, it is against the opinions of the illustrious Muslim scholars (FUQAHAA').
CRESCENT MOON SIGHTING FROM ALL OVER THE GLOBE
- The beginning of the crescent moon sighting is always from a different place every month. Unlike the solar IDL, there is no definite INTERNATIONAL LUNAR DATE LINE (ILDL) fixed for a particular latitude/longitude marking (e.g. Makkah Mukarrama). The initial place of sighting changes every month both latitudinally and longitudinally.
- The first sighting of the crescent from a point x is in a parabola shape (unlike observing the sun which is north-south), increasing towards the western zenith. This ellipsoid becomes wider in a north-south direction covering 0-45 degrees (latitude north and south) in 24 hours. A further day will be required before it is seen in the areas outside this ellipsoid circle.
- When a sighting is made at a point, then all places on the west of it and within the parabola range will definitely witness the sighting (Provided the atmospheric conditions (clarity etc.) are about the same). It can never happen that after a definite sighting at a place, the sighting is not confirmed at places on the west of this place. This incidentally has been the case with the claimed sighting of Saudi Arabia. Time and again we have witnessed that on the day when Saudi Arabia has claimed Ru'yah, places on the west e.g. Morocco, Tunis, Europe and as far away as the USA do NOT confirm this sighting on the same day and on some occasions not even on the next day. This is unequivocal and cogent evidence that the claimed sighting of Saudi Arabia is inaccurate.