Moon Sighting

Moon Sighting by Shariah Board of America: Upholding Unity and Shariah Compliance

The practice of moon sighting (Hilaal) holds profound significance in Islam, marking the commencement and conclusion of the lunar months, including the blessed month of Ramadan, and the times for Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha. However, the process of moonsighting has historically presented challenges, often leading to confusion, division within the Muslim Ummah (community), and a diminished regard for religious authorities. Addressing this issue with the wisdom and guidance of Islamic Shariah presents a path forward to unity and respect.

The Challenge of Moon Sighting

Moon sighting controversies have recurrently led to disagreements and discord among Muslims, affecting the community’s cohesion and the respect for Ulema-e-Deen (religious scholars). This discord not only tarnishes the communal harmony but also detracts from the spiritual essence of Islamic observances. The varying conclusions drawn from moonsighting efforts have, at times, resulted in the fragmentation of celebrations and observances across the Muslim world, especially in North America.

Shariah-Compliant Solution

In response to these challenges, Shariah Board of America, under the auspices of the Rahmat-e-Alam Foundation, has committed to fostering unity and Shariah compliance through its moon sighting service. This service is not limited to the significant Islamic occasions but extends throughout the Hijri (Islamic lunar) calendar, ensuring that each lunar month’s beginning and end are observed accurately and in unison across the Muslim community.

Coordination with Central Hilal Committee

The foundation’s approach is characterized by its close coordination with the Central Hilal Committee, establishing a network of essential contacts and sub-committees across 23 states in the United States. This extensive collaboration ensures that moon sighting efforts are harmonized, leveraging collective expertise and observations to make informed and joint decisions regarding the Hilaal. This methodology not only aligns with the teachings of Islamic Shariah but also promotes a spirit of cooperation and mutual respect among Muslims in North America.

The Process and Its Impact

The moon sighting process undertaken by the Shariah Board of America involves meticulous observation and verification, adhering to the principles of Islamic jurisprudence. By relying on a combination of direct sighting and reliable reports, the foundation makes announcements that guide the Muslim community in observing fasts, celebrating Eids, and marking the beginning of each Islamic month.

This organized and Shariah-compliant approach to moon sighting serves multiple purposes:

Unity

It brings the Muslim Ummah together, fostering a sense of brotherhood and communal harmony by ensuring that significant Islamic dates are observed collectively.

Respect for Ulema

By providing clear, Shariah-based guidance, the foundation restores and enhances the community’s respect for religious scholars and leaders.

Spiritual Integrity

It ensures that Islamic practices are observed in accordance with the teachings of Islam, maintaining the spiritual integrity of Islamic rituals and observances.

Conclusion

The moon sighting service provided by the Shariah Board of America, a division of the Rahmat-e-Alam Foundation, stands as a beacon of unity and guidance for the Muslim community. Through its diligent efforts and collaboration with the Central Hilal Committee, the foundation upholds the principles of Islamic Shariah, ensuring that the sighting of the moon brings together, rather than divides, the Ummah. This endeavor not only addresses the practical challenges of moonsighting but also reinforces the spiritual and communal bonds among Muslims in North America.