Thursday, September 21, 2006
ramadan on saturday?
In a surprise move, ISNA and the Fiqh Council of North America are anouncing that they are using astronomical calculations in order to determine the beginning of Ramadan. The Fiqh Council's explanation of their position is given here. I'm not sure what to think. On the one hand, I've always been told that sighting with the naked eye is what is important. And something in me finds this "old school" approach appealing. At the same time, I'm also tired of all the disagreement (even at a local level) over when Ramadan begins. At least the Fiqh Council's approach seems to have some potential for promoting greater unity among Muslims in North America. Also, it wouldn't be the first time that greater scientific knowledge has had some impact on the religious behavior of Muslims in North America. When Muslim immigrants first came to the US, many of them tended to pray southeast (We are mostly north and west of Mecca) but once they had a better understanding of geodesics they started to pray northeast. Perhaps this is similar?