Monday, February 26, 2024

The Gambia should not follow Saudi for moonsighting

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By: Kebba O

On the 27th day of every lunar month, very early in the morning before sunrise, the waning crescent of the Moon is entering its journey towards being Astronomical New Moon (Conjunction). This disappearance of the moon before sunrise is locally called “Kaaro Taata”. At this phase, the Moon is between Sun and Earth, and it is invisible because the side facing Earth is not reflecting light from the Sun towards the Earth even though it is still there rotating and revolving the Earth.

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In the Qur’an 71:15-16 “‘See ye not how Allah has created the seven heavens one above another, “‘ And made the moon a light in their midst, and made the sun as a (Glorious) Lamp? Moon is called “Qamar” and the light we see is described in the Quran Muneer thus Reflected light.

This conjunction state will take the Moon 2.2 Days to appear in the same position it was when it was New Crescent on its 29th day (Santo Fello) or 30th Day (Bai Ballo) to begin the journey again as we are counting or calculating to know our times, Seasons, Edil Fitr, Edil Adha to name a few and our Hajj to Mecca. This will bring Astronomy into play a very important key to assisting us in maintaining the Sunna of sighting the Moon on the 29th day if not seen to complete by the 30th day. We are being reminded in the Holy Qur’an of this Phenomena of the Waxing, Waning, Full Moon and New Moon (Conjunction) in several places like

Qur’an 10:5

It is He Who made the sun to be a shining glory and the moon to be a light (of beauty), and measured out stages for her; that ye might know the number of years and the count (of time). Nowise did Allah create this but in truth and righteousness. (Thus) doth He explain His Signs in detail, for those who understand?

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Qur’an 2:189

They ask thee concerning the New Moons. Say: They are but signs to mark fixed periods of time in (the affairs of) men, and for Pilgrimage.

Qur’an 36:39

And the Moon – We have measured for her mansions (to traverse) till she returns like the old (and withered) lower part of a date stalk.

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With the above information different countries fall into different Predicted Crescent Moon Visibility Curves, (just like how sunrise and sunset vary from country to country), which can provide us scientific guidance on the capability (visibility) of seeing the New Crescent Moon with naked eye in The Gambia in particular when the New Crescent Moon is visible, Saudi and The Gambia are different governments and different time zones.  Looking at various historical Crescent Moon Visibility Curves, one can see sometimes Saudi is capable of seeing the New Crescent when The Gambia is not and sometimes The Gambia seeing while Saudi could not be encouraging everyone to familiarize themselves with https://www.moonsighting.com to assist one in performing naked-eye sighting of the New Crescent to fast or break the fast at the 29th or 30th day. Bravo to the Current leadership of the Moon Sighting committee in The Gambia encouraging reports of sighting within The Gambia to be sent to them for final announcement. The https://www.moonsighting.com will be very useful in pointing to Conjunction Dates and times, New Crescent Moons and the like since don’t of us don’t’ know by heart the Islamic Months just like some of us know January to December. Wishing everyone many more Ramadans and Eids.

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