Friday, 31 October 2014  -  07 Muharram 1436 H

Astronomers flayed for questioning Eid crescent

JEDDAH — Astronomers have unnecessarily created a state of uncertainty among Muslims about Shawwal crescent, Dr. Muhammad Al-Araifi, well-known Islamic preacher, was quoted by Al-Madina Arabic newspaper as saying.
Instead of creating this unnecessary fuss, the astronomers should have approached the concerned authorities such as the Royal Court or the Board of Senior Ulema, he said.
Al-Araifi regretted that several people and friends also fasted on Tuesday, the first day of Eid Al-Fitr, on the assumption that the Shawwal crescent was not visible on Monday night.
In all cases these confused people should have abided by the Islamic teachings especially the Hadith which says: “Observe fast on sighting it (the moon) and break fast on sighting it (the new moon).”
Sheikh Al-Araifi was addressing an event marking the launch of the “Youth City” in Jeddah.
Sheikh Al-Araifi said although astronomy is recognized as an on ancient subject in science, its findings cannot be taken as guaranteed in purely jurisprudence issues.
In other world it should not conflict with Islamic rulings based on the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
He said those who differed with the Ulema purely basing their calculations on astronomy should apologize to the public than insisting on their wrong stand.
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