Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ramadan Triangle

May God bless you and your family with peace and prosperity.

Ramadan Mubarak (Happy Ramadan - Eid Mubarak) to those who celebrate on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, heck even on Monday. Let's not ruin any one's joy. Let's leave the judgment to Malik-i-yomiddin (Master of the Day of Judgment);

it’s been an age old tradition to disagree on sighting of the moon and or deciding the day of the Eid. Why is it such heartburn? My opinion is one of the 1.3 billion ones, but I hope, it will give you an insight into this age old conflict.

We go through this pain every year, let's accept that, it is going to be there till eternity, as it has been there since the very beginning. We can choose to be frustrated, bring about a change or just let it go.

Arrogance is the root cause of all conflicts; the belief that my understanding is superior to yours is the sole reason for this dispute. It is an embarrassment that we have not brought a resolution to this conflict. We have not even defined and agreed upon the intent and purpose of Eid.

Eid is an occasion to bring the whole community together, as Hajj brings the Muslim world together. It is an occasion to forgive each other's mistakes, apologize for the wrongs and start it all over with a clean slate of good relations. God loves those who forgive and those who are humble.

Sighting of the moon is a uniting factor, assuming that the moon is visible on the same day to all and all communities connected and prayed on the same day barring time zones.

The difference is between the literalists, essentialists, and now the scientists are a part of the triangle. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said; celebrate the Eid when you see the moon.

The literalists interpret that one has to see the moon him/herself to declare the Eid. Seeing is critical to them, every thing else is secondary.

The ones, who understand the essence, believe that Eid was for the community to come together and celebrate. Thus if one sees the Moon in Chennai, it was good for every one. If some one in Karachi, Fez, Kuala Lumpur or Mecca sees it... it is good to go. To this group, celebrating the Eid as a community is of greater importance.

The Scientists say, they can track down the moon and predict it precisely, and they prefer to go by that. As the day to day prayers are based on precision, let everything be planned, it makes life easy.

There is another group who has come to enjoy the ritual of looking out for the moon, the anxiety, the waiting and the surprise is part of the fun to them. They fly from that point.

Essentialists have no problem celebrating the Eid if every one goes along on any day, where as the literalist will not budge, rightly so from their own point of view, there is a rule and it has to be followed, i.e. ., physically see the moon to celebrate. Scientists say we could not be clearer than the factual representation.

Scientist will not gain the attention for at least one more generation, as it kills all the sentiment and fun of celebrating and sighting the moon, going shopping... jumping on the feet and getting ready for the Eid. It is a festive occasion and the surprise of the day is part of the celebration.

Two analogies for consideration:

First, you don't want to know the gender of the baby before it is born and second, making love is an emotional experience and not a scientific one; science kills the whole joy of it.

THE IRONY: Praying Salat is mandatory - Fard, a duty. The timing for five prayers a day is set up to the minute with no disputes. Whereas Eid is not Fard, it is Wajib – Recommended, thus there is A room for human input and choice element in this decision, and when there is a choice, politics creeps in and it has to be "my way". That is the problem.

Let's wish happy Eid to those who celebrate on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, heck even on Monday. Let's not ruin any one's joy. Let's leave the judgment to the Malik-i-yomiddin.

Eid Mubarak! May Allah bless all of his creation with peace.

Your Comments:

Mike Ghouse is a Speaker, Thinker, Writer and a Moderator. He is president of the and is a frequent guest on talk radio and local television network discussing interfaith, political and civic issues. He is the founding president of the with a simple theme: "Good for Muslims and good for the world." His personal Website is and his articles can be found on the Websites mentioned above and in his Blogs: and Mike is a Dallasite for nearly three decades and Carrollton is his home town. He can be reached at For a full bio:


  1. This is the best Eid Mubarak message I have received this year. True, the scientists take the fun away of the "Chandni Raat" (moon sighting night) - but so do the literalist. Each year the fun is taken out as parts of community are led to observe Eid on a different day than the surrounding ones.
    Disagreement is traditional in all times and all cultures. Where there are three Jews, they say, there are four opinions! But if Eid is only Wajib (recommended), why be rigid and deny the fun from the entire community?
    - Omar Huda

  2. Joys Eid to all muslims.

    For Muslims, Eid ul-Fitr is a joyous occasion with important religious significance, celebrating of the achievement of enhanced piety. It is a day of forgiveness, moral victory, peace of congregation, fellowship, brotherhood and unity. Muslims celebrate not only the end of all that fasting but also thank God for the help and strength that they believe he gave them throughout the previous month to help everyone practice self-control. It is a time of giving and sharing, and many Muslims dress in holiday attire.

    The Takbir is recited after confirmation that the moon of Shawwal is sighted on the eve of the last day of Ramadan.
    It continues until the start of the Eid prayer. Before the Eid prayer begins every Muslim, if possible(man, woman or child), must pay Zakat al Fitr, an alms for the month of Ramadan. This equates to about 2 kg of a basic foodstuff (wheat, barley, dates, raisins, etc.), or its cash equivalent, and is typically collected at the mosque. This year it was $8.00 per person. This is distributed to needy local Muslims prior to the start of the Eid prayer. It can be given at any time during the month of Ramadan and is often given early, so the recipient can utilise it for Eid purchases. This is distinct from Zakat based on wealth, which must be paid to a worthy charity.

    Muslims spend the day thanking the Creator for all their blessings, as well as simply having fun and enjoying themselves. Children are normally given sweets or money. Women (particularly relations) are normally given special gifts by their loved ones. Eid is also the time for reconciliations. Feuds or disputes, especially between family members, are often settled on Eid.

    May this Blessing of Ramadan bring Peace among us.

  3. From Shamim Siddiqui -

    Dear Br Ghouse, ASA

    Ed Mubarak to all

    I agree with your views and deep concern in toto. Can you lease help in getting the "Three" in one? It would be a big Khair for this Ummah. Allah will bless your efforts.


    Shamim Siddiqi.

  4. From Mirza A. Beg:

    Dear Mike:

    ASAK and Eid Mubarak Najma, you, your family and friends.

    I wrote the following abut the endemic controversy about the sighting of the crescent moon.

    Eid ka Chand brings precious childhood memories. We used to gather at our Grandfather's sprawling patriarchal house on Eid. By the time I was 10 years old I was in charge of younger siblings and While coming back from Eidgah supervising buying of toys from the street vendors lined outside Eidgah. Dolls for girls , the boys invariably gravitated towards the loud horns and drums. The saving grace for the adults was that most of the cheap noise makers were broken in couple of hours. That was the uncontroversial side at least in those days

    Regarding the chaos created by the traditional sighting of the moon. I remember one year my father missed Eid altogether in Fatehpur where he was posted, it was declared to be the next day so he came to Jaunpur to join us at grandfathers house,where the Eid was celebrated the previous day.

    As a young enthusiastic scientist, when I knew a lot more than I know now, or so I thought, I was a vociferous advocate of well established astronomically calculate date for the Lunar months especially the sighting of the new moon of Eid. Arguing how easy, scientific it was and all the advantages that accrue from it. Of course it can be done, but some how a wast majority does not agree.

    It took a few gray hair to realise that social traditions have a dynamics of their own. Reasoned they almost never are! I did not throw in the towel in the sense of the phrase that "if you can't lick em join em". I realised that people feel very strongly about traditions. So until one can prove that the traditions are doing a great harm, let them be, and chalk it to a quaint tradition. That is what brings color to the cultures. Let people have their say and celebrate Eid on more than one day, and be grown up enough to tolerate others feelings as mostly they do. Or perhaps have it both days. Warm regards and Eid Mubarak.

    By the way we had Eid today (Friday), I went for the congregational Namaz and we will have a family Eid this evening. I am inviting different set of friends for the next two days. As you know US we tend to go for convenience and celebrate many things on the weekends. To achieve long weekends, congress had passd a law of Monday holidays where many of the holidays related to birthdays such as Presidents day, Martin Luther Kinds birthday and some others are celebrated on Mondays closest to the real day, in order to have a three day weekend. I some times jest that this year the Good Friday is on Monday. Warm regards,

    Mirza Akhtar Beg

  5. Thank you for this Eid message. You are absolutely right. My question to you is "How do you bring those 3 into ONE?" God Almighty bless & help you for all your efforts .. ameen


  6. Eid Mubarak to all.

    I have a couple of comments, being of the scientific persuation myself on the wisdom of using it in this day and age.

    One. Fasting on the day of Eid is "Haraam". So if everyone celbrates on different days someone is definitely "out of line" with this edict.

    Secondly, the Qur'aan commands "Ikmaal ul iddat" complete the number of days of fasting. How can this number of days, whatever they be, be different each year.

    The literalists and essentialists have contributed to making a mockery out of one of the most important muslim holidays on the calendar amounting to losses in the billions to national economies from the uncertainty. Your analogies against taking the fun out of it appear quite silly if you extend them to "turning off the airconditioner" so as not to take the fun away from sweating the feeling the weather. Or why not use a bullock cart or horse drawn carriage for transportation as in the days of old to savour the journey which one really cannot in an enclosed fast moving automobile.





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quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.