date in January 2005
Saudi Arabia announces new moon sighting when
it was impossible!
Same confusion caused as on last Id-ul-Fitr
compiled by Dr. Zahid Aziz
Saudi Arabia has announced the date of sighting of
the new moon to be on January 10th 2005, which is one day before
it could possibly have been sighted, and thus declared the date
of Id-ul-Adha to be January 20th. This is exactly what
they did at the last Id-ul-Fitr in November 2004. Commenting
on the Saudi announcement, Muslim astronomical websites have plainly
- sightability on January 10 was totally incredible
- we know from the computed Hilal Sighting probabilities
that it is impossible for Hilal sighting on the evening
of Mon 10 Jan 2005 from anywhere in the world, including Makkah
These websites affirm that the date of the new moons
appearance was 11th January, and hence Id-ul-Adha is
on Friday 21st January 2005. The Ahmadiyya Anjuman Ishaat
Islam Lahore (U.K. branch) had announced many months ago that Id-ul-Adha
would be on 21st January 2005.
In an article available at the www.moonsighting.com
website, Dr. Mohammad Auwal, Associate Professor of Communication
Studies at California State University, Los Angeles, writes:
those who claim to have sighted the moon well
ahead of its astronomical visibility (established by credible astronomers)
are either lying or making a mistake.
This year’s Saudi claim
of sighting the new moon when none in the world has seen it is like
telling us to believe that the broad daylight that we see with our
naked eyes is dark and deep midnight. (See: www.moonsighting.com/hajj&eid-al-adha_mess.html)
Exactly the same happened at the last Id-ul-Fitr
when Saudi Arabia announced Saturday 13th November 2004 to be the
Id date after claiming to sight the new moon on 12th
November. Then also, the above websites declared any such sighting
as impossible, and their information confirmed that our long-announced
date of 14th November was right.
I dealt with this in some detail during my Id-ul-Fitr
khutba at our U.K. Centre, in which I cited the following
verse of the Holy Quran:
They ask thee of the new moons. Say: They are times
appointed for men, and (for) the pilgrimage. And it is not righteousness
that you enter the houses by their backs, but he is righteous who
keeps his duty. And go into the houses by their doors (2:189).
I explained that entering houses by their backs applies
to the convoluted and tortuous ways of determining the new moon
that are used generally by the Muslim religious and community leaders.
The khutba is online at: www.muslim.org/islam/id-ul-fitr2004.htm.
I posed a question in my khutba which I repeat here. One
of the following three possibilities has to be true:
- The Saudi claim of sighting is correct and therefore the astronomical
calculations are wrong. If this is so, then please prove it!
- The sighting was an error. If so, then this only demonstrates
the unreliability of sighting by eye!
- The claim of sighting was deliberately false. If so, then certain
Muslim religious authorities are guilty of knowingly giving false
evidence in the name of Allah!
This is a question we put before the whole Muslim world leadership:
which of these three cases is true? Please ponder and let