But when the Mercury News, a newspaper with a much, much better record than most US papers (not to mention being our local paper in Silicon Valley), reports that:
"In the seventh century, when most people were illiterate and uneducated, moon sightings were the simplest way to determine the lunar calendar, said Muzammil Siddiqi, a member of the influential Fiqh Council of North America, the body of Islamic scholars that allowed the astronomical calculations."and that ISEB President Khalid Baig
'``These are the same principles,'' Siddiqi said. ``If you have all this knowledge available, why would you wait until the last minute? You can tell them ahead of time and they can plan.'''
".... foresees slowly introducing the scientific concept to the 300 mosque members, and one day using that new method."We're okay with that?!
"``The sighting of the moon has been a tradition since the Prophet Muhammad, so this will not be an easy thing to give up,'' Baig said. "
[The full article is at: http://mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/15581292.htm . They do require you to log in/register on their site.]
What can I say except, as the then very relaxed, Maliki Muslim community in West Africa that I grew up in--which, each year, stayed up late to hear the ailing Sultan of Sokoto say the magic words "Gobe Sallah", or "Tomorrow is (the Big Day of) Prayer"--would, in the local Hausa-Fulani dialect, say,
Technorati tags applicable to this post: Moderate Muslims - Islam - Ramadan - Moonsighting