Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Subhaanilillahi! Maadallah!

I am not a fan of Irshad Manji, Wafa Sultan or Ayan Hirsi Ali. You can google me on that--or search this blog . But we--yes, me included--critique these folks morning, noon, and noony night, to quote the children's story character, for saying, na'uzu billahi min zalik, that "Islam needs reform" or that the Qur'an "has ambiguities, inconsistencies, outright contradictions and -- gasp! -- the possibility of human editing." (An exact quote. See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/irshad-manji/the-riots-in-jalalabad_b_1013.html)

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."

'``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.'''
and that ISEB President Khalid Baig
".... foresees slowly introducing the scientific concept to the 300 mosque members, and one day using that new method."

"``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.]
We're okay with that?!

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,

Subhaanilillahi! Maadallah!

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