Truth of the Quran and the truth of
163 Lo! We inspire thee (Muhammad) as We inspired Noah and the prophets after him, as We inspired Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and Jesus and Job and Jonah and Aaron and Solomon, and as we imparted unto David the Psalms;
164 And messengers We have mentioned unto thee before and messengers We have not mentioned unto thee; and Allah spake directly unto Moses;
165 Messengers of good cheer and off warning, in order that mankind might have no argument against Allah after the messengers. Allah was ever Mighty, Wise.
84 And We bestowed upon him Isaac and Jacob; each of them We guided; and Noah did We guide aforetime; and of his seed (We guided) David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and Moses and Aaron. Thus do We reward the good.
85 And Zachariah and John and Jesus and Elias. Each one (of them) was of the righteous.
86 And Ishmael and Elisha and Jonah and Lot. Each one of them did We prefer above (Our) creatures,
85 And (mention) Ishmael, and Idris (Enoch), and Dhul-Kifl (Ezekiel). All were of the steadfast.
86 And We brought them in unto Our mercy. Lo! they are among the righteous.
87 And (mention) Dhun Nun (Jonah), when he went off in anger and deemed that We had no power over him, but he cried out in the darkness, saying: There is no God save Thee. Be Thou glorified! I have been a wrong-doer.
88 Then We heard his prayer and saved him from the anguish. Thus We save believers.
And to (the tribe of) Thamud (We sent) their brother Salih. He said: O my people! Serve Allah. Ye have no other God save Him. A wonder from your Lord hath come unto you. Lo! this is the camel of Allah, a token unto you; so let her feed in Allah's earth, and touch her not with hurt lest painful torment seize you.
123 (The tribe of) Aad denied the messengers (of Allah),
124 When their brother Hud said unto them: Will ye not ward off (evil)?
125 Lo! I am a faithful messenger unto you,
To the Madyan people We sent Shu'aib one of their own brethren: he said: "O my people! worship Allah; Ye have no other god but Him. Now hath come unto you a clear (sign) from your Lord! Give just measure and weight nor withhold from the people the things that are their due; and do no mischief on the earth after it has been set in order: that will be best for you if ye have faith.
And We did not send you (O Muhammad) except as a Mercy to the worlds.
"And We made the Qur'an easy to learn. Do any of you wish to learn?"(Qur'an 54:17)
Topics of the Blessed Month
( taking the whole globe as one horizon OR each community having an individual )
يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْأَهِلَّةِ قُلْ هِيَ مَوَاقِيتُ لِلنَّاسِ وَالْحَجِّ
They ask you about Ahillah, Say that is to determine time for the Mankind and for Hajj
When we look into the sunnah, we see how to use this new moon to determine time for us:
Abu Hurayrah (Radi Allahu ‘anhu) reported that the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam) said: "A month can be twenty nine days; and it can be thirty days. So, fast when you see the crescent; and break your fast when you see it. If it is obscure to you, then complete the count of thirty days.” [Recorded by an-Nasaii; judged authentic by al-Albaanee.]
Even if only one person sighted the moon, the Prophet, Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam, used to accept his testimony, fast the month and order Muslims to start fasting the month.
The proof for this is the following narration: Ibn `Umar (Radillaahu ‘anhu) said: "The people were looking out for the crescent (of Ramadaan). I informed the Prophet (salla-llahu `alaihi wa-sallam) that I saw it. So he fasted (on the following day) and ordered the people to fast." [Recorded by Abu Dawood and others; judged authentic by ath-Thahabee, Ibn Hajar and al-Albaanee. ]
This was the way of the companions and how they used to practice it: Anas b. Malik reported: “We were along with Umar between Mecca and Medina that we began to look for the new moon. And I was a man with sharp eye- sight, so I could see it, but none except me saw it. I began to say to 'Umar: Don't you see it? But he would not see it. Thereupon Umar said: I would soon be able to see it (when it will shine more brightly). I lay upon bed. He then made a mention of the people of Badr to us….” [Sahih Muslim]
This is how the companions taught their students to start any month: Hakam b. al-'Araj reported: “I went to Ibn 'Abbas (Allaah be Pleased with both of them) and he was reclining using his mantle as a pillow near the fountain of Zamzam. I said to him: Tell me about fasting on Ashura. He said: When you see the new moon of Muharram then count the (days) and observe fast on the 9th. I said to him: Is it how the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) observed the fast? He said: Yes.” [Sahih Muslim]
It is clear how the sunnah explains the Qur’an, and if we follow this track, we can attain success in implementing this sunnah of sighting the new moon to start and end the month the best way we can.
Allaah (ta’aalaa) says:
وَمَنْ يُشَاقِقِ الرَّسُولَ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْهُدَى وَيَتَّبِعْ غَيْرَ سَبِيلِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ نُوَلِّهِ مَا تَوَلَّى وَنُصْلِهِ جَهَنَّمَ وَسَاءَتْ مَصِيرًا
If anyone contends with the Messenger even after guidance has been plainly conveyed to him, and follows a path other than that becoming to men of Faith (i.e. the companions), We shall leave him in the path he has chosen, and land him in Hell, what an evil refuge!
[Sura Al-Nisaa, 114]
It is not befitting for any believing men and women, after the matter is made clear with the book of Allaah and the sunnah of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and the way of the sahaabah that they would try to take another way of implementing it.
If we leave the issue of calculation aside (which has been discussed at last), we see that there are two major opinions when it comes to the sighting of the moon: 1. Wahdatul Matali` or Ittihadal Mataalee’ (taking the whole globe as one horizon) 2. Ikhtilaful Matali` (each community having an individual sighting)
The question is which one do we choose?
Both of these opinions are based on the hadith of the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) "Begin your fast when you see it [the crescent of Ramadan], and end your fast when you see it [the crescent of Shawwal] " [Bukhari]
Many scholars understood this statement as general to the whole Ummah and therefore the opinion of Wahdatul Mataalee’ originated from it. So, regardless of where the moon is sighted, as long as the news of its sighting reaches us in time, we follow the sighting of that moon to start and break the fast.
Other scholars understood this statement as specific directed and meant for each individual community and therefore the opinion of Ikhtilaful Matali` originated from this understanding. Those who follow this opinion differ amongst themselves as to how they should draw the boundary: some say three cities should have their own sighting, some say the sighting should be based on geographical boundaries, continents, regions, sharing of nights etc… But there is no proof that any of them bring to validate their arguments of defining a locality, it is as best can be described as fiqh position of some respected scholars. Their argument is that in the time of the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and the old days, the Muslims used to depend on local moon-sighting. Thus, the root of sighting the moon is local – hence the moon should be sighted locally. Although the argument is tempting and has basis in the religion, but in fact the truth is with the other group of scholars, and Allaah knows best.
First of all, we see these scholars who support the ikhtilaful Matali` cannot come to any conclusion as to what should be the boundary, and the reason is there is no such proof to decide a boundary. Hence there is a big area of dispute in this opinion which causes friction and trouble in the communities, localities.
Also, the argument that goes against them is in the time of the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and the old days, the Muslims didn’t have the advancement of modern science to get the news from far away land that the moon was sighted in other localities. So, they had to practice the command of the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) as best as they could. And that is what the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “When I command you with something, do as much of it as you are able; and when I forbid you from something, stay away from it” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Therefore, with the advancement of science and technology, we can communicate and the news of the sighting of one locality can reach the other in a matter of seconds. So, we can implement the command of the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) "Fast (Muslims) when you see the crescent” in a more comprehensive way.
The fact is in the time of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), the best they could do is to look for the new moon in their own locality and wait until news came from outside the locality. And this is what was required of them to do, they did the best according to their abilities.
In fact, the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) accepted the news of moon-sighting by the people who were traveling towards Medinah and was not from their locality.
Abu `Umair bin Anas said on the authority of his paternal uncles, who were companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam):
[Recorded by Abu Daawood; authenticated by al-Albaanee. ]
This indicates that he (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) didn’t intend to put any boundary to any locality but it was left open. So, in their times, due to the lack of transportation, communication the best they could do is implement it locally and wait for the news of any moon-sighting to reach them on time to correct the situation.
Also, this hadith is a proof that the matter of moon-sighting should be taken easy and applied according to our ability without going into extremism.
To refute the position of Wahdatul Matali`, some argue (may Allaah guide them and us) if the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) wanted he could have implemented the global sighting because he (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) could send troops to different localities. Some have the strange idea that the Prophet (Sallallahahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) could send and station people with torches on each high mountain to send signals to people whether moon was sighted in other communities or not.
The answer to this argument is that sharee’ah came to make things easy and simple for us. The command of the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) “Fast when you see it…” is so unique that it can be implemented at all times.
At times, when communication is not very good (as it was in the old times) and at times when communication is really superb (in our time) and all Praise be to Allaah (Subhaanahu wata’aalaa). The reason he (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) didn’t go out of the way to implement his general command by sending troops etc. shows us that if situation goes back to the old time, we have to implement it as he did. We don’t have to waste time running around for the sighting of the moon, we will do it locally and wait for any news that might come to us and based upon that we start or end our month.
In our time, we do the same except that communication became so easy that we can get the news of the sighting of any other localities so easily through internet, phone etc… We also don’t need to send troops or to station people on the top of mountains with torch lights!! Only thing we do is, we accept those reports that come to us in a easy fashion and that is what the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) did when the traveling people came and told him they saw the moon the night before. So, he (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) ordered the people to break the fast and pray ‘Eid the next day.
This discussion shows us the wisdom of the words of our Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and how it is applicable for all time.
And why not it be so, he (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) didn’t speak from his desires, what he said was from the revelation. Allaah (ta’aalaa) says:
وَمَا يَنْطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَى إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَى
He doesn’t speak from his desire, Indeed what he says is from revelation [Sura An-Najm: 4-5]
Some people argue, you take the advancement of science in the matter of accepting the news of sighting the moon but then you deny the advancement of “astrological calculation” to deny/accept the report of moon-sighting, why is there a contradiction in your methodology here?
And the answer is there is no contradiction in the methodology as the astronomical calculation is not a new invention but an old one dated long time before the Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alahyi wa sallam) and this is what he (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) refers to as when he said “we are illiterate nation, we don’t calculate…” in the famous narration recorded in Bukhari and Muslim:
Ibn `Umar (RadiAllaahu ‘anhu) reported that the Messenger, salla-llahu alaihi wa-sallam, said: "We are an illiterate nation. We do not use astronomical writing or computation (in our fasting). A month is so and so and so (and he pointed with his hands three times, folding the thumb on the third time, meaning twenty nine days) or so and so and so (and he pointed with his hands three times, meaning thirty days). " [Al-Bukhaaree, Muslim, Abu Daawood and An-Nasaa`ee.]
So, we don’t use the astronomical calculation in case of moon-sighting, because it contradicts the Sunnah. But to use the advancement of communication field to fully implement the command of the Prophet (Sallalalaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) “fast when you see it…” is actually aiding the sunnah not denying it or changing it. [For more discussion, please refer to “Moon-sighting and Astronomical Calculation” by Jalal Abualrub]
1. The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) gave a command which was general to the whole Ummah. If someone wants to restrict this general command, he has to bring proof from the Sunnah.
2. The Prophet (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) implemented this command of sighting the moon locally due to the situation that was existing at his time (i.e. lack of communication) not because he wanted to set up a separate sighting for his own town Medinah, a separate one for Mekkah, a separate one for Taif etc...
3. The Prophet, salla-llahu `alaihi wa-sallam, did not establish a definition for what constitutes a locality.
4. He used to accept testimony from those who were not local or was travelling.
5. In our time, we are able to combine the advancement in the communication field to fully implement the command of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) that he gave 1400 years ago; this is a miracle of Islam (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). Definitely, this doesn’t make us any better than the Prophet’s practice or the sahaabahs practice because regardless of what we do and how much we do, we can never excel their ranks.
After discussing this matter of shareeh and considering available facts, we find that those who follow the opinion of Wahdatul Matali` are closer to the truth and Allah knows best. This why we at Masjid Ibrahim adopt this opinion seeking the unity of the entire Ummah of Muhammad, salla-llahu `alaihi wa-sallam.
And Allah Knows best.
(Above taken from Masjid Ibrahim website)
The 1400 Year History of
Saheeh Muslim reports a hadith from Hadhrat Aaisha (رضى الله عنها) that when (during Ramadhaan) Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) once performed the Taraweeh salaah in the Masjidun Nabawi, the Sahabah رضى الله تعالى عنهم followed him in the salaah. When Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) again performed the salaah the following night, an even larger congregation followed him. It was then either on the third or fourth night that Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) did not come to the Masjid for the Taraweeh salaah. Explaining his reason the following morning, Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said to the Sahabah رضى الله تعالى عنهم, “I noticed your fervour and did not come to the Masjid to perform the Salaah fearing that this Taraweeh salaah should become compulsory for you.”
It is therefore evident that Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) performed the Taraweeh salaah in congregation at least twice or thrice in his lifetime. Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah رحمة الله and Allaama Showkaani رحمة الله have both mentioned that a study of Ahadeeth regarding Taraweeh reveals that Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) never specified the number of rakaahs for Taraweeh.
Narrated abu salama bin abdur rahman (RA):
During the Period of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (رضى الله تعالى عنه)
During this period, the Sahabah رضى الله تعالى عنهم meticulously performed the Taraweeh salaah individually or in small congregations.
During his Khilaafah, the second Khalifah Hadhrat Umar Faarooq (رضى الله تعالى عنه) combined all the small congregations into one because of the possibility of the Taraweeh salaah becoming Fardh no longer existed. With the approval of all the Sahabah رضى الله تعالى عنهم, twenty rakaahs Taraweeh salaah was performed every night of Ramadhaan after the Isha salaah, followed by three Rakaahs Witr salaah. 2
There are many people nowadays who perform the Taraweeh salaah with Jamaah throughout Ramadhaan because it was carried out during the time of hadrat Umar (رضى الله تعالى عنه) with the consent of all the Sahabah رضى الله تعالى عنهم. However, these people object to the number of Rakaahs. If they keep the following Hadith in mind, their objection will Inshaa Allah be removed.
Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “I advise you fear Allah, to listen and to obey (your leaders) even though your leader be an Abyssinian slave because those of you who live after me shall see great disputes. It is therefore compulsory for you to adhere to my practices and to the practice of the righteous and rightly guided successors (Khulafaa Raashideen). Hold fast to these practices and bite on them with your molars.” 3
In this Hadith Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) has emphasised to his Ummah that it is imperative for them to emulate his practices as well as the practices of the Khulafaa Raashideen. When Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) has instructed the following of the practices of his Khulafaa, how can their practices be labelled as Bidah? How can one promote forsaking something that Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) empathetically wanted done? How can there be scope to oppose something that the Sahabah رضى الله تعالى عنهم unanimously agreed upon?
This practice of the righteous Khalifah Hadhrat Umar (رضى الله تعالى عنه) falls perfectly within the purport of this Hadith. Therefore one should perform twenty Rakaahs Taraweeh salaah in congregation every night of Ramadhaan after the Isha salaah. This is then followed by three Rakaahs of Witr salaah.
The third righteous khalifah Hadhrat Uthmaan (رضى الله تعالى عنه) also continued the practice of twenty Rakaahs Taraweeh salaah in congregation, followed by the three Rakaahs of Witr salaah. 4
The fourth righteous khalifah Hadhrat Ali (رضى الله تعالى عنه) also continued the practice of twenty Rakaahs Taraweeh salaah in congregation, followed by the three Rakaahs of Witr salaah. 5
The famous book of Ahadeeth Jaami Tirmidhi states that according to the majority of scholars, the number of Rakaahs in the Taraweeh salaah is twenty, as reported from Hadhrat Umar رضى الله تعالى عنه, Hadhrat Ali رضى الله تعالى عنه and other Sahabah رضى الله تعالى عنهم. This is also the opinion of Hadhrat Sufyan Thowri رحمة الله and Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Mubaarak رحمة الله. Hadhrat Imaam Shafiee رحمة الله says, “I have seen the learned scholars of Makkah perform twenty Rakaahs of Taraweeh salaah.” 6
In his famous book Kitaabul Umm (vol 1 page 142), Imaam Shaafiee رحمة الله says that twenty Rakaahs Taraweeh salaah is reported from Hadhrat Umar رضى الله تعالى عنه and the learned scholars of Makkah also perform twenty Rakaahs Taraweeh with three Rakaahs Witr.
In the third century A.H., the famous historian of Makkah Muhammad bin Ishaaq Faakihi documented that during the month of Ramadhaan it was the practice of the people of Makkah to sit five periods of Taraweeh (rest periods between every four Rakaahs of the Taraweeh salaah. This denotes that they performed twenty Rakaahs of salaah.) 7
It is therefore evident twenty Rakaahs of Taraweeh salaah has been performed in the Masjid Haraam of Makkah for the past fourteen hundred years. Throughout, this period, there has never been a single night when only Rakaahs have been performed.
The renowned Saudi scholar and Mufassir Sheikh Atiyya Saalim رحمة الله who was a Sheikhul Hadeeth, judge and lecturer in the Masjidun Nabawi صلى الله عليه وسلم wrote a book in Arabic entitled “The history of the Taraweeh salaah in the Masjidun Nabawi صلى الله عليه وسلم for more than a thousand years.” In this book, he conclusively proves from historical evidence that twenty Rakaahs Taraweeh salaah has been performed in the Masjidun Nabawi صلى الله عليه وسلم for the past fourteen centuries. He adds further that even after the establishment of the Saudi rule, both the Harams in Makkah and Madinah have twenty Rakaahs of Taraweeh salaah with three witr.