Sunday, November 12, 2006

Intricate Transition: From Moon Sighting to Astronomical Calculation*

[This article is a condensed summary of a scholarly paper entitled "Reading, Sighting, and Calculating." Please click here to view the full paper]

The Fiqh Council of North America's ruling in favor of using astronomical calculations for determining the beginning of the Muslim lunar month provoked a strong response, and the American Muslim community continues to be divided over this issue. Scholars on the two sides of the divide present arguments rooted in Islamic traditions, and often support their views by citing the same Qur'anic and Prophetic sources, or by referring to statements by early Muslim scholars.