Unpredictability of Eid moon
Dr Ahmad Al Qubaisi, an expert on Sharia, says science, when used to detect the birth of the new moon signalling the start of Ramadan or a declaration of Eid, is like a bitter-sweet pill.
It is accurate — making our lives easy, but it ruins that magical moment — the sudden announcement.
“There are two sides to adopting science and technology in our lives including religion. In some cases, we need to sacrifice something to make life more predictable and punctual. I believe the Lunar calendar must be decided by science instead of sighting the moon through our eyes,” he said.
He recalled a time when residents of his village in Al Fallujah in Iraq used to walk to the banks of the Euphrates river to watch the moon as the Sun set on Sha’aban 29 to declare the start of the fast. They would do the same on the Ramadan 29 for the start of Eid.
“I was a child at the time when my parents, brothers and sisters would join relatives and neighbours in the village on the banks of the river. I still remember the joy we experienced regardless of whether we had succeeded in spotting the crescent or not. Sighting the moon was a great ritual of the fasting month. As time moves and small villages become cities with high-rise buildings, moon-sighting has become the work of a committee that meets and witnesses, who say what they had saw,” he said. “Science has ruined many nice things in our lives, but has made it more easy and predictable.”
Dr Al Qubaisi might be correct in this view. “Two months ago when I visited my daughter in hospital in Abu Dhabi who was delivering her second child — we all knew she was having a boy. I went straight to the child’s bed and held him. I said the traditional prayers for the occasion. I recalled the time when I held his mother. I was overjoyed on the birth of my daughter after two boys. It was a surprise for me. But when my daughter was giving birth, science ruined the surprise.”
Are we calling to eliminate to joy of surprise during Ramadan and Eid? We need to answer this before it becomes too late.