Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Ramadan Crescent: The Ongoing Battle for Modernity

Blue: "Ramadan Kareem!"
Red: "It's not Ramadan over here yet."

Blue: "But it started yesterday!"

Red: "Not over here it doesn't. We start tomorrow."

I'm pretty sure that we've all had this sort of conversation at one time or another, what with the internet tubes thingie breaking down distances. This year we were lucky, only one or two countries didn't fast with the rest of us, cause they didn't see the right kind of crescent.

To me that's extremely funny. I'm no astronomer but I'm pretty sure we only have one moon. And if it's a new moon in one place, it's still a new moon in another even if (for any number of reasons) you can't see it. And like all celestial objects we can pretty much plot the course of the moon for many centuries to come with astronomical (heh heh) accuracy, bar some catastrophic event like the moon being blown up by a
Uranium PU-36 Explosive Space Modulator.

Yet it happens without fail every year. Muslims all around the globe start fasting in different times, and celebrate Eid al Fitr in different times. All because the highly conservative insist that the phrasing "fast when you see it" is to be taken literally and the crescent has to be seen with the naked eye. Since when do we see with only our eyes? We humans have reached a technological level where we have transcended the classical five senses in perceiving our world. We no longer see only with our eyes and reflected light. We see all sorts of things with electrons, radio waves, accelerated particles and humanity's single greatest achievement; mathematics.

People talk about Muslim solidarity, yet we can't even agree on whether a new moon has been born or not!

Fortunately I'm not alone in my concern. Unfortunately we lacked a voice. Thank god for Ahmad Al Shugairi, host of the highly successful program Khawatir (Thoughts) which promotes public awareness about the values of Islam as opposed to just the rituals. Mr. Al
Shugairi has recently started a campaign called "Our Nation is One, Our Crescent is One" through his show. The campaign aims towards raising awareness of the mathematical inevitability of the next Ramadan being on the 1st of September 2008, hoping that next year we would all begin fasting together. It's a lofty goal, and not unachievable, but requires lots of work and promotion. To help towards this goal Mr. Al Shugairi is selling campaign merchandise (a set including a T-shirt, a cap and a sticker) with the campaign's logo:

Even if you are not willing to buy the stuff, you should at least display the graphic on your blog or website. It's time people stopped associating Islam with ignorance.


Saudi Stepford Wife-Daisy said...

It's a Jewish conspiracy backed by Bush to keep us from uniting under the banner of Islam and becoming the most powerful nation on the planet and making global Jihad.

They've created a projector, strong enough to project a crescent on the face of the new moon. Then a secret agent, planted within the targeted nation's ulema, says:
"Hey guys-look, isn't that the crescent?"
Then they turn on the projector in time for at least two top-ranking guys to witness it, bringing the whole country prematurely into Ramadan thus once again causing discord and disagreement amongst Muslims. BWA HA HA HA HA HA (evil Jewish laughter).

Saudi Stepford Wife-Daisy said...

I'm sure at least one jihadist nut-job would buy that one, LOL!

Saudi Jawa said...

I'm an ex-junior fundamentalist, and I know my old fellow fundies in training would've bought it :)

أبو سنان said...

Hah Daisy, that was funny. My wife's family lived here in the DC area for 25 years with a Pakistani family a few houses down.

Not once in those 25 years did they have a Ramadan that started at the same time, nor an Eid.

It is stupid.