Sunday, October 18, 2009



Chennai: The Hijra Committee of India organised a day long Exhibition cum Seminar in Chennai yesterday on October 17. Many speakers from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and other states stressed the need for adopting a lunar calendar based on the teachings of Islam. They termed the calendar they evolved scientifically and on the basis of the Islamic principles as 'The Calendar for Mankind'.

Dr. Koya Kutty Farooqui, Dr. A. Mohammed Ali (Former Professor of Arabic & Islamic Studies International Islamic University, Malaysia), Saifuddin, Maulvi Mohammed Zubair, Captain Siddiqui, Masood and others expressed their views on the importance of the scientifically evolved lunar calendar during the seminar.

The speakers were of the opinion that there is no need to depend on anybody for starting the fasting during the month of Ramadan, celebrating the Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha or deciding any other important thing as Allah had fixed everything when the skies and the earth were created and it is our duty to follow them.

According to them the argument that we should do our religious duties only after seeing the moon with our eyes and start the month cannot be correct in the present modern scientific world. They insisted that we should take advantage of the astro physics, easily available to us now without necessarily seeing the vanishing moon after Maghrib prayers.

Musthafa Mohamed of the Hijra Committee explained that there are many verses of the Holy Quran and Ahadees (sayings of Prophet Mohammed - sal-am) which encourage us to adopt modern technologies. He quoted the Ayat of the holy Quran 2:189 which says inter-alia " they ask thee ( O Muhammed) of new moons. Say, they are fixed seasons for mankind and for the pilgrimage".

The celebration of Eids on different days even in a state and sometimes even in a town or district based on our sighting of the moon, according to the Hijra committee, is against the Islamic concepts and hence we should all celebrate the Eids on the same days and do all our religious obligations as per the lunar calendar. In his opinion even the NASA is following the lunar calendar system. Dr. Koya Kutty Farooqui was also with him explaining many things in this regard.

A calendar is a system of organising days for social, religious, commercial or administrative purposes. There are different varieties of calendars based on either solar, lunar or luni-solar systems and the popular among them are the Gregorian, Julian, Islamic, Hebrew, Iranian, Hindu and Chinese calendars. The example of a lunar calendar is the Islamic calendar whereas the Persian calendar is of solar system. There is also a luni-solar calendar based on the combination of both solar and lunar reckonings. The example for this is the calendar of China and the Hindu calendar in our country India. It is said that the Islamic calendar is used by most Muslims in the world.

The calendar which we use is called Gregorian. It has the international standard and is used almost everywhere in the world for civil purposes.

The Hijra committee is mobilising opinions in favour of a standard Islamic lunar calendar to carry out everything including Eids on the same fixed dates as per the calendar without landing in confusions under the existing practice of sighting the moon and celebrating the Eids - a practice not attested by the holy Quran or Ahadees.

Musthafa Mohamed also cited a letter written by Pandit Jawaherlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India, had written to Prof. Meghnath Saha, Chairman of the Calendar Reform Committee (CRC) to evolve a scientifically advanced calendar wherin he had said, "Government have entrusted to the CRC the work of examining different calendars followed in India and proposing an accurate and uniform calendar for the whole of India based on scientific study. I am told that we have at present 30 different calendars. Of course they are the natural result of our past history and partly they are due to the former political divisions in India. Now that we are independent, there should be a uniform calendar for our country's civic, social and other purposes, and our calendar should be evolved scientifically. For government and public work, we follow the Gregorian calendar, which is used in the greater part of the world. But even that calendar has its own defects. The fact that it is largely used does make it important. It has many virtues, but certain defects in it make it unsatisfactory for universal use. I do hope that our scientists will give a proper lead in making that attempt a success."

The Hijra Committee is of the opinion that the community, ulema and intellectuals should discuss this vital issue threadbare and celebrate the Eids on fixed dates and carry out all other religious obligations with unity as per the Islamic lunar calendar system.

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