Eid Celebrations: Thirteen
Muslim Countries Accept Astronomical Calculations
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali
Angeles, CA: Majority of Muslims in North America celebrated
the Eidul Fitr on Monday (October 23rd) while some celebrated
the festival on Tuesday (Oct 24th) amid traditional controversy
over the sighting of the moon of Shawwal.
The issue of moon sighting has been controversial in America.
This year the Fiqh Council of North America and ISNA have
adopted the method of astronomical calculations. The community
is still divided on this subject. While some have wholeheartedly
accepted this method, there are others who are strongly opposing
it on the basis that any pre-calculated calendar is allegedly
against the Sunnah.
A Pakistan Link survey indicated that there were a large number
of Islamic centers and mosques which began Ramadan on 23rd
September and celebrated Eid on Monday, 23rd October. These
centers include about 50 mosques that are affiliated with
the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California including
the Islamic Center of Irvine, CA; Islamic Center of Southern
California, Los Angeles; Central Illinois Mosque and Islamic
Center, Urbana; Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati, West
Chester, Ohio; Islamic Center of Cleveland Parma, Ohio; Islamic
Society of Greater Toronto; the Islamic Center of Tucson,
Arizona; Huntsville Islamic Center, Huntsville, Alabama and
the Islamic Society of Boston and almost all Islamic centers
and mosques in DC, Virginia and Baltimore area.
In Virginia the following Mosques celebrated Eid on 23rd Oct:
Islamic Center of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia; Islamic Association
of West Virginia; Islamic Society of Central Virginia; The
Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center - Falls Church, VA; Islamic Association
of West Virginia, South Charleston, VA and Islamic Association
of Shenandoah Valley (IASV) and Islamic Center of Shenandoah
Valley, Harrisonburg, VA.
Other Islamic centers and groups endorsing ISNA calendar include:
Bangladesh Association of America; Islamic Association of
Carrollton, Texas; Islamic Association of North Texas, Dallas
Central Mosque; Islamic Center Of New London, CT; Islamic
Center of Northeast Florida, Jacksonville; Islamic Center
of Long Island, Westbury, New York; Islamic society of Central
Jersey, NJ; The Islamic Center of Greater Toledo, Ohio and
the Islamic Center of Bloomington, Indiana.
Many Islamic centers and mosques in North America began Ramadan
on 24th September according to their moon sighting-committees
decision. However, they celebrated Eid on Oct. 23 after the
claimed sighting of the crescent. The Islamic centers which
did not endorse the ISNA calendar include: The New Brunswick
Islamic Community, New Brunswick, New Jersey; and The Islamic
Society of Central New York, Syracuse, NY; The Islamic Society
of Greater Lansing, Michigan; The Birmingham Islamic Society,
Alabama and Islamic Center of America, Dearborn, MI.
The Houston Moon Sighting Committee held a teleconference
meeting on Saturday, October 21, 2006, and in the absence
of a moon-sighting report from any part of the United Sates,
unanimously declared that first of Shawwal will be on Monday,
October 23, 2006. In New York, Imam Waris Deen Mohammad, leader
of the African-American Muslims, announced that the crescent
of Shawwal has been sighted on Oct. 22 eve, and the first
day of Eid-ul-Fitr will be October 23.
In California, which has the largest Muslim population, the
following mosques and Islamic centers rejected the ISNA calendar
though many celebrated Eid on Oct 23. Masjid Umar Farooq,
Stockton; Masjid Darussalaam, Milipitas; Islamic Center of
Fremont; Islamic Center of Stockton; Islamic Society of East
Bay (ISEB), Fremont; South Bay Islamic Association (SBIA)
San Jose; South Valley Islamic Center (SVIC) Morgan Hill;
Islamic Center of Fairfield; Islamic Center of San Mateo;
Islamic Center of Mill Valley, Mill Valley; Islamic Center
of Pleasanton-Dublin (ICPD), Pleasanton; Islamic Center of
Folsom, Folsom; South Sacramento Islamic Center, Sacramento;
Masjid Umar Faruq, Stockton; Islamic Center of Tracy and Masjid
In Greater Chicago, only three members of the Council of Islamic
Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC) adhered to the ISNA
calendar and announced Eidul Fitr for 23rd October. The 34-member
CIOGC claims to represent 400,000 Muslims in Chicago. The
rest other members followed the traditional moon sighting
method and celebrated Eid on Oct. 23. Islamic Foundation and
Mosque Foundation announced in advance that Eid will be celebrated
on Oct. 24th.
The ISNA calendar was rejected by a number of North American
Muslim groups including: The Hilal Sighting Committee of North
America, the Islamic Shariah Council, Islamic Circle of North
America (ICNA), a member of the Islamic Shura Council of North
America and Imam Waris Deen Mohammad, leader of the African
In Canada, Islamic Society of Greater Toronto followed the
ISNA calendar but the Hilal Committee of Metropolitan Toronto
and Vicinity, which represents 75 Masjids and Islamic organizations,
announced the sighting of new moon after receiving witnesses.
ISNA Mosque, Madina Mosque, Masjid Noorul Haram and Nugget
Mosque and other mosques of Greater Toronto celebrated Eid
on Oct. 23rd.
Many who celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr on Oct. 23 had a 29-day fasting
because they began fasting on 24 September while the ISNA
calendar had projected a 30-day Ramadan beginning on Sept.
23. As usual the sighting of the moon of Shawwal was announced
late at night.
It is interesting to note that there are now more than 13
Muslim and Western countries that are accepting astronomical
calculation as a method for determining Islamic lunar dates.
These countries include Turkey, Sweden, Austria, Ukrania,
Denmark, Norway, Czech, Holland, Italy, France, Belgium, some
in UK and some in US. (Source ICOP Website)