Sunday, 12 July 2015

Crescent Observation Predictions For Shawwal 1436 AH (2015 A.D)

I hope all of you reading this are enjoying the holy month of fasting (Ramadan). While you cleanse your body of toxins, do not ignore getting rid of things that harm your soul.

Confusion reigns supreme

Another Eid al-Fitr is around the corner and so is lunar confusion. The accurate data and visibility curves given below will help you avoid confusion created by crescent-sighting 'experts'. This article will help you cross-check official claims and appreciate the wonders of scientific reality. However, no amount of science can cover the flaws of human observation or cloud cover. Those who live in extreme geographical locations must face even more twists.

Through those who had the knowledge of such calculations, the last messenger of Allah and his companions could have simply announced the start or beginning of Islamic months but instead they preferred VISUAL sighting of the crescent (hilal) so that there remained no doubt in any observer's mind.

Data and visibility curves

First, let us focus on Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) and Peshawar (Pakistan). Each year, the latter city falsely reports seeing the crescent by ignoring its own horizon and blindly following the distant Saudi one. Then we have data and curves for Karachi, Lahore (L'ore L'ore ae) and finally London.

From the coloured legend (bottom right hand side) you will be able to easily see if your locations falls within one of the visibility curves on a given date. Click on any image to see an enlarged version.

Finally, I have provided realistic representations of where the sun and the moon will be on 17 July 2015 at Lahore (best time of observation is 19:27 LT). The '0' degrees indicates the horizon and the compass degrees too are marked to ascertain the directions of both the sun and the moon.

Lunar calendar

The lunar calendar will always remain a necessity for determining occasions such as Ramadan, Hajj (pilgrimage at Makkah) and the two Eid festivals. At this time, we need not dive into an oily kingdom’s preference for unbelieveable crescent observation criteria.

The onus of responsibility clearly falls on those who falsely report crescent sightings or support aged observers or outright liars. This institutional wrong means that Muslims end up performing the Hajj, starting the holy month of Ramadan (fasting) and celebrating Eid on the wrong dates.

The idea behind writing about lunar astronomy is to help one look with precision at the sky. Astronomy must be studied by each Muslim, as was done during the zenith of Muslim rule, to appreciate the inner workings of God's System.

Observation matters need not be left to the experts; even novices can enjoy watching the sky in order to fulfill God’s Will and the sunnah (practices of Prophet Muhammad, peace on him).

Muslim unity with just the moon?

A simultaneous global sighting of the crescent is an astronomical impossibility due to the moon’s eccentric rotation and orbital behaviour. Hence, celebrating Eid on a single day across a huge land mass (USA, China, India) is not a religious requirement but rather a new age idea propounded by the religious globalists.

It has now become a fitna (trial, tribulation), frequently leading to disagreements and discord; please ignore this effort designed to divide Muslims further on non-issues. We need to first agree on how many degrees below the horizon must the sun be for calculating various twilight timings. Why is each Muslim country going its own way?

A few important points need to be borne in mind this time:

  1. The birth of the new moon (conjunction) will take place on 16 July 2015 at 01:24 UTC (06:24 Pakistan Standard Time).
  2. Sunset at Lahore will take place at 1908 LT and the moon will set at 19:10 LT (or 00:02 minutes after sunset).
  3. The Shawwal crescent will be only 12 hours and 00:44 minutes old at Lahore's sunset. Hence, it will be invisible even if viewed with a telescope.
  4. A 'fat' crescent (36 hours and 00:44 monutes old) will be clearly seen on the evening of 17 July at Lahore, with or without binoculars. Therefore, in Pakistan, Eid al-Fitr will fall on 18 July 2015—unless the Pakistani moon-sighting committee errs or the Riyals blind us.
  5. I thank Allah and remain indebted to my astronomer friends whose accurate predictive software programmes and research have lit up my path of lunar astronomy.

I welcome your questions and comments on this important subject, and hope that you will attempt to not only understand what I have provided here but also help others understand matters for their own good.

Once you wish to be guided by taking a few essential steps in the direction, Allah's Promise will come true: you will be protected and guided.

They will ask thee about the new moons. Say: "They indicate the periods for [various doings of] mankind, including the pilgrimage." (Qur’an 2:189)

Have a lovely Eid al-Fitr!

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Jeddah, 16 July 2015

Jeddah, SAUDI ARABIA (Thursday 16 July, 2015)

Sunset:  19:10 LT
Moonset: 19:21 LT
Moon Age:   +14H 45M
Moon Lag Time: +00H 12M
Moon Altitude (height above horizon): +02°:30':44"
Moon Azimuth (compass direction): +285°:44':53"
Distance: 394,875.99 Km
Crescent Visibility: The crescent is NOT VISIBLE even with binoculars.

But on Friday 17 July 2015, the moon (at sunset) will be +38H 45M old and the time lag between sunset and moon-set will be a comfortable 00:55 minutes. The crescent will easily be visible with naked eyes, hence Eid will be on Saturday 18 July. And the best time to observe the crescent on 17 July is: 19:34 LT

Peshawar, PAKISTAN (Thursday 16 July, 2015)
Peshawar, 16 July 2015

Sunset: 19:25 LT
Moonset: 19:26 LT
Moon Age: +13H 01M
Moon Lag Time: +00H 00M
Moon Altitude (height above horizon): 00°:12':21"
Moon Azimuth (compass direction): +288°:55':32"
Distance: 394,630.52 Km
Crescent Visibility: The crescent is NOT VISIBLE even with binoculars (but then who knows!)
Best time to observe the crescent on 17 July: 19:43 LT

Karachi, Pakistan (Thursday 16 July, 2015)

Best time to observe the crescent: 19:45 LT
Sunset: 19:23 LT
Moonset: 19:30 LT
Moon Age: +12H 59M
Moon Lag Time: +00H 07M
Moon Altitude (height above horizon): +01°:31':08"
Moon Azimuth (compass direction): +286°:38':58"
Distance: 394,625.09 Km
Crescent Visibility: The crescent is NOT VISIBLE even with binoculars.

Lahore, PAKISTAN (Thursday 16 July, 2015)
Lahore, 16 July 2015

Sunset: 19:08 LT
Moonset: 19:10 LT
Moon Age: +12H 44M
Moon Lag Time: +00H 02M
Moon Altitude (height above horizon): +00°:28':14"
Moon Azimuth (compass direction): +288°:15':36"
Distance: 394,590.31 Km
Lahore, 16 July 2015
Crescent Visibility: The crescent is NOT VISIBLE even with binoculars because the moon sets while it the sky is still quite bright.

Lahore, PAKISTAN (Friday 17 July, 2015)

Best time to observe the crescent: 19:27 LT
Sunset: 19:08 LT            
Lahore, 17 July 2015
Moonset: 19:51 LT
Moon Age: +36H 44M
Moon Lag Time: +00H 43M
Moon Altitude (height above horizon): +08°:52':19"
Moon Azimuth (compass direction): +280°:13':39"
Distance: 397,857.57 Km
Crescent Visibility: Easily visible with binoculars or naked eyes.
Lahore, 17 July 2015

London, United kingdom (Friday 17 July, 2015)

Sunset: 20:11 LT
Moonset: 20:33 LT
Moon Age:  +42H 47M
Moon Lag Time: +00H 22M
Moon Altitude (height above horizon): +03°:00':21"
London, 17 July 2015
Moon Azimuth (compass direction): +286°:33':14"
Distance: 398,628.38 Km
Crescent Visibility: Visible only with binoculors (hence, Eid on 18 July).

©Tahir Gul Hasan, 2015