Saturday, 2 July 2016

Crescent Observation Predictions For Shawwal 1437 AH (2016 AD)

I hope all of you 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.

Special Moon Events in 2016

Super New Moon: 7 Apr
Micro Full Moon: 22 Apr
Super New Moon: 7 May
Blue Moon: 22 May (third Full Moon in a season with four Full Moons)
Penumbral Lunar Eclipse visible in Lahore on 16 Sep – 17 Sep
Black Moon: 30 Oct (second New Moon in single calendar month)
Super Full Moon: 14 Nov

Do it yourself

The accurate data and visibility curves given below 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 compensate for cloud cover. As usual, those who live at extreme geographical locations might find it difficult to look for the crescent.

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

A few years ago when I spoke with religious scholar Javed Ahmad Ghamidi over the phone, he opined: "There was absolutely no need to form committees since a sighting report from any part of the world should suffice as evidence. The Muslims should not celebrate Eid on different dates".

There are two problems Muslims face today:
  1. For determining various prayer timings, countries have varying descriptions of sunrise and sunset (with reference to the number of degrees the sun is below the horizon).
  2. Countries do not have consensus on the idea that if the crescent is sighted anywhere over Earth, will its sighting be acceptable to the entire Muslim ummah? For example, will crescent sighting in the southern latitudes (Australia) be acceptable to Muslims in Europe and America considering the vast time zone differences? It is clear, the difference in dates could be one or perhaps two days but never three days (as it sometimes happens in Indonesia).
It is an astronomical impossibility to report the moon's conjunction (birth) as 'sighted' in Arabia when nobody else on Earth has seen it.

Data and visibility curves

Let us first focus on Jeddah (Arabia) and Peshawar (Pakistan). Each year, Peshawar reports seeing the crescent by ignoring its own horizon and follows the distant Arabian one. Traditionally, Afghanistan follows Arabia when it comes to lunar affairs.

Then we have the data and visibility curves for Karachi, Lahore and London. From the coloured legend (bottom right hand side of the graphics) you will be able to easily see if your location falls within one of the visibility curves on a given date. Click on any image to see its enlarged version for 4th and 5th July 2016.

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.

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

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

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

Muslim unity and 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 an idea propounded by the religious globalists.

It has now become a fitna (trial, tribulation), frequently leading to disagreements and discord that serves to divide Muslims further on non-issues. We need to first agree on how many degrees below the horizon must the sun be for Fajr, Maghrib and Isha' prayers. Why must so many different criteria exist?

A few important points need to be borne in mind for 04 July 2016 at Lahore:
  1. The birth of the new moon (conjunction) will take place at 11:01 UTC (16:01 Pakistan Standard Time) during the day.
  2. Sunset at Lahore will take place at 19:11 LT, and the moon will set at 18:58 LT (or 00:13 minutes BEFORE sunset).
  3. During the bright sunlight, it will be impossible to sight the crescent as its location will be below the horizon (at -2°18').
  4. The Shawwal crescent will be only 03 hours and 10 minutes old at sunset. Hence, it will be invisible even if viewed with a telescope.
  5. The crescent will be seen on 05 July, therefore in Pakistan, Eid al-Fitr should fall on 06 July 2016—unless someone in the Rooyat-e-Hilal Committee of Pakistani errs or the Riyals blind us completely.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
04 July 2016 visibility curves (notice Arabia in RED )
Jeddah, ARABIA (Monday, 04 July, 2016)

Sunset:  19:11 LT

Moonset: 19:08 LT
Moon Age:  05 hours, 10 minutes
Moon Lag Time: - 03 minutes (moonset BEFORE set)
Moon Altitude (height above horizon): -00°:38':54" (negative angle)
Moon Azimuth (compass direction): +289°:52':46"
Distance: 372,680 Km
Crescent Visibility: The crescent will NOT BE VISIBLE even with binoculars.

On Tuesday 05 July 2016, the moon (at sunset) will be 00:45 minutes old and the time lag between sunset and moon-set will be a comfortable 00:50 minutes. The crescent will easily be visible with naked eyes, hence Eid will be on Wednesday 06 July. And the best time to observe the crescent on 05 July is: 19:33 LT.

04 July 2016 visibility curves (notice Arabia in RED )
Picture of the sky (notice moon under the sun on top right)
The Saudi Supreme Court confirmed there will be 30 days of Ramadan this year meaning Tuesday will be the last day of Ramadan. as the moon was not sighted on July 4 (Monday). Eid al-Fitr will be on July 6, 2016 (Wednesday). Currently, out of 116 countries, 41 appear to be following Arabia's crescent so-called sighting reports which are based on a published calendar called the Ummul Qura System. Just because the calendar shows (without actual sighing of the crescent) Eid al-Fitr falling on 6 July, must not mean that the entire world must blindly follow it.

Peshawar, PAKISTAN (Monday, 04 July, 2016)

Sunset: 19:29 LT

Moonset: 19:14 LT
Moon Age: 3 hours, 28 minutes
Moon Lag Time: -14 minutes (moonset BEFORE sunset) 
Moon Altitude (height above horizon): -02°:24':09" (below the horizon)
Moon Azimuth (compass direction): +293°:58':45"
Distance: 372,408 Km
Crescent Visibility: The crescent will NOT BE VISIBLE even with binoculars (but then who knows!).
However, the best time to observe the crescent on 05 July is 19:45 LT, when a 27 hours 44 minutes old crescent will be 4° above the horizon in a direction of 287°:30':09". It should be visible either with naked eyes or with binoculars.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
* * * *

Karachi, Pakistan (Tuesday, 05 July, 2016)
Sunset: 19:25 LT
Moonset: 20:09 LT
Moon Age: 27 hours, 43 minutes
Moon Lag Time: 00:44 minutes
Moon Altitude (height above horizon): +05°:20':05"
Moon Azimuth (compass direction): +286°:04':24"
Distance: 376,687 Km
Crescent Visibility: The crescent will be VISIBLE with or without binoculars. Best time to observe the crescent is 19:44 LT.

05 July 2016 visibility curves (notice overall GREEN)
Lahore, PAKISTAN (Tuesday, 05 July, 2016)

Sunset: 19:11 LT

Moonset: 19:50 LT
Moon Age: 27 hours, 27 minutes
Moon Lag Time: 00:39 minutes
Moon Altitude (height above horizon): +04°:25':37"
Moon Azimuth (compass direction): +287°:03':09"
Distance: 376,635 Km
Crescent Visibility: The crescent will be VISIBLE with or without binoculars. Best time to observe the crescent is 19:28 LT.

LATEST NEWS at 9:30 pm (05 July, 2016)

Despite my best efforts with binoculars in hand over the roof, I could NOT sight the crescent this evening. The Rooyat-e-Hilal committee, after cross-checking of sighting reports and the credentials of witnesses, finally declared that the 'crescent was sighted'.
Elsewhere on the internet, members of crescent sighting committees did not sight the crescent themselves yet filed others' reports. How can this be admissible evidence of sighting?

Why cannot the members of the Rooyat-e-Hilal committee have reliable witnesses spread all over Pakistan? Why must observers take so long to report their findings when the moon has already set? Why is there so much delay in announcing the official results? Are people too busy with iftaar and prayers and which prevent them making timely reports? These are questions that need to be answered during talk-shows on national television.
05 July 2016 visibility curves (notice overall GREEN)
London, United Kingdom (Tuesday, 05 July, 2016)

Sunset: 20:21 LT
Moonset: 20:46 LT
Moon Age:  33 hours, 31 minutes
Moon Lag Time: 00:25 minutes
Moon Altitude (height above horizon): +01°:48':23" (very low)
Moon Azimuth (compass direction): +294°:19':29"
Distance: 377,820 Km
Crescent Visibility: Visible only with binoculors. Best time to observe the crescent is 20:32 LT.

And finally

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. If you would like prediction data for your location, please email me at:

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.

The two brightly coloured curve-graphs were copied from
The picture of the sky comes from
©Tahir Gul Hasan, 2016


Majumdar said...

Tahir mian,

A very very belated Ramadan Kareem to you and your loved ones. First of all, my apologies for belated wishes. To come back to the issue at hand, my stance remains unchanged since our last discussion. The ummah must celebrate Id on the same day. If there is no unanimity and unity on this simple subject, how wud it unite for more weighty matters, esp the challenge from imperialist forces.

Naturally, if the ummah has to celebrate Id on the same day, the moon has to be sighted at only one place and by one person. Naturally, that place has to be Kaaba sharif and the person, the Grand Imam of the Holy Mosque.


TGH said...

Maj, thanks for tuning in and for your kind wishes. If I were to answer your questions, I'd just be reproducing what I've already repeated earlier.
In the UAE, people remain off work over a week but in the Indian sub-continent we're not that lucky.
In western countries (and extreme altitudes) it's problematic to ask for an unknown OFF day. It's them, along with the ones aligned with Arabia, who insist on a SAME DAY Eid and so-called UNITY. Where is unity? What is 'ummah'? Just look around!

Then there's the famous Kurayb Hadith:
"The proponents of using the sighting in Makkah to begin Ramadan anywhere on earth argue that a sighting in one area is binding on Muslims in other areas as well. However, the hadith narrated by Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi and Nasa’i rejects argues against a sighting being binding on distant places.
Thus states that Kurayb, who traveled to Syria encountered the start of Ramadan there on a Friday, upon return to Medina, informed Ibn Abbas that he had seen the crescent-moon on the night of Friday, and that the people in Syria, including Muawiyah the governor, had fasted on Friday. Ibn Abbas replied that they (in Medina) had seen the crescent-moon on Saturday, and that they would not stop fasting until they either saw it again, or had completed thirty days. Kurayb asked, “Will you not suffice with the sighting of Muawiyah?" Ibn Abbas replied, “No, that is how the Messenger of Allah commanded us.”"

Maj dear, calculations AID in cross-checking and reducing apprehensions. Our MET Chief too said on TV more or less what I've written in the article. Only blind fools will report sighting the crescent today in our Northern areas (aligned with Afghans aligned with Arabia). Why don't they just say they use CONJUCTION as criteria and refrain from reporting fake crescents.
I've seen too many fake reports coming from Arabia and I suggest you research this on your own. I report my sightings elsewhere on the internet too and know what I'm talking about.
Muslims live all over the globe but praying in the direction of the Ka'aba signifies our correctness of spiritual and geographical directions in life. The Imam Ka'ab is NOT a qualified astronomer; he's a prayer-leader who will not give up his position to an astronomer.
Differences of opinion WILL remain as a sign of strength; so said the Last Messenger of Allah
Although your sentiments I do respect but unfortunately, emotional appeals can only go so far. Ultimately, logic, certain proofs, clarity and bits of science must prevail.
Allah knows that I try my best.
Enjoy the Eid festivities and do try to observe the crescent today and tomorrow.

Majumdar said...

My greatest fears have come true sir. In one country alone - Al Hind- Eid is being celebrated on two different days- in some places on Wednesday and some on Thursday.

The problem is inherent. If every Muslim was to see and check for himself, naturally results will be different. Someone may not be able to sight the moon 'cos of poor eyesight, others because of weather conditions. Chaos will be in the inevitable result. Plus, there will be professional mischief makers who will capitalise on the situation.


TGH said...

Maj dear, I know what happened in al-Hind (hahahaha!). It's a huge country so the Tamils down south and others in the lap of Himalaya up North (not to mention Amritsar and Kolkata) must all remain busy. The population must gaze at the sky and be productive.
Unless someone declares me the global agent for lunar sighting, I won't be able to help the ummah in distress.
You're too tense buddy. Relax, have some siwwayaaN. :)

Majumdar said...

Tahir mian,

Yes al-Hind is a large nation but Dilli is a small city. And yet Dilliwala Momins are celebrating on two different days.

Can I with your permission reproduce this article on desibukbuk?


TGH said...

Maj, I'm dealing here in al-Bakistan with three reports that DO NOT mention the observers seeing the crescent but rather those 'others' who announced the sighting by resorting to aerial firing! Now let me get my do-nali bandooq out!

I'll have to see what the Dilli-wallas reported, check its numerical accuracy and then let out a deep sigh.

It might be better if you posted an URL (weblink) that directs Dilli traffic to my blog. I'm sure you know how to do that. Copying directly from my web page has been disabled for obvious reasons.

This BAKBAK site sounds like that 'C' site through which we became net-pals. BAKBAK may not be a fit place to reproduce my complete article.

Thanks for asking though; you're a gentleman.

Friend said...

Thanks for enlightening us Mr. Tahir! The world really does need to think for themselves instead of blindly following everything. I always appreciate your sharp, detailed insights - you always have something to teach. Lunar astronomy is quite interesting, thank you for introducing me to it! Looking forward to more on astronomy from you!

Avid Reader said...

An interesting read. Although I wonder if one can follow one's own sightings and celebrate Eid or any other islamic tradition according to that?

If Rooyat-e-Hilaal fail to see the moon then should we just sit and wait till they give us a go ahead?