Then, Khalid refers to verse 9.36 as saying, “Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala also stressed that the calendar should be lunar with twelve months in a year.”
When you check its relevance to the topic:
Referral to the fact, “the calendar should have 12 months in a year,” does not provide any help to figure out whether that calendar is global or local. So it is an irrelevant reference. Khalid Shaukat referred to it just to make an impression that he knows it all.
There is also a deep dishonesty here. We emailed him detailed commentary on verse 9.36 showing that it encompasses all the legalities of Islamic Calendar in 2007 and 2008 — the former was in relation to the global and calculated calendar; the latter was in relation to the claim that Eid al Adha falls across the world on the next day of Arafat Day in Mecca. We showed him that the verse 9.36 mandates local Islamic calendars based on physical, unenhanced moon-sightings.
Khalid has been dishonest as he concealed the facts made apparent to him about the verse 9.36, plus gave false impression that he complies to everything the Qur’an has said about the calendar. The truth is that he has been defiant for the sake of his worldly interests.
Regarding verse 10.5, Khalid says: “[God] measured out STAGES for HER, that you might know the number of years and the count (of time).”
He made no argument how these STAGES, about 27 in number, indicate Global Calendar. So he again quoted a Qur’anic guidance just to impress his audience that he follows all the guidance God has given on the Calendar.
There is also another dishonesty here. Verse 10.5 underscores that ALL (about 27 in number) VISIBLE STAGES (منازل) are the genuine parameters for the reckoning of time. Then, where is this verse saying: the first منزل (new crescent moon) is GLOBAL while all other منازل are LOCAL? Even those who practice global moon sighting take the منازل of day2 to day27 as local.
I have neglected his translation “HER” for ” ه (hoo)”, considering it a typo.
Khalid Shaukat gave false impression that the verse 10.5 indicates global calendar while it is talking of local calendar — since about 27 منازل are local, not global.
Khalid Shaukat also quoted God’s assertion about منازل in verse 10.5: “Nowise did Allah create this but in TRUTH and righteousness.”
Here is contrast between God’s asserted TRUTH about منازل and Khalid’s claim about it:
God taught Adam to Muhammad (PBUH) that the first منزل (new crescent moon) requires local moon-sighting to pin it down. But, Khalid Shaukat claims that the first منزل (new crescent moon) requires global moon sighting to pin it down.
Khalid Shaukat obliquely challenges the TRUTH about منازل asserted by God.
Then, Khalid refers to verse 55.5, “The Sun and the Moon follow courses (exactly) computed — precise and pre-defined patterns.”
Khalid Shaukat has again not showed how this verse is talking of global calendar. So it is just his artfulness to impress the audience that he understands everything the Qur’an says about the calendar.
However, at the start of his creating Fitnah of mathematical and global moon-sighting in the US, he used this verse to claim: As this verse is saying that the sun and moon follow a precisely computed course, those Muslims today who know astronomical calculations can calculate the timing of the New Crescent Moon in advance.
The truth of the matter is that this verse is just saying that God has put the sun and moon to move in accordance with His precise calculations. And it is nowhere guaranteeing that humans will succeed in learning all of these calculations. Khalid Shaukat first puts his words into the mouth of God, then fools people that God is saying as such.
Finally, Khalid Shaukat quotes verses 17.78 and 2.187 commenting, “we should pray our daily Salah and begin and end our fasts based on the movement of the sun.”
Here, again, Khalid Shaukat did not show how these verses point toward global Islamic calendar. Therefore, he has referred to these verses just to impress the audience that he has great knowledge.
However, when these verses and his comment are examined, the following points are observed:
(i) In the above verses, the Qur’an is asking to do the evening prayer and break the fast according to the local Maghrib (sunset) time. We also know that an Islamic month starts from the Maghrib (sunset) time. Therefore, an Islamic month must start with the local Maghrib (sunset) time since the Qur’an nowhere mentions, nor do we know otherwise, that a global Maghrib (sunset) time exists. So global moon sighting is a baseless stand.
(ii) While morning, noon, evening and night are local times; how can the sum of these local times, i.e. 24hr day, become global? Khalid has nowhere explained it.
(iii) When we say Friday, May 11, Morning — i.e. day, date and time — we use 3 independent reckoning systems. Friday is from Weekly System, May 11 is from Calendrical Time, and Morning is from Day Divisions. But Khalid Shaukat plays head-game; he has brought non-calendrical times like Fajr, Zuhr, Asr, etc in the discussion of calendric time just to fool his audience that he has great knowledge about Time.
For readers’ information, we told Khalid Shaukat about various time-reckoning systems in 2007 in a detailed critique on his calendrical positions. So his plain ignorance is excluded.
On the Viewpoint of Ghamidi
Javed Ahmed Ghamidi obliquely claims to be the greatest Qur’anic scholar of all the time. He makes this point by his manipulated story:
Hameed Uddin Farahi (an Indian Muslim,1862-1930) first time in history discovered the right نظم (sic) in the Qur’an, and therefore, the right method of understanding it (sic). After him, his student, Amin Ahsan Islahi (1904-1997), expanded the work and created a great amount of literature based on that upright (sic) methodology. Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, as a student, remained under Islahi’s mentorship for 25 years. He has taken the upright (sic) interpretations to the level of preciseness (sic).
Javed Ahmed Ghamidi says about Islamic Calendar:
“The determination of lunar month has nothing to do with religion. It is not the subject of religion at all. It is the subject of human experience, observation, and science. Today, science is in the position that if you ask for the calendar of coming 1000 years, scientists can make it for you. Now humans are not dependent to go out and see the Moon, but other means have been discovered. Just as in the former times human knowledge established that the lunar month does not exceed 30 days, today human knowledge can determine the months of 29 days in advance through calculations. These calculations tell you very accurately when the Moon is born, and when it is going to be seeable.”
You can watch him asserting the above things 3:30-5:45 minutes into the following video in Urdu language.
Ghamidi’s above statement — who obliquely claims that he is the greatest Qur’anic scholar of all the time — is baseless, even distortion of the facts mentioned in the Qur’an, express or implied. His assertion about science is also wrong, but that may be discussed in some other article since this article is in relation to the Qur’an.
(i) Every reader can note:
(a) Ghamidi did not make his case on the ground of knowledge. Rather, he has just produced catchphrases — The affair of the calendar is not a religious one. Today science can accurately pre-calculate the timing of the Moon (lunar phase) that starts the month — which every liberal or science overinfluenced person does.
(b) He has neither brought a single support from the Qur’an and Hadith for his stand, nor has he asserted that there has nothing been said in the Qur’an and Hadith concerning this matter. So even his act of speculation is groundless. It is so because the pertinent rule is: One has to first make it clear that there is no guidance in the Qur’an and Hadith in a matter, only then one can bring one’s own thoughts.
(ii) The Qur’an says in verse 10.5:
وَقَدَّرَهُ مَنَازِلَ لِتَعْلَمُوا عَدَدَ السِّنِينَ وَالْحِسَابَ
Translation: And He precisely scaled VISIBLE Stages (منازل) of the Moon so that you may know the count of years and the other reckonings of time.
For the proper meaning of منازل , please read Part-2 of the article Moon Sighting and The Qur’an.
Humans have always noticed that there are about 27 visible stages (منازل) of the Moon that show up in the local sky every month in a regular manner. Therefore, the verse is asserting that God has precisely measured out these 27 locally visible stages (منازل) of the Moon so that people can determine the dates of a month with the help of these locally VISIBLE stages.
But according to Ghamidi, God’s specially devised منازل (VISIBLE stages of the Moon) are useless or unnecessary today. And people should turn to the astronomers instead. When he says astronomers, he means Muslim astronomers — because secular or western astronomers are not intruding into this matter. However, Ghamidi asks people to follow these astronomers after knowing that these astronomers usually ask to start a month one day earlier than the month is started by sighting the first lunar منزل (visible stage) which God has specially made for this purpose.
This difference in month-starting day indicates either the Almighty went wrong in devising the natural system of منازل (locally VISIBLE about 27 lunar stages) or these Muslim astronomers are wrong in pinning down the stage of the Moon that genuinely starts a lunar month for a land. Ghamidi takes the position that these astronomers are absolutely correct. Therefore, he indirectly declares God to be wrong in His creation of منازل (visible phases of moon) as well as in His knowledge.
It should be noted here that these Muslim astronomers — be it Khalid Shaukat of North America, Saudi astronomers, Egyptian astronomers, Malaysian astronomers, etc. — are not recognized as astronomers by the western astronomers.
It is also worth recalling that Ghamidi’s own mentor, Amin Ahsan Islahi, writes about the above verse in the exegesis of verse 9.36 as follows:
“For determination of lunar months, Nature itself has established an arrangement … This divine calendar, by appearing on the horizon every month through its everyday changing signs, tells the reckoning of months and years, and there happens no error in it ever.“
But, as showed before, in Ghamidi’s eye:
The Almighty’s devised natural parameters of منازل (about 27 locally VISIBLE lunar phases) are at fault; God’s scaled first منزل (visible lunar stage) usually make us start a month on the wrong day. And today’s Muslim astronomers (whom even western astronomers do not recognize as astronomers) tell us the right day to start the month!
(iii) The Qur’an says in verse 9.36:
إِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُورِ عِندَ اللَّـهِ اثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرًا فِي كِتَابِ اللَّـهِ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ مِنْهَا أَرْبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ ۚ فَلَا تَظْلِمُوا فِيهِنَّ أَنفُسَكُمْ
Translation: Verily the count of all months [in a year] to God is 12 in the Law of God [since] the day He created the heavens and the earth. Of them, four are sacred. This is the upright way [of running the calendar]. Therefore, do not wrong your selves in the affairs of [all] these months.
As the above pronouncement is a law of God, the wording فِي كِتَابِ اللَّـهِ there means in the book of law (sharia) of God. Therefore, Islamic Calendar is surely a religious affair.
Ghamidi’s teacher, Amin Ahsan Islahi, writes in his exegesis of this verse: It is the genuine religious calendar — اصلى دينى جنترى , plus, this calendar has شرعى and دينى (legal and religious) status.
Ghamidi claims that he understands the Qur’an perfectly, but he has connected the feminine pronoun هُنَّ in the verse to the masculine noun أَرْبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ there (for detail, please read part 5 of the article Moon Sighting and The Qur’an). And thus he completely misunderstood the injunction ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ ۚ فَلَا تَظْلِمُوا فِيهِنَّ and limited it to 4 sacred months. The truth is that the divine commandment is for all the 12 months, and thus the divine commandment exposes on the side that Islamic Calendar is religious affair.
(iv) This point also merits to be recalled that God guides only in religious matters; and not in worldly affairs like how to make a watch, or how to provide clean water to the inhabitants, even how to make a calendar for the farmers. Therefore, the presence of a good amount of guidance about the calendar in the Qur’an is clear proof that Islamic Calendar is a religious affair.
(v) At the level of common sense, it is not understandable that God would obligate believers to perform some act(s) on a particular date, and then would ask to pin down that date in their own way — i.e. the way they think appropriate. No public office in the world appoints dates in this manner.
(vi) Ghamidi claims that humans throughout the history ran lunar calendar SOLELY based on their observations, and no divine guidance was given to them. However, he did not tell how he excluded the possibility that the children of Adam and people of Noah ran the calendar according to the divine guidance given to them through Adam and Noah. Even, in his sweeping statement, he ignored the history of Muslims who have been running the calendar by the guidance of God’s last messenger Muhammad (PBUH). Since he was the messenger of God, he of course conveyed the message of God; otherwise it has to be admitted that he was not an honest messenger, and he polluted divine messages with his own thoughts. In no Hadith, he said that his directives on moon-sighting are his personal.
(vii) Ghamidi, who claims to be the greatest scholar of all the time, did not answer the crucial concern: When on the Day of Judgment God would ask an individual why you observed Fasts and Eids and Hajj on days according to the astronomers’ guidance and not according to My guidance, what he or she will answer?
(viii) There are clear Qur’anic verses that describe calendrical functionality of Moon. Maybe, Ghamidi plays them down as mere mention of natural phenomenon like the Qur’an mentions cloud formation and other natural phenomena. However, when these verses are closely examined, the following things are noted.
(a) The verses on Moon includes the piece لِتَعْلَمُوا عَدَدَ السِّنِينَ وَالْحِسَابَ (so that you may know the count of years and other reckonings of time). Such guidance to people is not associated with the verses on clouds, mountains, etc.
(b) Moon’s calendrical functionality is not essential for human living today, and was also not essential at the time of Muhammad (PBUH). Humans could and can reckon all the times they require for their worldly life with the help of the Sun. And in today’s world, it is what humanity at large is doing. But there are other lunar functions that essentially help, in sight or hidden ways, the life of each and every human on Earth. According to NASA: “Our moon makes Earth a more livable planet by moderating our home planet’s wobble on its axis, leading to a relatively stable climate, and creating a tidal rhythm that has guided humans for thousands of years.”
(c) NASA, or any other astronomical establishment, does not discuss how to make a lunar calendar; they plainly describe lunar phases as natural phenomena.
Thus Qur’anic repeated pronouncements about the calendrical functionality of Moon is for guiding humans for running the lunar calendar, and NOT MERELY as a fact of nature. Had mentioning a significant fact of nature been the purpose of the Qur’an, it wouldn’t have ignored the crucial lunar function of dampening the wobble of Earth, stabilizing the climate, and also setting the tidal rhythm for the waters.
Ghamidi’s assertion is full of holes, untrue in terms of the Qur’an, and repugnant to common sense.
As mentioned in the beginning, it is not possible for us to write commentary on every argument that is corrupting an Islamic value today. And this piece of writing is just to show that the critical analysis of someone’s argument or statement is easy provided you use your brain God has given you to use. Just critically check:
|(i)||Whether the speaker or writer has established
his/her case on the ground of the pertinent knowledge.
|(ii)||If his/her exposition is granted, whether it is creating any
legal or logical inconsistency in the teachings of the Qur’an.
Further, there is a forum on this website. If you ever get any confusion or question or suggestion, please bring it to the forum for its right evaluation through open and analytical discussions.