The Sighting of the Hilal is one of the important issues that the Muslim Ummah faces every year. The differences and ensuing rifts that appear on this issue, among the Muslims in the entire country, are in fact truly painful for all the caring and sensitive members of the Muslim community.
To think this problem over, and to find a solution, the heads of the Hilal Committees of different states gathered for a "National Hilal Sighting Conference" under the auspices of Shariah Approved Solutions to Hilal Sighting and Related Issues. This conference was held on Saturday, 3rd Rajab, 1430 AH, corresponding to June 27th, 2009 at The Conference Hall, Bangladesh Plaza, Jackson Heights, New York.
We are very pleased to announce that, a "Central Hilal Sighting Committee" was formed under the guidance and auspices of renowned ‘Ulama Al-Kiraam (Respected Scholars), to find an organized solution to this problem. It should be known that all local hilal committees throughout the US, Canada, and the Caribbean Islands have at least one (1) representative as part of the Central Hilal Sighting Committee. It should be kept in mind that the participating ‘Ulama Al-Kiraam consider “Ikhtilaafe Mataalae” (Difference in Horizons) as ‘correct’, from the Shari’ah point of view.
The participants of the National Hilal Sighting Conference were as follows:
- Shaikh Shah Nawalur Rahman, Chairman, Rahmate Alam Foundation, Chicago
- Shaikh Abdullah Salim, Chairman, Chicago Hilal Committee and Institute of Islamic Education, Chicago
- Shaikh Obaidur Rahman, Chairman, Shariah Council, California
- Dr. Khalid Siddiqi, Vice Chairman, Shariah Council, California
- Shaikh Husaamuddin from Houston, Texas
- Shaikh Nisaarul Haq from Houston, Texas
- Shaikh Irfan Kabiruddin, Secetary, Ulama Council of Maryland
- Shaikh Haamid Kamal from Maryland
- Shaikh Muhammad Naumani from Maryland
- Shaikh Ibrahim from Maryland
- Shaikh Abdul Majeed, Vice Chairman, Ulama Council of Virginia
- Shaikh Abdul Muqtadir, Imam, Nidaaul Islam Masjid, New Jersey
- Shaikh Sharfuddin from New Jersey
- Shaikh Shahid from New Jersey
- Shaikh Imran Sharif, Imam, Danbury Masjid, Connecticut
- Shaikh Shamsuddin from Connecticut
- Br. Bilal Yaqub from Burlington, MA, representative of Islamic Council of New England, Imams Shura Council
- Shaikh Ibrahim from Florida
- Shaikh Muhammad Ali from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Shaikh Mansoor from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Shaikh Ahmad Abdur Rab, representative of Ulama Council of Detroit, Michigan
- Shaikh Ibrahim Madani from Buffalo, New York
- Shaikh Mutiur Rahman, Imam, Masjid Muwahhideen, Long Island, New York
- Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq, Imam, Seldon Masjid, Long Island, New York
- Shaikh Rafiq, Imam, Masjid As Safaa, Manhattan, New York
- Shaikh Mujeebur Raman, Imam, Madinah Masjid, Manhattan, New York
- Shaikh Ruhullah, Imam, Bangladesh Muslim Center, Brooklyn, New York
- Shaikh Muhibbur Rahman, Imam, Masjid Baitul Jannah, Brooklyn, New York
- Shaikh Mufti Khalid Kawser from Brooklyn, New York
- Shaikh Hidayatullah from Bronx, New York
- Shaikh Ashrafuz Zamaan Khan, President, North American Imam Federation (NAIF), ex president, Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)
- Shaikh Mufti Jamaluddin, Chairman Baitul Hamd Institute New York
- Shaikh Mufti Ruhul Amin, Chairman Darul Quran Wassunnah New York
- Shaikh Mufti Noman Vazir, Secetary, Shariah Board of New York
- Shaikh Yameen, Senior Teacher, Darul Uloom New York (DUNY), Queens, New York
- Shaikh Suhel Teli, Teacher, Darul Uloom New York (DUNY), Queens, New York
- And many other Ulamaul Kiraam.
Those Ulamaul Kiraam who were not able to attend the conference due to their prior engagements expressed their support and promised their cooperation. Some of the noted ones include: members of the Toronto Hilal Committee, Imam Siraj Wahaaj of Masjid Taqwa, Amir of Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), Shaikh Mufti Abdur Rahman Qamar, Imam, Madni Masjid, New York, Shaikh Zafeer Uddin, Imam, I.C.N.A. Markaz, Jamaica, Shaikh Aslamuddin Al Azhari, Imam, Masjid Abu Hurairah, Shaikh Faiquddin, Imam, Jame Masjid Jackson Heights, Shaikh Muneer Ahmad Akhoon, President Al Muneer Foundation, New York, Imam Tariq Rashid, Shaikh Azhar Subedar and Shaikh Haroon from Florida.
The following items were unanimously agreed upon in the conference:
- Formation of a Central Hilal Sighting Committee: A central committee has been formed comprising of the members of the Hilal Committees of different states, Canada, and the Caribbean Islands. Initially, representatives from 11 different states and major cities have been included in this committee and representatives of the remaining states and other cities will be added in the future, Insha’Allah.
- All the countries and islands of North America, excluding Alaska and Hawaii, will be considered one “Horizon” – further details will be forthcoming in the meeting minutes.
- All Local Hilal Committees of different states will meet regularly on the 29th of each Islamic month in their respective areas and appoint responsible persons for the sighting of the hilal. The responsible persons will in turn present any reported sighting to their respective Local Hilal Committee.
- The decision will be made by the ‘Ulama Al-Kiraam amongst the members of the Local Hilal Committee solely on the grounds of Shar’ee Shahaadah (see #6 below). When needed, help will be sought from Muslim astronomers regarding the probability of sighting of the Hilal.
- The Central Hilal Committee will insha’Allaah help organize Hilal Committees in states where there are no existing Local Hilal Committees.
- The conditions for Shar’ee Shahaadah (Testimony according to Shari’ah) mentioned by the Fuqahaa (Jurists), are as follows:
The most important factor that must be present in all Shahaadahs (testimonies) is that the witness be a “just” person as Allah Ta’aala has mentioned it specifically in the Quran: "And take testimony from the just and honest amongst you".
- The witness must be a Muslim; a non-Muslim’s testimony is not acceptable regarding the sighting of the hilal.
- The witness must be sane; an insane person’s testimony is not acceptable.
- The witness must be an adult; a minor’s testimony is not acceptable.
- The witness must not be blind.
- The witness must be just and honest.
- The words "I testify" must be used in the testimony; without this word, the testimony will be null and void. The word "I testify" renders the meaning of "swearing under oath". Therefore, it is necessary that at the beginning of the testimonial, the witness must say that; "I testify that such incident happened in such a manner"
- The witness must be an eye witness, i.e., he or she was present in that event, and is not testifying on hearsay.
Generally for all Islamic months, but particularly for Ramadan and the two Eids, the members of the Central Hilal Sighting Committee will coordinate amongst themselves and present their unanimous decision to the Muslim masses. In order to reach the Muslim masses and for coordination purposes, the website www.hilalcommitee.org will be used.
We would like to make a passionate and heartfelt appeal to the Muslims of North America to trust the ‘Ulama Al-Kiraam and adhere to their decisions regarding the beginning and end of the blessed month of Ramadan and the correct day of Eid al Adhaa.
Central Hilal Committee