The goal of the Islamic Computational Astronomy Network (ICAN) is to

:
• Set up a single, global standard for the Islamic calendar based on:
– Islamic requirements – Astronomical facts

Our Goal

Results: • The entire Islamic world can establish a uniform global Hijri calendar • Muslims everywhere in the world have the same Hijri dates (not two or three)
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The Format of the Talk
• The talk will be broken down into three parts: • PART 1: CALENDARS
– How a calendar is made – How Muslims fixed their calendar – Question and answer session

• PART 2: THE MOON
– How the moon is sighted – Question and answer session

• PART 3: A NEW GLOBAL CALENDAR STANDARD
– A new proposed global standard – Question and answer session
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Part 1 - Calendars
Muslims in North America follow THREE Hijri Calendars
- Calendars from ME countries. - Moon SEEN anywhere in 48 contiguous states - “Locally” visible moon (CT Council of Masajid)

Muslims started Ramadan 2005 on four solar days/dates (instead of one lunar day/date).
Oct. 3 Monday: Nigeria (some Sunday, Oct. 2 also) Oct. 4 Tuesday: S. Arabia, M East, followers of Saudi dates) Oct. 5 Wed.: Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Turkey, Africa, Europe, Americas Oct. 6 Thurs.: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Central Asia

Eid al-Fitr 2005 was celebrated on four different days/dates:
Nov. 2 Wed: Nigeria, Libya Nov. 3 Thurs.: S. Arabia, M East, Indonesia, EU, USA (ISNA) Nov. 4 Friday: S. Africa, UK, Canada, USA, India, Pakistan Nov. 5 Saturday: Northern India, etc.

Why this chaos?

Muslims do not agree on when to begin an Islamic month.
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Calendar – Making Options
• • You can make a calendar by using the sun or the moon People have used different methods to make either calendar for thousands of years The Islamic calendar is lunar, unlike the solar calendar Lunar calendars • Babylonian • Jewish • Hindu • Chinese • Islamic

• •

• The New Moon time and date could be fairly accurately calculated for more than 2000 years. • None of the lunar calendars starts from the New Moon (Conjunction)

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Two Major Challenges
a. Accurately predicting moon’s earliest visibility b. Uniform global fixed dates of Hijri Calendar

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Calendars are Global, not Tri-Zonal

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Why Muslim Dates Are a Mess?

• • • •

Some start Ramadan;
By a visible moon (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Morocco, S. Africa) From the Moonset after the sunset (Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the M. East) On the New Moon date (Libya, Tunis, etc.) Moon’s fixed elongation or altitude (Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, etc.)

Only dates based on the ‘earliest visible moon at sunset’ fulfill the Shariah requirements. Do we have to see the Hilal to start and end Ramadan and other months? YES.
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Lunar Calendar
• A lunar calendar depends on the moon’s phases • Earlier, you could not predict exactly when and where a moon would be seen • Now we can do this with modern computers • Before the modern communication age, people observed their lunar calendars locally. It was not possible to coordinate between towns, countries and continents • If it was cloudy, people couldn’t see the moon. They had to complete 30 days though the moon was seen in the nearby town CONCLUSION: – The old ways of calendar-making, where every village and town observed its own dates, is no longer correct. Tri-zonal or bi-zonal calendars are equally invalid. visit www.islamicmoon.com

QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION

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Part 2

- Qur’an: Hilal is Miqaat

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Hilal and Not the New Moon

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Ittihad vs. Ikhtilaf al-Matali

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Lunar Calculation is Fine

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Moon-Sighting Controversies

------

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Moon-Sighting Involves Two Parts
• There are two parts to moon-sighting
– How the moon revolves around the Earth – How, when, and where people on the ground see the moon

Moon Basics
• The moon revolves around the earth (need an animatic to show this) • As the moon moves around the earth, its phases change from the new moon to full moon and back to new moon
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Computed New Moons for 2000-2019

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Data for Ramadan 1427

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Moon’s Rotation Around Earth

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Sidereal & Synodic (Conjunction) Month
• The moon rotates around Earth • Sidereal rotation takes 27 Days, 7 Hrs, 43 Mins, 11.6 Sec • Synodic month (Conjunction to Conjunction) is 29 Days, 12 Hrs, 44 Mins, 2.9 Sec • The moon is not visible on the conjunction date

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This is the New Moon (Geocentric Conjunction)
• Arabic term for the conjunction phase of the moon is not “Hilal” but “al-Qamar al-Mawlid” (new born-moon) • Hilal (plural Ahilla) is the earliest visible waxing crescent moon after “Mahaaq” • “Mahaaq” are the dark nights between two lunar months when the moon is hidden for observers from the surface of the earth. • The New Moon (Geocentric conjunction) could not begin a lunar month because: – The New Moon occurs at all times of day and night. – A date has to start always from a fixed point of time. – Every month the New Moon occurs at a different point on the globe

New Moon

Hilal

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A NASA Photograph at the New Moon Phase

• The infra-red scan of the moon at the conjunction shows a full black moon with no crescent

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This is the Islamic New Moon (Hilal)
• Hilal (plural: Ahilla) is the visible waxing crescent moon of the first two or three days. • The term is derived from the root “Halla” to ‘raise voice at the first sight of the waxing crescent moon

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Moon’s Paths in Various Months
• From different locations on Earth in different seasons, the crescent moon appears of a different shape and at different heights. • If the moon is not seen on the 29th evening then on the next day it appears 24 hrs. bigger,12 degrees higher and brighter. It stays in the sky 52 min. longer too. • It does not mean the moon could be seen in the previous evening.

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Fixing Dates of Ramadan and Eidain
• Islamic dates are not fixed because Islamic month may be 29 or 30 days long • Islamic day and date begin at sunset after a moon is seen • The earliest visible moon can now easily be computed for any point on Earth • Earliest visibility may be by naked eye or binoculars followed by naked eye or telescope followed by binoculars or telescope only

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The New Moon or Hilal?
The New Moon (Geocentric conjunction) cannot begin a lunar month (as Qaradawi, Shakir and others believe) because: • The New Moon occurs at all times of day and night. (A date must always start from a fixed point of time) • Every month the New Moon occurs at a different point on the globe A rotating dateline and floating time made the New Moon useless for any lunar calendar

The Qur’an, the Sunnah and Fiqh make the earliest visible waxing crescent moon (Hilal) the fixed point (Miqaat) to begin an Islamic month: (2:189) Can we accurately predict moon’s earliest visibility? • Yes. For any region, though not for every village on the Earth) • Visibility should be consistently verified by naked-eye sighting

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How Astronomers Compute Visibility
• The Moon’s earliest visibility is no longer a scientific inquiry, and there is no scientific ‘test’ to prove or disprove a sighting claim. So how to determine the first date of an Islamic month? Since ancient times, astronomers have tried to predict the likelihood of seeing the waxing moon by defining minimum visibility criteria. Monzur’s MoonCalc currently supports 13 such criteria.
* Babylonian.................... [Age at sunset>24hrs & Lag>48 min.] * Fotheringham (1910) [Alt, Rel Azi] * Maunder....... (1911) [Alt, Rel Azi] * Indian/Schoch.......... [Alt, Rel Azi] * Bruin ........... (1977) [Alt, Crescent width: 0.5 modified to 0.25 min. * Ilyas_A........ (1984) [Alt, Elong] * Ilyas_B modified Babylonian [Lag:41-49 min for 0-40 degrees Latitude] * Ilyas_C........ (1988) [Alt, Rel Azi] * RGO/CFCO (1981) [Alt=10 degrees at sunset, Elong:12+/-] * SAfrican Astro Obs [Topocenteric Alt, Rel Azi] * Shaukat........ (?) [Alt:3.4, Elong: 12.7+ Crescent width: arcmin /1.2)>1] * Yallop …. (1997/8) [Rel Alt, Crescent Width]

• • • • • • • • • • • •

This criterion was developed from the Indian and Bruin criteria by Yallop (RGO) from 295 published moon (non)sightings compiled by Schaefer and Doggett. A parameter 'q' is derived from the relative geocentric altitude of the moon (ARCV) and topocentric crescent width. In the original technical note byYallop, q was derived at 'best time' (ie sunset + * moonset lag).
Criterion
A B C D E F


• • • • •

q Range

Remarks
Crescent easily visible (*Not always) Crescent visible under perfect conditions Need optical aid to find crescent Optical aid only Crescent not visible with telescope Crescent not visible, below the Danjon limit of 7 degrees elongation

q > +0.216 +0.216 >= q > -0.014 - 0.014 >= q > -0.016 -0.016 >= q > -0.232 -0.232 >= q > -0.293 -0.293 >= q

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Earliest Visibility
• How to verify the earliest visibility claim? Some 16-20 hours old moons Some 20-24 hours old moons Some 24-30 hours old moons 2 days old moon
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• • • •

Tricky Part: Observing the Moon
• The easy part is to understand how the moon works • The tricky part is how people actually observe it from the surface of the earth: – How old a moon has to be before the human eye can see it – If the sky is clear, why will some people see it and others will not – Where it is cloudy or hazy, no one will see it

We can now predict where it will be seen, and when
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Moon Visibility
• In order to be seen, the moon must be approx. 20 hours old or more; • 12 degrees away from the sun; and • 10 degrees above the horizon (Keep in mind that it will not always be seen, and not everywhere even if these conditions are met) • The moon is seen on earth starting at point Y and its visibility extends westward in a parabola • Each month, the moon is observed from a different place as the visibility maps show • Earliest point of observation is not repeated for hundreds of years
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Moon-Sighting Historically
• The ancients had no way of predicting moon’s earliest visibility accurately. So the older lunar calendars such as the Chinese, Indian, etc. used computational tables to check the actual observation of the moon each month

In the Muslim World
The month was fixed by: -Watching the new moon each month, or - Official government or Islamic body proclamation or - Other options: (fixed calendars, month alternating 29 and 30 days) visit www.islamicmoon.com

Moon-Sighting Challenges
• Computational modeling predicts when and where the moon will be visible first, but • If you go by visibility, then you face several hurdles: 1. Sighting starts from a new point each month

(This means that in one month Chicago may see the Hilal, but people 30 miles east of Chicago will not. Does this mean that both communities should observe separate Hijri calendars even though they are only 30 miles apart? This was quite common until the 1950’s.) • The answer is NO
• You need to build a uniform calendar based on Shariah and Geodesic rules
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Every Lunar Month is 29 and 30 Days Long

Ramadan started on Nov. 5 2002 at a different point on Earth than Shawwal on Dec. 4 2002. This makes Ramadan 29 days long for the Americas and 30 days long for the rest of the world.
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Earliest Visibility-Based Lunar Calendars
• Earliest visibility starts from a different point on Earth each month, as we see here • Only W. Africa and the Americas could see Safar Moon on 2/28/06. The rest of the world saw it on 2/29/06 • Visibility separator curve requires adjustments for political boundaries (Canada with the USA, etc.) • Extending visibility to areas outside visibility separator curve (UK on Morocco, Europe on Saudi Arabia, or S. Africa)

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QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION

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PART 3 - Global Islamic Calendar
• Islamic lunar month is no less than 29 and no more that 30 days long (Hadith: Al-Shahru haakadha wa haakadha…) • Locally, the Islamic month starts from sunset when the crescent moon is first observed and continues until a moon is seen again after 29 or 30 days • A consistently west-moving dateline based on the moon’s earliest visibility means: - Islamic month starts from a different point on Earth - Every month is 30 days long for some regions and 29 days for the rest
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Modern Astronomical Computations
• MoonCalc. formalized various visibility criteria • A ‘strictly visibility-based’ criterion has several drawbacks: a. Visibility is ‘local’ and not ‘global’. Towns only a few miles apart, even parts of a mega city might see moon on two different days. b. Atmospheric conditions hinder moon’s visibility c. Observers mistakes and illusions (Visibility reports collected from 1900- contain unreliable claims. d. Moon watches arranged in 1990s did not produce reliable data. e. Many moon observers now compete to break the old ‘records.’ There is no scientific test to prove or disprove a claimed sighting to be valid (i.e.: Nov. 2, 2005)
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(MoonCalc)

Global Lunar Calendar Standards
• Muslim astronomical computations for Global Hijri calendar:
• Abdali (1978)First serious attempt to calculate the predicted dates of global lunar visibility. • Minai (1980-81) Detailed analysis of issues involved in global Islamic lunar calendar • Charles Evans (1960-) Photographic images of the earliest visible crescent moons • Afzal (1986) Proposal for computing a global Islamic lunar calendar based on the moon’s visibility around 180E • Imad (1986) First suggestion to make Makkah the starting point of an Islamic date • Ilyas (1986) suggested “Probability of moon’s earliest visibility” for tri-zonal and bi-zonal Hijri calendars • Turkish ( )
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Reference Articles on Moon’s Visibility
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Ashbrook, J. 1984 Astronomical scrapbook, Sky Pub. Co. Cambridge. M.A. Bruin, Frans. 1977 The First Visibility of the Lunar Crescent, Vistas in Astronomy. V. 21, pp. 331-358 (1977). Caldwell, John A.R. 1999. First Visibility of the Lunar Crescent. South African Astronomical Observatory. Doggett, L. E. 1994 “Lunar Crescent Visibility” ICARUS (v.107: p388-403) Dershowitz N. & E.M. Reingold 1997 Calendrical Calculations. Cambridge University Press, New York. Fatoohi, Louay J et al. 1998. The Danjon Limit of First Visibility of the Lunar Crescent. V. 118. Loewinger, Y. 1995. Some Comments on the Article of Dr. B.E. Schaefer… Q.J.R. Astro Soc. Odeh S.M. 1999. Taqweem Nasb al-Khata Fi Tahdeed Awail al-Ashhur al-Hijriya. Qasum et. al 1997 Ithbat al-Shuhur al-Hilaliyah wa mushkilat al-Tawqit al-Islami. Dar alTaliyah, Beirut. RGO Astronomical Information Sheets 1987-2005 Schaefer, Bradley E. 1988. Visibility of the Lunar Crescent. Q.J.R. Astro. Soc Schaefer, Bradley E. 1991. Length of the Lunar Crescent. Q.J.R. Astro Soc. Schaefer et. al 1993 “Records of young Moon sightings” Q.J.R. Astr. Soc. (v.34:pp.53-56) Schaefer, B. E. 1993 “Astronomy and the Limits of Vision” Vistas of Astronomy (v.36,pp. 311361) Schaefer, Bradley E. 1996. Lunar Crescent Visibility. Q.J.R. Astro Soc. Taqweem min 1409 hatta 1440 1408 Madina al-Malik Abd-Aziz lil-Ulum wa al-Taqniya Riyadh

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Technical Standards for a Lunar Calendar
• The only way to build a workable global Hijri calendar is to fix: • A fixed Lunar dateline • A standard method to calculate the start/end of every lunar month at the lunar dateline

Social Standards for a Lunar Calendar
• Compliant with Islamic law • Predictable and computable • Easily observed • Easily verifiable • Easily understood • Sensible enough to be followed all over the world
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Lunar Dateline
• Why International Dateline (Solar)?
Two ships only 50 yards apart on the two sides of IDL have different dates
Proposed Lunar International Dateline

• Why International Lunar Date Line?
For fixed Hijri dates

• Why ILDL cannot be at Makkah?
Regions east of Makkah even Taif would have a different date

• Islamic date/day (from 180 E 180 W local sunset) • Global Islamic date from 180E (ILDL) • The moon will be visible International Dateline (Solar) somewhere around 180E but not everywhere the same evening visit www.islamicmoon.com

Monday Sunday

Global Lunar Islamic Calendar
Saudi dates for 1427-1435 (Moonset after the sunset in Makka)

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Global Lunar Calendar (Based on Visibility Around 180E)

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Islamic Computational Astronomical Network (ICAN)
- Hijri calendars - Global Prayers schedules - Global Qibla directions - Misc.

ICAN

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Committee for Crescent Observations Intl (CFCO)
The Committee for Crescent Observation International (CFCO) is now part of ICAN, an independent group of experts in the astronomy of moon’s visibility, and lunar Islamic calendar. CFCO have been helping the Muslims all over the world since 1978 by accurately predicting the moon’s earliest visibility in the USA and other regions of the world. We provide the ‘Dual solar/lunar dates’ calendar, and the data to observe the crescent moon (Hilal) for any place. CFCO helps Muslims fast and celebrate Eidain on correct dates CFCO experts makes sure that the Ramadan and Eidain dates are fixed according to the observable Hilal of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. We collect sighting claims from all over the world each month, evaluate them by set visibility standards, and publish our findings regularly. CFCO’s criterion is the “earliest verifiable visibility of the crescent moon somewhere (in North America)”. Islamic day/date/month begins from a clearly “visible” crescent moon after sunset on day 29 or day 30 of the lunation. If a moon is not seen consistently then odd claims do not fulfill Shariah requirements of “Ghalabat-az-Zann” (overwhelming probability) for Ramadan and “Ghalabatal-yaqeen” (near certainty) for Eidain.
How to be part of CFCO? Support CFCO

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Summary of Explanation
• • • • • • • • • • • This is about making a calendar – you can make one using the sun or the moon People have used different methods to make either calendar for thousands of years A lunar calendar works the following way: show with pictures It used to be that you couldn’t exactly predict when it can be seen, now you can Before modern telecommunications, people used to observe their lunar calendars in a local fashion, and it was not possible to coordinate between countries and continents Now we have a challenge: TO OBSERVE ONE GLOBAL LUNAR CALENDAR STANDARD This standard must be: easily observed, easily verifiable, easily understood, and sensible enough that it can be followed all over the world There are two parts to an Islamic lunar calendar: how the moon behaves, and how people on the ground organize their calendar based on its movements The movement of the moon can be tracked scientifically, and through the use of computers we can predict this That is the easy part The tricky part is how people actually observe it on earth – – there is the issue of how old a moon has to be before the human eye can see it, – Where the sky is clear, some people will see it and some people will not – Where it is cloudy, no one will see it – We can now predict where it will be seen, and when First big challenge: agreeing that we can predict when and where the moon is sighted (and this should always be verified by eyesight, this is not just a computer model) Second big challenge: making a calendar out of this – Once you have a set of lunar times, to build a workable calendar you need: • A standard dateline • A standard method to calculate the start/end of the month • A method to make the calendar consistent and useful

• •

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5 Ways to a Great Presentation
Communication is very important in today’s world. What and how we deliver our information can be the difference between success and failure. Here are few tips that guarantee a great presentation.

1. SLOW DOWN: Speaking quickly means sacrificing clarity and may turn off your listeners. Make good eye contact, breath more frequently and pause between new ideas. 2. ORGANIZE your information: Tell your audience what you’re going to tell them. Discuss your ideas. Talking about your ideas help you chose appropriate medium. 3. RECOGNOZE your limitations: You will never deliver everything you know. We assimilate only 3 to 5 points of new information during a presentation. Be selective of your information based on your audience and their needs. 4. PREPARE and PRACTICE: Outline your information, and practice the sequence within the time limits. The words you speak in your head sound quite different when you speak them loud. Discuss the logic behind your ideas. 5. BE Yourself: Don’t try to be or say what someone else wants you to be or hear, regardless of the truth. Bring your unique qualities to your presentation.
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QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSION

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