Karima Foundation

 
 
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In the name of Allah, all praise is due to Allah (Most High); salutations and blessings be upon the Messenger, his family and companions.

Building Bridges and Facilitating Dialogue in the Moonsighting Issue

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Context
Another Ramadan has passed, and as expected has brought with it the disputes arising from the following of the Saudi moonsighting reports.  This year's Ramadan started off relatively peacefully but was concluded with much anger and finger pointing; not least due to the false reports circulated regarding a Saudi government retraction over the sighting of the moon. 

A cause of concern was the absence of an attempt to verify these now debunked reports on the part of prominent scholars in the "anti -Saudi" moonsighting camp. On the other hand equally disturbing were the insults hurled on some forums at those Muslims who did not follow the Saudi sighting but rather relied upon local sightings to determine the day of Eid.  Both of these extremes of the spectrum were anecdotally observed by us, but were symptomatic of a pattern which has emerged annually and currently shows little sign of abating.

Building Bridges and Facilitating Dialogue
The Karima al-Marwaziyya Foundation has been extremely fortunate to be able to build links and work on educational projects with some Saudi based Hanafi scholars over the past 5 years.  We are pleased to announce that these links which have been forged have allowed us to raise this contentious issue with scholarly contacts within Saudi Arabia.  An attempt has also been made in the past to encourage UK scholars from the "anti-Saudi" moonsighting camp to engage in dialogue and discussion with a Saudi jurist of Hanafi fiqh.  Although these invitations have not been answered adequately by the scholars who were approached we have still persisted with this project and feel it necessary to inform the general public of developments.  As the vast majority of the Muslims of the UK follow the Hanafi school we felt it pertinent to liaise with a Saudi jurist who is expert in the Hanafi school who would be able to understand the concerns of UK scholars in a comprehensive manner.

Feeding Forward
The above summary will be expanded upon insh-Allah in the near future along with further details and rationale for approaches taken.  Our next steps to build bridges and facilitating dialogue will be the visit to the UK of the main Saudi scholar we are liasing with; to enable him to understand concerns of all parties and help move the current discussion from fiery sermons and heated outbursts on television shows to a constructive solution to this issue insh-Allah. 

Through Allah (Most High) all good things are facilitated and completed.

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Published in Fiqh