`Eid ul-Fitr 1435: Joy and Lessons Learned in 30 Days

Figure 1A: the Hanfia Mosque in Bradford. The site of a grizzly and disturbing act of violence between people who all answer to the name "Sunni" and "Muslim."

Figure 1A: the Hanfia Mosque in Bradford. The site of a grizzly and disturbing act of violence between people who all answer to the name “Sunni” and “Muslim.”

As was our habit, we went out to site the moon on Sunday 29 Ramadan 1435. We broke our fast on a local hillock and waited. After this, we then attempted to make contact with someone in Morocco to know if the moon had been cited in the desert, the mountains or the cities.

When we found that this had not happened, we understood that `Eid would be on Tuesday.

We had done our job to the best of our ability. Nothing more could be done. The best that someone could do was the Sunnah of sighting the moon in order to determine when Ramadan is to begin and end.

The abandonment of the Sunnah always leads to more severe consequences in the long run. One might believe that they have escaped from the Revealed Law and the Holy Lord that revealed it, but this is a fleeting and false belief.

This was especially evident recently in an article in which the following was stated:

Last night the committee of the Bradford Hanfia mosque had a meeting to decide when they were going to celebrate Eid. All 12 members were present plus a large audience consisting of a hundred strong local residents who eagerly waited for a decision.

Things got quite heated when 6 decided it was today and the other 6 members said it was Tuesday. Subsequently the argument got quite loud and vigorous resulting into a fight breaking out. Chairs and tables were used as weapons like they use at a WWF wrestling matches.

Several serious injuries were sustained with ALL the committee ending up in the Accident and Emergency ward in hospital. The police cordoned off the mosque whilst evidence was collected.

The result of this was today this was a crime scene hence hence nobody could read their Eid prayers.

A careful read of the article, which was released just after Sunday, shows that the people involved had not met to go and sight the moon as is mentioned in the Revealed Law. Rather, they met to decide on their terms when they would be celebrating `Eid. The catastrophic consequences then played out in front of all those present.
The end result is that the masjid, due to it now being a crime scene, has been closed by the police for further notice while investigations continue. The twelve man committee will be spending their `Eid in the hospital.

There will be no `Eid (Monday or Tuesday), five daily prayers and possibly Jumu`ah while the police piece together the entire chain of events and establish the burden of proof against those who are suspected.

Figure 1B: A Masjid as a crime scene. Only time will tell what type of trauma this will have on the wider community of Muslims.

Figure 1B: A Masjid as a crime scene. Only time will tell what type of trauma this will have on the wider community of Muslims.

Excited children, women and young men will be turned away when attempting to enter the masjid. They will have to attend somewhere nearby as an alternative. Muslims will witness yellow police tape around a house of worship emblazoned with the words: POLICE LINE…DO NOT CROSS.

One examining such a story might at first laugh, but then fall into sadness. Something so simple in the Revealed Law has been left. In the course of substituting it with something inferior (the opposite of sighting), this has led to the injury of countless people, the entrance of police into a private institution, the besmirching of the names, institutions and people of Islam and a general sense of unease in the Slaves of Allah.

 

Figure 2A: It took police to bring order in an area built to bring tranquility and resolve disputes. By returning to the Sunnah, Allah will return the tranquility to us. Until then, this lessons will only be more severe.

Figure 2A: It took police to bring order in an area built to bring tranquility and resolve disputes. By returning to the Sunnah, Allah will return the tranquility to us. Until then, this lessons will only be more severe.

My hope is that out of this terrifying and saddening event, those involved will have time to reflect. Maybe they will consider how to return to the Sunnah of sighting the moon and realise that this will solve most of the differing and put them on a firm footing.

I indeed hope that those injured, while reflecting on their time spend in the hospital and the possible court date to come, will remember the words of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, when he said of the crescent moon, “Fast when you see it and break fast when you see it.”

And with Allah is every success,

And may everyone have a blessed `Eid and may Allah accept our fasting and the Zakah that we gave to compensate the wealth that we earned.

Al-Hajj Abu Ja`far Al-Hanbali

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