Eid-ul-Fitr is a grand festival of happiness. Muslims all over the world celebrate the festival with much fervour after the completion of the holy month of Ramzan.
For a whole month prior to Eid, Muslims fast each day and eat and drink only between sunset and sunrise. Other than in the evening and the night, Muslims refrain from taking a single drop of water – in fact, they don’t even gulp their saliva.
There's the moon? Different parts of India end up celebrating Eid on different days.
Eid is that festival when they celebrate the fact that they managed to observe rozas for a whole month and successfully abided by what Allah had asked them for.
While the whole world prepares for this one big festival in Islam, it is slightly dampened every single year in India, due to confusion over the sighting of the moon.
Islam follows the lunar cycle for its calendar, and hence both Ramzan and Eid begin with the sighting of the moon. However, with the rule of the naked sighting come its own challenges.
Every year, while Saudi Arabia, UAE, America, UK, Africa and Southeast Asia celebrate the festival of Eid on mostly the same day, the subcontinent celebrates it a day after.
It has been a usual cycle for years that Ramzan in India begins a day after it starts in Saudi Arabia, and ends a day later.
However, this is not down to any calculation – it is left to the Imams and whenever they see the moon.
This is not to argue that Imams are not competent enough, but with the world changing and all the scientific developments coming up, it is difficult to fathom why Muslims still rely on naked sighting of the moon, and do not go for precise astronomical calculations.
North America has already declared that they will not rely on moon sighting, and instead will set their calendar according to astronomical calculations. Perhaps it is time for the guardians of Islam across the world to embrace technological advancements.
Another factor that hampers the actual sighting of the moon is rising pollution.
Consider this: Delhi has been blanketed by haze and pollution for the past few days. How will one actually be able to see a thin crescent moon in such weather? Wouldn’t it be far simpler if you already knew when Eid would fall, based on the lunar cycle, and you could prepare accordingly?
We humans have been planning everything related to our life, making it simpler (or more difficult, at times) with the help of technology. Yet, for beliefs and rules that are perhaps meant to change with time, we remain rigid.
We are all aware what blind adherence to faith has done to the world. Perhaps it’s time we pay attention to the logic behind the beliefs, instead of mindlessly following them, and truly let the light behind them illuminate our lives.
Eid Mubarak to all.