So the holy month of Ramadan is on the doorstep, starting tomorrow or the day after, depending on whether they see the crescent today or not.
Now, just this once, I want to get this whole crescent thing off my chest because it’s bugging the hell out of me!
Every year, religious insititutions in all Muslim countries go out and start looking out for the crescent that marks the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan. But of course, they won’t all be able to see the crescent from all over the world on the same day, and we end up with Muslim countries starting the month on different days and ending it on different days too.
Ramadan should start and end on the same day for all Muslims, I think it’s wrong the way things are going now.
Some people suggest we all follow Saudi Arabia, and some others think that if one country declares it has seen the crescent then all countries should declare the beginning of Ramadan.
But then second thoughts, politics, international relations get in the way of those ideas.
I personally think the solution would be for all Muslim countries to get behind one International Muslim Institution, that has among its duties the watch for the crescent in all Muslim countries and declaring Ramadan for the whole world.
Such an institution would have members from all over the Muslim world, and also serve as a central for Muslim scholars to debate and issue religious decrees (Fatwas) for the whole Muslim world, avoiding having scattered scholars issuing different and conflicting decrees on their own.
This would also eliminate the risk of having rogue self-claimed scholars issuing decrees for their own benefits and influencing Muslim youth.
Of course, Muslim countries’ adherence to Islam varies and so a decree that would be accepted in one country might not be in the other, but that’s politics not religion.
In the end, and when it comes to religious matters in our time, I think that it’s important to have one centralized source. Whether the country chooses to apply the decree or not is something else, but the source should be one.
This post turned out something a lot different from what I had in mind when I started writing it, but well that’s the beauty of writing I guess. you start somewhere and end up somewhere else.
Anyway, this is my opinion, maybe a bit optimistic or even unrealistic, but well we can still dream.
Anyway, I’ll be tuning in to the news today to see the Mufti (Head scholar) of Tunisia announce whether Ramadan starts tomorrow or the day after.
In either case, Ramadan Mubarak to everyone. May it be a happy and blessed month for you all.
Update: Ramadan in Tunisia starts on Wednesday, and started on Tuesday for most other countries.