Displaying items by tag: ramadhan
Navigating Differences in Moon-Sighting Criteria in Southeast Asia: A Call for Greater Cooperation and Harmonisation
The sighting of the Syawal moon has long been an important event in the Muslim calendar, marking the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid al-Fitr celebrations. However, in Southeast Asia, the practice of moon sighting for determining the start of the new month can vary greatly between countries. These differences in moon-sighting can have significant impacts on the socio-economics of the region as well as in international relations.
Moreover, differences in moon-sighting can also affect the relationships between different Muslim communities within a single country. In some cases, different regions or ethnic groups within a country may follow different moon-sighting methods or have different criteria for determining the start of the new month. This can create tensions and divisions within the Muslim community, and may even result in the marginalization of certain groups.
When the holiday falls on a different date than it does in their home country, Muslim workers may encounter difficulties getting time off from work in nations where the Muslims are minorities like in Singapore, Philippines and Thailand. The socio-economic impacts of differences in Syawal moon-sighting in Southeast Asia can be far-reaching and affect various sectors of society.
Different implementations of moon-sighting criteria is one of the main causes for differences in determining Syawal in Southeast Asia. While these differences may have cultural and historical significance, they can also create practical and logistical challenges for individuals, businesses, and governments in the region. As such, there is a need for greater cooperation and standardization in implementation of moon-sighting methods and criteria, in order to promote greater harmony and understanding among Muslims in the region.
Efforts to standardize moon-sighting criteria in Southeast Asia have been ongoing for many years, driven by the desire to promote greater unity in the region. MABIMS(Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and Singapore) criteria are a set of guidelines for visibility of the young crescent moon for determining the beginning of Islamic months based on the imkan al-rukyah method.
Imkan al-ru'yah concept combines the methods of astronomical calculation and physical moon sighting. This concept is based on scientific data and is considered valid according to Islamic jurisprudence and astronomy as long as it is consistent with moon sighting data. The criteria need to be evaluated with the development of science and technology to ensure that the Hijrah calendar compilation conforms to aspects of science and religion.
The criteria were introduced in the Istanbul Meeting for Hijri Month Determination 1978. It indicates that to consider a young crescent moon that marks the start of a month, the moon’s altitude should not be more than 5 degrees and the sun-moon elongation should not be less than 8 degree at sunset.
The criteria was later being modified by the Ministers of religion of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore (MABIMS) Meetings in 1992 which indicates that the moon’s altitude should not be more than 2 degree and the elongation of the moon-sun is not more than 3 degree at sunset or the age of the young crescent moon must not be less than 8 hours after conjunction.
Nonetheless, the imkan al-ru'yah criteria are solely employed for the months apart from Ramadan, Shawwal, and Dzulhijjah in Brunei. In contrast, the initial three months of the Islamic calendar are determined by utilizing the rukyah al-hilal method, which involves physically observing the appearance of the new young crescent moon. Malaysia started to adopt the criteria in 1995.
Experts in Shariah, astronomy, and Islamic authorities have been meeting in MABIMS countries since 2016 to discuss moon sightings and the Islamic calendar. In 2019, based on thorough analysis of moon sighting data within the countries, they agreed to use a new criterion based on analyzing moon sighting data within the country. This new imkan al-ru'yah criteria requires that the moon’s altitude to be at least 3 degrees and the sun-moon elongation to be at least 6.4 degrees at sunset on the 29th day of the Hijri month. Since 2021, MABIMS countries have been using this new criterion.
In Islam, there are two concepts related to moon sighting. Wihdah al-matali' means that the sighting of the young crescent moon in one place is valid for all places that share the same horizon, while ikhtilaf matali' means that the sighting in one place is not valid for places with different horizons. This has implications for determining Islamic months, such as Ramadan and Shawwal. Currently, there is a trend towards the unity emergence of the young crescent moon in regions under the authorities of the European Fiqh Council, North American Fiqh Council, and the Muslim Association of Canada. The aim of aligning the implementation of the new MABIMS’ criteria should be to actualize the unity emergence approach in the region.
Overall, the implications of differences in Syawal moon-sighting in Southeast Asia can be significant, and may require careful management by governments and religious authorities in the region. By prioritizing cooperation and understanding, and working towards a common understanding and criteria for determining the start of the new month, countries can help to promote greater harmony within Muslim communities and stability within the region.
Dr. Ahmad Badri bin Abdullah is the Deputy CEO of IAIS Malaysia
Dr. Raihana Abdul Wahab is a Senior Lecturer, Islamic Astronomy Programme, Department of Fiqh and Usul, Academy of Islamic Studies, University of Malaya
Nuzul Quran an incentive for Muslims to engage in prayer, supplication
QURAN (lit. a reader) is the name that occurs in the Holy Book itself (al-Qiyamah, 75:17), but the Quran also records a total of 55 names for itself, including Nur (light), Huda (guidance), Rahmah (mercy), Dhikr (reminder), Hikmah (wisdom), Kitab (book), Furqan (distinguisher), Shifaa (healing) among others.
Quran is defined as God's speech revealed to Prophet Muhammad through Archangel Gabriel in Arabic. It is the world's most widely read book, and also written about, and translated into almost all spoken languages among Muslims.
Muslims are required to read parts of the Quran in their daily prayers. Hence, every Muslim commits parts of Quran to memory, but outside the ritual prayers (salah) Muslims also read and recite the Quran and commit it to memory as acts of spiritual merit.
Imam Abu Hanifa was of the view that salah could be performed by reciting translated verses of the Quran, a view that is not, however, supported by the Hanafi school, including his two leading disciples, Abu Yusuf and al-Shaybani.
This is because the Quran itself declares that it is revealed in Arabic. Hence, it is generally held that a translation cannot be said to be the "Quran".
The Quran itself declares (97:1) that it was revealed on the Night of Honour (Laylatul Qadr, or Night of Power, as Qadr is a homonym).
Muslim scholars have, however, no less than eight different views on the timing of Nuzul al-Quran, including Ramadan 1, 17, 19, 21, 23, 27, the night of the Battle of Badr or one the middle 10 days of Ramadan. But first we look at how the Quran itself describes the Night of Honour.
The text declares that it was revealed on the Night of Honour (Laylatul Qadr ‒ henceforth LQ), which lasts from sunset to sunrise. LQ is further described as a "blessed night" (laylah mubarakah) that is better (khayrun) than one thousand months (97:1-5).
On this night, the angels and the Spirit (Archangel Gabriel) descend from on-high to the heavens above the Earth to honour the event of Nuzul al-Quran.
To say that the Quran was revealed on the Night of Honour signifies a single night. We also know from actual history that the Quran was revealed piecemeal to Prophet Muhammad in about 23 years.
This clearly signifies two separate instances of Quranic revelation: one of which occurred in a single night, when the whole of the Holy Book was revealed from an unknown place, said to be the Lawh al-Mahfuz (Preserved Tablet), and then it was sent gradually to Prophet Muhammad.
Most of the text (about 85 of the total of 114 surah) was revealed in Mecca and the rest in Medina.
The Quran does not specify the actual timing of LQ but numerous Muslim scholars have thought it to be in the last 10 days of Ramadan, most likely on the 27th night – based on reports attributed to the Companion Abdullah Ibn Abbas.
Imam Shafie has mentioned the most likely dates, however, to be either the 21st or 23rd night of Ramadan. But many leading Shafie scholars have mentioned the 27th.
Another Companion, Anas bin Malik, had reportedly said that LQ occured on the first night of Ramadan. According to another view, based on a hadith narrated by Companions Ibn Abi Arqam and Abdullah ibn Masud, LQ occured on the 17th night of Ramadan.
They have explained that the Quran was revealed on the night of the Battle of Badr, and they support this with their reading of a verse of the Quran in Surah al-Anfal (8:41).
Another view on the dating of LQ, attributed to Companion Osman ibn Abi al-Aas, and a renowned successor, Hasan al-Basri, as well as some Shafie and Maliki scholars, maintain that it occured on one of the middle 10 nights of Ramadan.
Three renowned companions, Ali ibn Abi Talib, Zayd ibn Thabit and Abdullah ibn Masud, maintain that LQ was on the 19th night of Ramadan.
The last view on the dating of LQ says that it occured in one of the last 10 nights of Ramadan but that it is not the same night every year; it may fall on different nights from year to year.
This is due to their combined reading of different hadith mentioning different dates wherein the prophet himself was reported to have observed supererogatory prayers to mark the event of LQ.
With so much variation, Muslim scholars have then concluded that God Most High has left a degree of ambiguity in the timing of LQ so as to engage the ummah in research and ijtihad in its quest.
They add further: it is somewhat like not declaring the Hour of Acceptance (sa'at al-ijabah) on Fridays as an incentive to worshippers to engage themselves in prayer and supplication.
Similar uncertainty obtains with regard to God's Greatest Name (al-Ism al-Azam) that occurs in His 99 Excellent Names (al-Asma al-Husna) but unknown which, nor is the Day of Resurrection made known so that believers are engaged in pious activities in anticipation.
Muslim scholars have even recommended that one who sees the Lalatul Qadr not to declare it.
The wisdom of this advice may be that witnessing LQ signifies piety and spiritual distinction and declaring it may mean self-commendation, not quite in line with the typical humility that characterises Islam.
Mohammad Hashim Kamali is founding chief executive officer of the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies Malaysia.
Published in: The New Straits Times, Tuesday 19 April 2022
Jangan zahirkan dosa, kesalahan pelanggaran SOP (in Bahasa Malaysia)
AJARAN Islam merupakan sebuah sistem perundangan yang lengkap dan menyeluruh, di mana setiap perbuatan yang dilakukan oleh manusia tidak akan lepas daripada penilaian hukum syarak daripada aspek halal-haram juga dosa-pahala.
Oleh itu, daripada perspektif syarak, perbuatan sengaja melanggar prosedur operasi standard (SOP) yang telah ditetapkan oleh kerajaan dalam membendung penularan pandemik Covid-19 merupakan satu dosa dan kesalahan.
Hal ini kerana perbuatan tersebut dikira sebagai mengingkari ketaatan kepada pemerintah (ulul amri) dalam perkara kebaikan, serta membuka ruang kepada penyebaran wabak yang memudaratkan.
Namun, dalam masa yang sama, Islam juga amat menitikberatkan pemeliharaan privasi dan kehormatan setiap individu. Justeru itu, Islam melarang umatnya daripada sengaja mendedahkan dosa dan kesalahan yang tersembunyi daripada pengetahuan awam.
Ia dianggap aib yang telah dilindungi oleh Allah SWT daripada diketahui orang lain, sebagai salah satu rahmat-Nya kepada manusia yang tidak lepas lari daripada kesilapan.
Memadailah kepada pelaku kesalahan tersebut untuk bertaubat dengan bersungguh-sungguh serta berazam untuk tidak mengulangi lagi dosa dan kesalahan tersebut.
Hal ini jelas sebagaimana yang telah disebutkan dalam panduan al-Qur’an dan hadis berkenaan konsep pemeliharaan aib dan privasi manusia (al-sitr) serta larangan keras daripada sengaja mendedahkan dosa dan kemungkaran yang dilakukan kepada orang ramai (al-mujaharah), apatah lagi sebaliknya berbangga-bangga dengan perbuatan tersebut.
Dalam surah al-Nisa’ ayat 148 contohnya, Allah SWT telah berfirman yang bermaksud: “Allah tidak suka kepada perkataan-perkataan buruk yang dikatakan dengan berterus-terang (untuk mendedahkan kejahatan); kecuali oleh orang yang dianiayakan…”
Begitu juga Rasulullah SAW telah memberikan ancaman keras terhadap perbuatan al-mujaharah ini: “Sesungguhnya kesemua ummatku akan diampunkan, kecuali golongan yang sengaja menzahirkan perbuatan jahat mereka (al-mujaharin), sesungguhnya perbuatan al-mujaharah itu adalah apabila seseorang melakukan suatu kejahatan pada waktu malam, kemudian apabila tiba waktu pagi dan Allah telah menutupi kejahatannya itu, dia mengatakan kepada orang lain: Wahai si fulan! Ketahuilah sesungguhnya semalam aku telah melakukan itu dan ini…” (HR al-Bukhari, 6069).
Oleh yang demikian, kita dapati pada hari ini terdapat golongan yang telah melakukan pelanggaran SOP pencegahan wabak Covid-19 seperti tidak memakai pelitup muka dan mengamalkan penjarakan sosial, serta menyalahgunakan kebenaran merentas negeri.
Tidak cukup setakat itu, sesetengah daripada mereka ini malah tanpa segan silu dan bermegah-megahan mendedahkan perbuatan tersebut kepada khalayak ramai, seperti dengan memuatnaik gambar-gambar berkenaan ke media sosial dan sebagainya.
Hal ini merupakan satu fenomena yang amat mendukacitakan serta jelas bertentangan dengan petunjuk syarak berkenaan konsep al-sitr dan larangan melakukan al-mujaharah sebagaimana yang telah dinyatakan.
Tambah memburukkan keadaan, apabila perbuatan ini dilakukan oleh figura awam dan orang kenamaan seperti selebriti, ‘influencer’, dan tokoh pemimpin yang mempunyai kedudukan yang tinggi serta terpandang dalam kalangan masyarakat.
Perbuatan mereka yang melakukan kesalahan pelanggaran SOP, terlepas daripada sebarang tindakan, dan kemudiannya berbangga-bangga menayangkan kepada awam telah menimbulkan kegelisahan dan kemarahan dalam kalangan masyarakat yang mula mempersoalkan tindakan pilih kasih ini serta undang-undang yang disifatkan sebagai berat sebelah.
Justeru, Islam memandang serius akan bahaya implikasi daripada perbuatan menzahirkan dosa dan kesalahan secara terang-terangan ini. Apabila seseorang dengan sengaja mendedahkan kesalahan yang dilakukannya kepada awam, dia telah dianggap melakukan satu kesalahan yang lain pula, iaitu kesalahan al-mujaharah.
Kesalahan ini perlu diambil tindakan oleh pemerintah sebagaimana yang telah dibincangkan oleh para ulama di bawah peruntukan takzir. Bahkan dalam banyak keadaan, perbuatan al-mujaharah itu sendiri dianggap sebagai jenayah yang lebih berat berbanding perbuatan dosa yang dilakukan.
Ini kerana, perbuatan berbangga-bangga dan mendedahkan kesalahan yang dilakukan kepada orang ramai ini dianggap sebagai satu penghinaan dan perlecehan terhadap seluruh sistem perundangan itu sendiri.
Ini kerana undang-undang yang sewajarnya dihormati dan dipatuhi sebaliknya telah diperlekehkan apabila mereka yang terlepas daripadanya malah dengan bebas menayangkan perbuatan tersebut ke khalayak ramai.
Begitu juga tindakan ini dapat menimbulkan kegelisahan dalam kalangan masyarakat awam yang melihat perbuatan al-mujaharah yang berleluasa ini sebagai suatu simbol kegagalan undang-undang daripada dilaksanakan secara adil dan saksama kepada semua golongan tanpa sebarang pilih bulu.
Hal ini seterusnya dapat menyebabkan kemudaratan yang lebih besar, apabila masyarakat mula memandang enteng terhadap keperluan untuk mematuhi undang-undang yang dilihat berat sebelah ini sehingga menyebabkan keruntuhan sistem perundangan itu sendiri.
Sebagai kesimpulannya, kita sewajarnya berusaha bersungguh-sungguh untuk mematuhi undang-undang dan ketetapan yang telah dibuat oleh pihak kerajaan yang bertujuan untuk kebaikan dan kemaslahatan bersama, apatah lagi dalam situasi pandemik Covid-19 ini.
Namun begitu, seandainya kita terkhilaf dengan melakukan kesalahan seperti pelanggaran SOP, usahlah kita sengaja menzahirkan perbuatan tersebut di khalayak. Sebaliknya, kita wajar bersyukur aib kita tersebut telah dilindungi Allah SWT dan menginsafinya dengan cara bertaubat dan berusaha untuk tidak mengulanginya lagi.
Dalam masa yang sama, pihak berkuasa perlu memandang serius gejala menzahirkan pengingkaran undang-undang ini, apatah lagi jika ia dilakukan oleh orang kenamaan. Ini kerana perbuatan ini merupakan satu tindakan mencabar kedaulatan undang-undang di negara kita ini, serta mengancam untuk menggagalkan usaha keras pihak kerajaan dalam membendung penularan wabak Covid-19 ini.
Konsep Tauhid & Ibadah Puasa Para Nabi Sepanjang Zaman
Introducing Children to Ramadhan
Holy Month of Ramadan: Time for reflection and self-discovery
We are fortunate to yet again celebrate the coming of another month of self-reflection.
While we cleanse our bodies, free our minds and hearts from sins, and enrich our spirits with prayer and good deeds through the ritual of fasting, I’d also like to take this opportunity to share new angles, perhaps seldom discussed among us — in the spirit of self-reflection.
In order to do this, let us look back at history.
The battles of Badr and Tabuk were fought in 629 and 634 AD, respectively — interestingly both took place in the month of Ramadan.
The success in the battle of Badr, particularly, stamped the Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) position as an important figure within the region, paving the way for more successes for Muslims in the next few years. Furthermore, Ramadan also saw the peaceful conquest of Makkah by the Prophet, circa 630 AD.
Clearly, some of the most significant events in Islamic history was achieved in a time of fasting.
From the perspective of basic human needs, the prohibition of food and water intake is seen as a disadvantage to those who are fasting. We also tend to develop a sense of empathy for the fasting person, out of respect for such as “demanding” practice.
At the same time, the practising person may also seem entitled to certain “rights”, such as reduced workload and designated time in preparation of the daily breaking of the fast.
While it is common practice out of respect for the holy month, we must also be aware that the we are fortunate to have such a choice — to slow down during the fasting month.
History shows that is never a choice granted for everyone.
Which is why, in self-reflection, we should never take our fasting as an excuse of disadvantage, or as a given right to reduce our own burdens.
In fact, for many of us in this country, we have always had the luxury of the choice mentioned above. It is for this reason, Ramadan presents us with opportunities to strengthen our of humility values and to help others.
It is a clear and noble principle for those who are privileged to always help those who are less fortunate. This help may not only be monetary, but most importantly, it should be done to bring opportunities to those who need them. The act of giving zakat fitrah enshrines this — although it is a small token equivalent to two bushels of rice, it is mandatory on those who are able, male or female.
On top of the zakat paid, there are many ways for us to help the unfortunate. If you don’t have money to spare, teach someone a new skill, give away things you may not need — in some way or another it will help someone.
In conclusion, while we take in the daytime hunger and thirst during Ramadan, always remember that there are those who face this hunger and thirst throughout the day and around the year.
Also, remember that for some, this hunger and thirst was not an excuse to execute strategies and plans that changed their destinies to achieve great success.
This Ramadan, let us again take a step back with patience, open mindedness and a willingness to change. Let us also reflect on how, as a nation, we can achieve higher levels of success and remain competitive in a world, where values and virtue can easily be eroded due to the nature of competition.
“We do not learn from experience, but we learn from reflecting on experience.”
The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute.
Published in: The New Straits Times, 9 May 2019.
New research shows Ramadan regenerates the body
On June 18, more than 1.5 billion Muslims around the world will begin to observe Ramadhan. For Muslims fasting is a religious obligation (al-Qur’an 2:183), it being the fourth pillar of Islam. Yet fasting is also an excellent “weight control” strategy. The key point is not “weight loss” but rather “weight control”. While those who fast admit they lose some weight during Ramadhan, few have actually considered its real medical merits, nor its significance as a “weight control” mechanism, nor its value as a “behavior modifier”, nor even its virtues to “fine tune and tone” the human body and its various systems. All these benefits, as well its spiritual advantages, were understood by the bygone Prophets...................Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)