From the news desk

SA votes to keep moon sighting tradition

A South African delegation attended an International Hijri Calendar Unity Conference hosted by the Presidency of Religious Affairs of Turkey. The conference which was held in Istanbul between the 28th and 30th May 2016, brought together Islamic scholars, astronomical experts, technocrats and community leaders.

The conference was a culmination of many years of research with hosts and collaborating organizers envisaging a process towards the unity of the Ummah, through the adoption of a universal Islamic calendar.

Papers submitted to the conference dealt with aspects such as the definition of sighting from scientific and Islamic point of view; actual or possibility of sighting; the use of optical instruments in moon-sighting, and the adoption of global zones.

From the proceedings, two views emerged in considering the planetary globe as either one zone or demarcating it into the eastern and western hemispheres, said Maulana Ebrahim Bham from the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa.

The conference deliberated and resolved to strive towards achieving one global zone. A non-binding vote for a resolution was made in order to adopt a number of global zones.

“The South African delegation voted not to adopt any of these global zoning options, preferring not to change any of the current moon-sighting arrangements, in our country,” he said.

The South Africa delegation had put it to the conference that for decades, it has been possible to seek sighting of the moon in the determination of Islamic months.

A procedure for moon-sighting adopted by South African Ulama bodies alongside moon-sighting groups is operational and has brought about unity among the Muslims in the country.




  1. We,as Cape Muslims the are best Muslims in the world according to the MJC.
    Also the moonsighting is an Cape Muslim culture as the Tweede Nuwe Jaar.The new moon sighting in Cape Town is an MJCHT and Azzavia event.The whole Islamic world must go to hell as we are going to have two Eids for Ramadhan and three for Eid ul Adha with the moon sighting and those without.

  2. I would like to know how did the SA delegation get to Turkey? Using Camels? Or did they use the logical mode of transport which has evolved…an airplane?
    “Görmez said there has been a misconception or disregard for scientific facts in the Islamic world. “In this day and age, when people can travel to the moon and observe the movements of sun and moon second by second, in this age of major scientific developments, it was wrong to disregard these developments and insist on observing the new moon with the naked eye by climbing

    up mountains. God and the prophet tell us to acquire knowledge and use it.”

  3. I don’t understand why South Africa would refuse this opportunity to unite as Muslims with the world. The world has evolved, technology has evolved. Why still follow traditions, when it is just that a tradition not a sunnah. May Allah grant that this matter is resolved soon, that we as Muslims have a global Ramadan and eid and may Allah guide us all inshallah ameen

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