Monday, October 03, 2005

Ramadan News

This situation is so funny.

1st News.

First, a little background.

The Islamic calendar is based on the moon, as is the Jewish calendar. Every 29th day of the lunar month, people go and look for the new moon. If it is sighted, then the next day is the first day of the next month, else the next day is the 30th day of this month, following which the next month starts. Nowadays due to technology the positions of the moon can be calculated and we have a reasonable prediction.

So all over the Muslim world, people would wait to see if Ramadan, the holiest month for Muslims, would start on Tuesday Oct 4 or Wednesday Oct 5. But wait!

There is a solar eclipse! On the 29th day of the month!

Suddenly some scholars are saying because the solar eclipse means the moon will come into 'view' in front of the sun, this means the 'new moon' is 'sighted' and so Ramadan for sure begins the next day. The others say this does not count, and a new moon has to be sighted the proper way (i.e. at night).

In either case, the final say lies with the government, who will decide. And in non Muslim countries like Canada, US, it means the bigger mosques in cities.

2nd news.

Apparently there's an October surprise by - um - God.

For the first time in 33 years, Jews and Muslims will mark the start of their most sacred seasons on the same day this week. Rosh Hashana -- the Jewish New Year that begins the 10-day period known as the Days of Awe -- and the monthlong Islamic fast of Ramadan fall on Tuesday.

What's more, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, a relatively minor Christian holiday mostly commemorated by Roman Catholics, also will be celebrated that day.

At a time when Jews and Muslims around the globe observe their religious traditions, locally and nationally members of all three world religions are participating in interfaith activities that highlight their similarities and growing closeness.

You know what this means right? All of a sudden on the same day most Jews, Muslims, and some Catholics will be hungry during the morning. Hopefully something will be done about poverty and world hunger.

1 comment:

Shappir said...

I so hope you're right about people realising what it is to be hungry. But you know what? The people who can change this are most likely not even bothering to worry about Ramadan/Rosh Hashana. They are more worried about staying in the position that they are in already.