“O you who believe, fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may (learn) self-restraint.” Qur’an 2:183
First day of Ramadan will be Wednesday, August 11, 2010
and Eid ul-Fitr on Friday, September 10, 2010, Inshallah. http://www.isna.net/events/Special-Announcement/Ramadan-and-Eid-ul-Fitr-Announcement.aspx
All praise is to Allah (SWT) and His blessings are on the Prophet Mohamed (PBUH).
My dear respected Brothers and Sisters in greater Boston: Assalamu Alikum Wa Rahmatulahi Wa Barakatuhu.
First and foremost, I would like to congratulate you all on this coming occasion of the blessed month of Ramadan. I ask Allah to grant us sincerity and strength to maximize and increase our efforts during this great month so we may be of the successful and righteous people during this month.
Alhamdulillah, in the last two years, our Muslim community in the greater Boston area has achieved commendable accomplishments regarding the determination of the start of Ramadan and Eid. These accomplishments were realized when the decision was taken to stop all dispute and diversions in making such an important determination and to move towards the most applicable Islamic opinion that will empower us to save our community from confusion and unhealthy dispute. This decision was to follow the opinion of the Fiqh Council in the USA in determining the start of Ramadan and Eid based on the astronomical calculations in the US. All of us should be happy with such an achievement and hard work.
Still, it might be good to remind ourselves of the following achievements:
- The new Fiqh opinion was adopted and appreciated by the majority of the Muslim community in the greater Boston area, as well as in the US.
- Our Muslim community benefited and became knowledgeable about the flexibility of our Islamic rules related to the issue of the beginning and the ending of Ramadan and Eid.
- We became part of the greater majority of Muslims in the USA, since most of the media channels had announced that more than 90% of Muslims celebrated Eid in the US on the same day.
- People are happy and satisfied with this new approach and it shows thru their adoption of this Fiqh opinion. Some have even said “We have been waiting for this opinion for a long time! Now we can plan ahead for Ramadan and Eid”, “Now I can tell my company about my holidays in advance”.
- Respect and appreciation have been expressed to our honorable and renown Muslim scholars, as well as to the well-known and established Islamic research institutions (the Fiqh Council of North America and the European Council for Fatwa and Research) for their conclusion that using astronomical calculations to determine Islamic dates are not against the Sunnah. Rather, they are highly recommended since accurate calculation methods are now available to determine the Islamic dates of Ramadan and the Eid in North America ( For more details about the fiqh council position please visit http://www.fiqhcouncil.org/Default.aspx?tabid=86 ).
Nonetheless, we need to remember that while we adopt and promote the method of calculations to determine our Islamic Calendar, we have to advise ourselves and others with the following recommendations and Islamic core values:
1- Tolerating differences in Fiqh opinions is one of our most important Islamic ethics.
2- Upholding the unity of Muslims takes precedence above and beyond any valid difference in Fiqh opinions. We must therefore recognize and respect the legitimacy of differences on this issue and maintain a sense of brotherhood and unity.
3- The divine law ordains that change will require time for acceptance. When people begin to see the new approach more objectively, it will Inshallah be adopted and accepted more with full appreciation.
4- Any amount of success in achieving adoption of this new approach every year should be accepted and appreciated as a good start. And at the same time, we have to make sincere efforts in educating and preparing our community for greater unity in the coming years Inshallah.
5- Good understanding - We should free ourselves from inherited cultures, customs and rituals, and refrain from needless arguments and contradictions.
6- Deep faith - We should also free ourselves from the grip of our human self and its desires, and stay clear from the ways of Shay’tan. Only then would we be successful with Allah and hope to gain His blessings.
7- Continuous work - We should use our free time constructively and not preoccupy ourselves with useless endeavors or waste our time in argumentation. We should focus on contributing toward building a better and united community, and uphold the best of representations in all different aspects.
8- Sincere advice – which will earn us the trust and hearts of people, and allow us to help one another in carrying the duty of Islam while safeguarding each other from the temptations of Shay’tan.
We hope and pray that this advice and position will bring greater harmony and unity among all American Muslims.
“Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us, and grant us from Yourself mercy”
Imam Basyouny Nehela
Islamic society of Boston