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ICNA’s Position on Moon Sighting

08 8 09




JAMAICA, New York (Aug 8, 2009) – Instead of making any moon sighting decisions, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) has decided to guide its members and the general Muslim community to celebrate the beginning of the month of Ramadan and the Eid holidays with their local masajid, communities and Islamic centers. 

ICNA would like to see more harmony and unity among the Muslim community at a local level. We hope that American Muslims will observe the month of Ramadan & the Eid holidays with full piety and dignity—making dawah to our neighbors, co-workers and friends as we embrace this joyous season.

We pray that Allah (SWT) showers you and your families with blessings. Please keep us in your prayers and accept our warmest congratulations on this blessed occasion!


  • Faisal Ahmad

    Having Ramadan and Eid on one day is a noble goal. We should embrace Eid on one day and not have 2-3 eids. Its a simple goal and lets keep it simple.
    May Allah show us the right path and guide us and not let us make things unnecessarily complicated. Ameen!

  • Zeeshan

    If there is anything wrong with calculation for moonsighting then why we are following calendars for praying salat?
    Please watch a very nice video speech delievered by Sheikh Ul Islam Dr Tahir Ul Qadri about this serious topic of moon sighting.

    Rest Allah and His Prophet PBUH knows better.

  • Syed Ahmed

    Salaam alikum,

    For those who are in favor of moon sighting and argue that its Sunnah to look for the Ramadan and Eid moon, I have a simple question for them. Do they go out and look at the Sun and stars alignment for all five prayers of the day or do they have a schedule with times handed to them from from their Masjid for the whole year. If the answer is later, then they are not practicing Sunnah rather going with scientific method and using calculations. Even for the remaining year they are going with calculations and not Moon sighting….

    In my basic understanding, unity in the Muslim community is the focal point hence there is more Thawab in going to the masjid than praying at home. If we could unify over calculation method, we could go to our local governments and demand for a national holiday for Eid and Baqar-Eid. Since every part of US is starting Ramadan on different days and cannot unify on this simple issue, we cannot expect the local and federal govt. to give us a national holiday.


  • abu hamza waggeh

    salam my fellow muslims, this Is very easy.Allah made his deen easy and completed it 1400 ago.we all know what the prophet did when ramadan was approaching.the moon is out there for those who follow the sunnah of rasuul.

  • Azim Fahmi

    وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ ۖ وَالنُّجُومُ مُسَخَّرَاتٌ بِأَمْرِهِ ۗ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ

    [Sura An-Nahl Verse 12]

    He has made subject to you the Night and the Day; the Sun and the Moon; and the Stars are in subjection by His Command: verily in this are Signs for men who are wise.

  • Azim Fahmi

    وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَجَعَلَكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَلَٰكِنْ يُضِلُّ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۚ وَلَتُسْأَلُنَّ عَمَّا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

    Sura An-nahl 93

    “If Allah so willed, He could make you all one people: but He leaves straying whom He pleases and He guides whom He pleases: but ye shall certainly be called to account for all your actions.”

    So true even in the context of Muslim Ummah Alone

  • khan

    Allah & Prophets are Superior not me/you & not us. May the Almighty guide us (All Muslims) & we follow Quran, Hadith and Sunnah? ICNA,ISNA and FCNA are neither affiliated to any major approved international Islamic organization nor they are branches.

    Prayer/Sawm times are SOLAR based (according to the movement of the earth in relation to the Sun). Clocks/Watches are approved by major organizations (eg: Umm Al-Qura of Saudi Arabia).

    Islamic Calendar is LUNAR based (according to the movement of the moon in relation to earth). Plus Hilaal: sighting of crescent.(Quran(10:5)(2:185),Sunnah & Caliphs of Islam(Islamic History).

    Unity is not defined any where in Islam as doing Eids together based on some organization not affiliated with other major international Islamic institute. Let us first achieve consensus of major International Scholars about this issue. WallahuAlam.

    Muslims must unite based on Quran , Sunnah and Hadiths not the innovations/inventions in Islam. We cannot fix our Eids by innovations for holiday in West as Non Muslims.

    Prophet(pbuh)said:“I have left you two things:the Book of God & my Sunnah; as long as you hold to them, you will never go astray: ”

    Please see the sites:

    Jazakallah Khair

  • Mohammed

    As Salaamu Alykum

    First and fore most I would like say that there is no doubt that ICNA, ISNA and MAS are profoundly known to be the three major Islamic organizations of North America. To say that they are not Islamic is being ignorant. In these organizations exist some of the most influential scholars of Islam who hold vast knowlege on the religion as complete code for life. Through organizations as such Islam is being represented to main stream America Muslims and non Muslims alike. Through them many Muslims and non Muslims have come back to Islam in record numbers and have transformed their lives to live as Muslims in a more practical sense. Therefore their contributions deserves much thanks. As far as um al Qura us concerned , they are an organization created for the Islamic propagation amongst people of Saudi Arabia abiding by the rules of the kingdom. They too if given the chance to be political would have been. The first thing they would do is remove the kingdom that goes against the fundamental system of ruling a nation according to Islam. Organizations like um al qura and rabetal islam invite brothers and sisters from ICNA ISNA MAS to join conventions all year round and vise vers. Therefore if Um al Qura did not recognize the American Islamic organiAtions would they have invited them? And vice versa. So I ask the brother to get his facts straight.
    Secondly saying that These organizations are political and not religious goes against the another fundamental belief of Islam because religion and politics are not separate. Rather politics is a part of Islam which is the religion. And if one analyzes the Quran and sunnah he or she will note that Allah swt did not give us Islam to be practiced as a religion. Which is why Allah swt says ” the only way of life acceptable to Allah is Islam.” where is the word religion in that sentence. Hence religion like wise politics are both components of Islam with all the other and neither defines Islam as a whole. Therefore These organizations are in a better possitionthan those of Saudi Arabia because they full all core component requirements necessitating them to be an Islamic organization. Where as organization like um al Qura are only fulfilling one and that is the Religious aspect.
    Last as far as the siting of the moon goes for eid, I still think that rather the organizations giving their own oppinions, they should bring to the table all the major organizations in North America
    and come to one agreement. Then only can we do Eid in a unifies manner. However that does not mean we will not have those brothers doing Eid on an exceptional day bexuase these brothers will never give up their stance no matter what. Mind you that most mosques In North America are controled by secular Muslims who for the most part have no knowledge about islam. The others are ruled by the salafis who want nothing to do with the practical life that Allah has blessed them with who like the secularist define Islam as a religion.

    Qur’an and Sunnah are guides for us to live this practicle life so that we can work in all spheres to gain after life. With out this life you can’t get the other. So stop secluding your self in the religous part but expose yourselvea to the other parts of Islam. being part of a slice of the pie will not lead you to Janna.

  • Yousuf Badar

    Assalaam alaikum wa rahmatullahe wa barakatahu.
    It is very unfortunate that we are divided on the lunar months. the main reason being that we have given up the habbit of looking at the sky for the moon. No one even cares of looking at the sky for signs of the start of month even though there is 100% chance of visibility. Those are signs from Allah.
    One website of moon visibility is
    This should give us a probability of visibility. based on this one can look into the sky for the moon. InshaAllah this should help us all.

  • Varnaud Shamsideen

    Ramadan Mubarak! Being an American-born muslim, and having made the journey to al-Islam via the teachings of Elijah Muhammad, I find it amazing how many of us would seek to divide the Ummah! For years, and sometimes still, our brothers in the East have looked down upon us as less than righteous instead of embracing us. These organizations that everyone is speaking about were the only groups dedicated to furthering the cause and spread of Islam in the West! May Allah bless them to continue in their endeavors, and may He bless the rest of us with understanding their motives. Also, may He guide each of us to help unify, instead of divide, this Ummah!
    As Salaam Alaikum

  • Yousuf Badar

    Use this to find out the days information of the moon and the sun.

  • heraish

    I support this decision by ICNA.

  • Mahmud

    The Qur’an says hold unto the rope of Allah and do not be divided.
    This is long over due, May Allah guide your effort.

  • Iffaaz Salahudeen

    Salaams: I think, as a large organization, ICNA should stand firm on its policies and principles, and should work with other large organizations to bring unity, but without deviating from Qur’an and sunnah of the Prophet (SAW).

    According to a Hadeeth, there will be a time, when Muslims will be majority, but those who follow the Sunnah will be afew.

    In the name of Unity, are we neglecting the Hadeet about sighting the moon – complete 30 days, if it is cloudy? Whether we can see it or not; and cloudy or not, FIQH council and many others in the name of unity decided to have the Eidul Fitr on Sunday this year (2009).

    I understand and I am for unity, but not ignoring Sunnah. Can’t we have unity by following the Sunnah- let FIQH council and ISNA go for the moon sighting and ask everyone else to join them for unity??

  • Abdel

    The issue is not with following Sunnah or even in The Unity because of the importance of the two. The problem is that there are many Hadeeth regarding it, that have slight difference, I know 2 hadeeth both are authentic hadeeth in which one of them specify 30 days for Sha’ban while the other state the 30 days but does not state which month it is.(Issue that there are people whom follow sighting the say that we need to see the moon,there are places in the world that moon can not be seen except after few days although the month would have already started by other Muslims, this might make conflict between Muslims).

    Question: Should sighting by the -eye only- be followed or should we use technologies and maybe calculations to determine the start of the islamic month?

  • Dr yOUSA

    You must unite the community by making one decision NOT letting all the local communities to take their own decisions

    Strange decision

  • Muqarrab Syed

    We, as Muslims, should unite in accordance with the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah. I think that the decision made by ICNA is very stellar. Following the Quran and Sunnah DOES NOT = lack of unity, as frequently argued. Unity amongst Muslims is more about standing together and embracing each other in good times and hard times, standing up as a community against the Fitna and accepting each other as Muslim Brothers and Sisters without clinging on to cultural and ideological barriers. Remember that the Sharia is flexible, not rigid as some unfortunately claim. May Allah grant all Muslims with His Blessings for all the good deeds performed during this wonderful month of Ramadan Kareem and Eid Mobarak to all.

  • Assalamu Alaikum WR. I support your decision 100%, Alhamdulillah. But I have certain questions too. I agree on the name of UNITY we can not take any wrong decision “UNITY CAN NOT BE ON WRONG DECISION BASED ON WRONG OR BASELESS HADEETH”. And also regarding on Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah’s analysis on his book the bottomline drew the wrong conclusion that “when people gather in Arafat IS THE DAY OF ARAFAT” but if it is not on 9th ZIL HAJJ–> THAT IS WRONG. SO MOON SIGHTING IS IMPORTANT TO FIX THE DATE ” THAT IS QURAN. PERIOD”

  • Dr. Raza Khan

    So as I UNDERSTAND this:

    IT IS MORE IMPORTANT FOR UMMAH TO BE UNITED than to follow the rules laid by Almighty Allah in Quran to sight the crescent.

    IT IS MORE IMPORTANT FOR UMMAH TO BE UNITED than to follow and lead by examples of Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad and ahadith where the prophet’s companion in Medina rejected the notion of Eid of a traveller as the traveller had sighted the crescent outside the city limits. I do not think the traveller was flying a jet but who knows he was really far and NOT local. Just wondering now, how long it will take a traveller to come on a camel from Ohio to DC … let alone from California to New York. So what is local???

    In a nutshell, we do not need extremists to destroy our religion. We need to be ignorant and organizations to sadly shy away from helping Muslims be educated about the requirements CLEARLY SPELLED out in Quran and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad.

    Salam from Raza

  • Fazal Muneer

    As-salaam alaikum,
    Dear Readers,

    My concern is why ICNA & ISNA can not go side by side when the moon sighting situation occurs? other wise both ICNA & ISNA announces same statement other than moon sighting. it is oblivious, all Muslims look forward to follow either organizations (ICNA &ISNA), one brother lives in Illinois celebrating Eid ul Fitr on Sunday September 20th, 2009, and the other brother lives in New York has no idea when the local Masjid would announce for eid ul Fitr? no one knows yet? because they go with ICNA. This is really looks like a joke to others who follow general Muslims. May Allah guide us to be on right path.
    Zajak Allah Khair & wishing you all Readers A vey Happy Eid ul Fitr!

  • sohaib

    I heard a brother once say something beautiful.

    The prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam split the moon to unite the ummah and we split the ummah because of the same moon.

    Allah knows best whats in our hearts.
    May Allah guide us all. Ameen

  • Mohammad

    We are here in North America, Land where Muslims are in Minority and we should avail every oppertunity to show unity in our ranks. Celebrating Eid is one of the major oppertunity when we all need to show unity and celebrate Eid one day in North America. ICNA should work with other big North American Islamic organizations and make a decision on Eid celebration and not leave this decision on local mosques because that will NOT be helpful to muslims of North America.

  • Mohammad Aziz

    Mashallah ICNA is showing great signs of matured leadership and moving towards becoming more of a mainstream American organization.

    May Allah continue to bless our leaders with wisdom,knowledge and farsightedness needed to meet the needs of tomorrows challenges of Muslims in America.

    Jazzak Allahu khairan

  • Abdullah

    This is a Bain-ul-Iqwami Saazish (International Conspiracy) on the part of the saudis, Why is it so hard for people to understand that there can only be eid in case the moon is sighted!!! who the hell gives a rats behind about the Jahil saudi sheikh’s decision! first in 2007 they gave 55,00000 Saudi Riyal (Kafara) for announcing eid a day earlier! LOL!!! and guess what last year in 2008 The saudi ministry of hajj announced on saudi state tv that hajj was performed on the WRONGE day, HAHAHHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Astagfirullah!!, but they said it’s all chill, umm try telling that to 3 million or so people who put their life savings and time and travel into performing this once in a lifetime important ritual!
    The above mentioned examples are from on the past two years, and this goes wayyyyy back brothers and sisters, so stop with this unity crap, EID is only on the day crescent is sighted in a particular area!!
    I think the only reason Saudi is declaring eid a day earlier this is because this will make 9 zill-hajj on thursday, instead of friday and we all know that hajj on friday makes it (Hajj-e-Akbar) and they don’t want a Hajj Khutba and Jummah Khutbah and Eid Khutbah LOL!!! to much work for the lazy Saudi Mullahs! LOL!
    Afsos, Allah Subhanhu in Jahilon se bachday (AMEEN)

  • javed Iqbal

    Assalaam alaikum wa rahmatullahe wa barakatahu.

    I told my son who is 12 years old that tomorrow i.e Sunday is Eid.
    He said no I said no tomorrow is Eid. He started crying and said no it is not.
    WHAT I AM SAYING is that we should make some parameters for deciding about moon.


    Parameter # 1. I would celebrate Eid when i am living in USA that if it is possible that moon can be cited in North America.I will celebrate EID.

    Parameter # 2. I would celebrate Eid when i am living in USA that if it is possible that moon can be cited in ANY PART OF WORLD.I will celebrate EID.

    Parameter # 2. I would celebrate Eid when i am living in USA that if it is possible that moon can be cited in Saudi ARABIA.I will celebrate EID.

    INNOCENT MUSLIMS THIS IS A REQUEST FROM SO CALLED MUSLIMS SCHOLARS who are also a beggar for the guidance from Allah as a Non Scholar like me is a beggar for guidance from Allah.

  • Kaleem Ibrahim

    Bissmillah hir rah ma nir raheem (start with the name of Allah, the Most Gracious and the Most Merciful. )

    As salm o alykum

    I should want to say that allah will not forgive because this is against of Quran , prophet Muhammad and is very shame you guys surrenders in the name of unity while allah says in quran so many time “if I want I can make you Umat a wahada but I want to test you by my orders”
    Kaleem Ibrahim

  • Fiaza

    It will be ideal if we could have Eid on the same day around the world. It is very desirable to have Eid on the same day in every country. It is very much possible to have Eid one the same day in the same city!

    But, celebrating Eid on different days does not disintegrate unity of Muslim Umah! Muslims, friends, and relatives living in the same city can celebrate Eid on different days and can still be Muslims, friends, and relatives – they won’t seize to be Muslims, friendships won’t break, and relations ships should not become sour due to this issue!

    I don’t want to say it is controversial, but I believe the issue of new moon sighting is not so straight forward either. I believe Islam came to make things simple and easy for faithfuls and it provides flexibility in this kind of issues!

  • Fazal Muneer

    Greetings to all my Brothers & sisters,
    Now we are entering in the month of Dh-Hijja and insha-Allah Eid-al-Adha, will be on Nov 28th 2009, but there are chances to change the date as usual? because in Saudi Arabia they are celebrating Eid al Adha on Nov 27th, and naturally most of the people here in united states will follow Saudi Arabia.

    The NY City suspends alternate side parking(street cleaning)regulations for Idul-Adha from November 26 to 28, (Thu Friday Sat) and if any thing changes then, we are unable to avail the street parking benefit as usual, it happens almost every year for both Eid ul Fitr & Eid ul Adha. May Allah show us the best way to show cooperation and unite all brothers for these two Major Eids.
    Jazak Allah

  • Fazal Muneer

    As-salaam alaikum,
    Dear Readers,

    Alhamdo-Lillah, this yar we are blessed Eid ul adha, on 27th November 2009, almost every where here in the United States and also in other parts of the world same day! it is very good for us to show that we are united once again. I wish to all my brothers & sisters a very Happy and blessed Eid ul adha, jazak Allah

  • Masood

    Asalaam alaikum wrwb

    The last thing we should do in this case of Iktilaaf (difference of Opinions) is to cause disunity and start blaming. Do not follow the comments of Abdullah (above)in this blog whose language and attitude is not appropriate and lacks adab.

    Instead of blaming, and having the “I’m right you are wrong mentality” we have to accept that the best opinion is following the opinion on making Eid when the Moon is sighted as per the famous Hadith; This really leads us to 2 different opinions from the same hadith, following international sighting or local sighting.

    Since unity of the Ummah is Fard, we as muslim communities should follow the opinion that would cause us to be more united. The Sahabah were so concerned about Unity that they did not bury the Prophet (SAW) for 3 days after his Death until they decided on a Leader for the Ummah. It is shame that even in “Muslim” countries, there are often multiple Eids. IN the US we have had communities do Eid on up to 3 different days. May Allah(swt)help us.

    As muslims in this country, we have to be more mature and follow the more mature opinion that would lend us to do Eid on the Day when one trustworthy muslim has sighted the moon.

    Lets take the case of the Day of Arafat. It is obvious that there can be only one day of Arafat, and thus one day of Eid al Adha. When this day is announced, it does not take long for the rest of the world to know. ANd inShallah the rest of the Muslim world follows that day.

    Thus, we should follow as such if Bidhnillah, we put aside our attitudes, and take a more mature stand.
    But whatever decision you make, do not create fitnah and fight and exult yourself in your opinion.

    Masood A.R.