Thursday, February 5, 2009

The months obey Mohammad (PBUH)

Volume 1, Book 8, Number 375:
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
Once Allah's Apostle fell off a horse and his leg or shoulder got injured. He swore that he would not go to his wives for one month and he stayed in a Mashruba (attic room) having stairs made of date palm trunks. So his companions came to visit him, and he led them in prayer sitting, whereas his companions were standing. When he finished the prayer, he said, "Imam is meant to be followed, so when he says 'Allahu Akbar,' say 'Allahu Akbar' and when he bows, bow and when he prostrates, prostrate and if he prays standing pray, standing. After the 29th day the Prophet came down (from the attic room) and the people asked him, "O Allah's Apostle! You swore that you will not go to your wives for one month." He said, "The month is 29 days."

Once again, Prophet Mohammad (may peace be upon him), cahnged the rules of the game. His followers thought that a month was 30 days long, but, Prophet Mohammad changed it to 29 days to suit his own secual desires of seeing his wives, which as Aisha (Allah bless her) conveniently pointed out:, and for which Mohammad (may peace upon him) had a propensity of doing:

"The Prophet said, ‘If I take an oath and later find something else better than that, then I do what is better and expiate my oath.'"

The Islamic calender today, as it stands:

The Islamic calendar (or Hijri calendar) is a purely lunar calendar. It contains 12 months that are based on the motion of the moon, and because 12 synodic months is only 12 x 29.53=354.36 days, the Islamic calendar is consistently shorter than a tropical year, and therefore it shifts with respect to the Gregorian calendar.

The calendar is based on the Qur'an (Sura IX, 36-37) and its proper observance is a sacred duty for Muslims.

Each month starts when the lunar crescent is first seen (by a human observer’s eye) after a new moon.

Although new moons may be calculated quite precisely, the actual visibility of the crescent is much more difficult to predict. It depends on factors such as weather, the optical properties of the atmosphere, and the location of the observer. It is therefore very difficult to give accurate information in advance about when a new month will start.

As such, you cannot predict a reliable Islamic calendar in advance, but only calenders that are based on estimates of the visibility of the lunar crescent, and the actual month may start a day earlier or later than predicted in the printed calendar.

The Pre-Islamic Calender:

Pre-Islamic Arabs had yet to switch away from the lunar calendar. But to their credit, they were at least observing intercalation to keep their seasons intact. Muhammad (pbuh) abandoned intercalation, condemning Muslims to a 354-day year. Not only didn't the pagan sacred months return to their original times, he assured that they would never be established, forever floating around the solar year.

How did Mohammad get rid of Intercalation? The story behind Sura IX, 36-37

Tabari VI:55 "The Ka'aba was taken over by the Khuza'a except three functions which were in the hands of the Mudar. The first of these was the ijazah, the giving of permission to the pilgrims to leave Arafat...The second function was the ifadah, the permission for the pilgrims to disperse to Mina on the morning of the sacrifice. The third function was the nasi, the delaying or postponement of the sacred month by intercalation. When Islam came, the sacred months had returned to their original times, and Allah established them firmly and abolished the nasi."

Ishaq:88 "This state of affairs [intercalation] lasted until Allah sent Muhammad and revealed to him and gave him the laws of his religion and the customs of the pilgrimage." Following a hundred Hadith desperately trying to ascribe the rites and rituals of Islam to the Jewish patriarchs, and a hundred more proclaiming that they were derived from the pagan practices of Qusayy, one line contradicts them all.

Effects of the above hadith and questions:

Based on the above, the first Muslims, and Arabs before Mohammad (PBUH) thought a month was generally 30 days. It was Mohammad (PBUH) who changed the way Arabs used to do things, which roughly accorded with everyone else.

As well, Mohammad (pbuh) would change the rules as he went along.

1) Why did Bukhari, Ishaq and Tabari include these verses?
a) Was it to show the origin of why the Muslim world departed from the rest of the world in keeping in recording their dates?
b) Is it to show how Mohammad (pbuh) changed the rules of society as he went along as he saw fit?
c) Did they agree with him?
d) Do you agree with him?
e) Why is Saudi Arabia the only Muslim country that uses this method of date keeping as an official barometer of record keeping?

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