Ramadan is just about here and I am beginning to feel it in the air. I have my list all ready for my Ramadan grocery shopping, I’m putting away the remote control and the Cd’s and trying not to pay attention to the yearly battle between those who sight the moon and those who don’t.
Personally I go with those who sight. It has always made more sense to me considering we follow a lunar calendar, but anyways…. I also have sentimental reasons for wanting to sight the moon. When I was a child in Montreal, my Dad and the other brothers from the mosque used to go out to Mount Royal and climb the mountain to see if they could sight the hillal. My Mom, my brothers and I would all stay up late and wait excitedly for them to return. In those days there was no internet and no cell phones (I’m dating myself, I know) so we would have to wait until they walked in the door for any news.
My Dad would walk in with a big smile on his face and shout “Ramadan Mubarak!”, if the moon had been sighted. After that everyone would set out calling their friends to spread the good news that Ramadan had arrived. So for me, waiting for people to call and say that the hillal has been sighted signifies the beginning of Ramadan. The hillal is a beautiful symbol, a divine gift that has been given to us…every child should be taught how to sight it and to keep the Islamic traditions alive so that we can stave off the day when people will say “my grandmother used to go look for the moon or something like that, but that’s so old-fashioned these days”.
Regardless of which camp you follow the most important thing is for us to gain the most we can from this month of months. We have all been blessed with another month of fasting and ibadah, and for that we should be most grateful.
Shaykh Hamza Yusuf has also written a beautiful and thought provoking piece on the whole debate. Please take the time to read it and reflect on it. It is called Cesarean Moon Births.
Ramadan Mubarak to everyone!
May all our dua’s be accepted and may Allah shower us during this blessed month with His mercy and forgiveness.