In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent the Most Merciful
All praise is for Allah, and may peace and prayers be upon Allah’s Messenger, his family, his Companions, and those that followed.
The Assembly has received numerous questions regarding its rejections of the moonsighting which was announced in some brotherly African countries, in particular, Somalia and Mauritania.
The Assembly would like to reiterate that its announcement of Eid al-Fitr being on Sunday was the result of its methodology, which has been made public during numerous annual conventions. AMJA’s methodology is based on affirmation of the new moon by way of sighting it, with possible assistance from astronomical telescopes, and it considers calculations only for the purpose of rejection of a reported sighting. The Assembly did not accept the sighting that was announced in Somalia and Mauritania due to the agreement of the astronomers consulted by AMJA that it was impossible to sight the moon in each of these two countries. This was because in Mauritania the moon had set two minutes before sunset and it was less than two hours old, while at the time of sunset in Somalia the moon had not yet been born.
This was not the case in previous sightings, such as with Mali and some areas in North America, when the astronomers had said it was not possible to be sighted. Those cases were not as decisive as they are when the moon sets before the sun does, or when a sighting is claimed before the new moon’s birth. When a sighting is surrounded by such overwhelming doubts, the Assembly rejects it.
The Assembly would also like to reiterate its understanding of the position of those scholars who broke their fast on Saturday based on what they believed to be valid sightings in those countries without investigating the astronomical doubts mentioned above, or due to a lack of consideration for astronomical calculations altogether. Acting upon such basis with legitimate scholarly endeavor does not invalidate acts of worship, nor does it require that they be made up for.
We ask Allah to guide us to what He loves and is pleased with, and to keep us away from misguidance and deviation in both speech and action, for indeed He is in charge and capable of all things.
Dr. Salah Alsawy
Secretary General, AMJA