Weather forecast: Only a guess based on the universal Laws of Allaah

Question: The meteorological observatories say that the weather during the coming twenty four hours is expected to be sunny, cloudy, or accompanied by thunder storms. It might rain here or there, and there will be southern or northern winds, and so on.

Answer: Predicting weather conditions or forecasting winds, storms, clouds, or rainfall in some places is based upon knowledge of the universal laws of Allaah… read more here.

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Knowing the time of solar and lunar eclipses through the calculation of planetary movements

Question: We have read what was published by Al-Madeenah Newspaper, Issue No. 5402 in 4/1402 A.H. that there will be a full lunar eclipse next Saturday. It will start from 8:30 PM and the partial eclipse ends on Sunday at 12:38 PM. The moon comes out from the penumbra of the earth at 1:37 AM. The phenomenon happened exactly as the Newspaper mentioned.

Answer: The times of lunar and solar eclipses are known through calculation of the planet movements by which we can know whether it is full or partial… read more here.

Relying on the calendar to determine the beginning of Ramadaan

Question: 1: What is the ruling on relying on a calendar to determine the beginning of Ramadaan?

Q 2: If the calendar shows that Sha`baan is twenty nine days, then on the twenty-ninth of Sha`baan it gets cloudy and rain falls to a degree that we cannot sight the new moon of Ramadaan and we don’t hear anything about it, should people begin fasting or not?

Q 3: The Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) said: We are an unlettered Ummah ‘nation’; we do not write or calculate. What is meant by this Hadeeth?

Q 4: The Messenger of Allaah said that whoever believes what the soothsayer says is a disbeliever in what was revealed to Muhammad (peace be upon him), and Shaykh Aboo Bakr Al-Jazaa’iree explained that the sorcerer is someone who foretells the unknown future. So what is the ruling on the calendar which determines the whole year, day by day?

Q 5: The Messenger said that we should complete the month of Sha`baan thirty days when we are unable to sight the new moon of Ramadaan. Should we follow that method or the calendar?

Q 6: What is the difference between the stars and the calendar as far as Tawheed (belief in the Oneness of Allaah) is concerned?

Q 7: The Qur’aan forbids following Taghoot (false gods), then what is the ruling on the makers of calendars?

Answer: Firstly: The Council of Senior Scholars in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have previously discussed the question of sighting the new moon by means of calculations, and issued a decree, which reads the following: The Council of Senior Scholars considered the matter of depending upon calculations in sighting the new moon, and all the relevant evidence from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet)… read more here.

Relying on the calendar for determining Sawm and `Eed

Question: In India, the beginning of Ramadaan and `Eed Al-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast) are determined based on the annual calendar which is issued by the Indian Parliament; namely, the beginning and the end of Ramadaan are predetermined at the beginning of the year. By the same token, `Eed Al-Ad-haa (the Festival of the Sacrifice) is also predetermined based on the annual calendar, and not based on the Day of `Arafah. Moreover, Muslims in India usually sacrifice their animals after the time other Muslims, especially in Arab states, sacrifice their animals.

Now, our question is: Concerning the fast of Ramadaan, we usually start our fast when we receive a confirmation of the beginning of Ramadaan by calling our families in Saudi Arabia, in Kuwait, or in the Gulf States in general. Our commence of the fast usually occurs before the fast of Muslims in India. Is our fast valid or invalid in this case, taking into consideration that most of the Muslim foreign students in India fast after the new moon is sighted in the Gulf states. Please provide us with a Fatwa on this matter.

Answer: You should observe the fast with Muslims in your country, and it is not permissible to have differences among the residents of the same country in this regard, due to the Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) saying: The beginning of Ramadaan is the day when you begin fasting, the end of Ramadaan is on the day when you end it, and ‘Eed Al-Ad-haa is on the day when you sacrifice. It is noteworthy that the legal confirmation of the beginning of the lunar month is legally established by sighting the new moon with the naked eye or by adopting the means which help the eye sight the new moon. If the new moon can not be sighted, then it is an obligation to complete the month as thirty days. For the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said… read more here.