MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, YOGYAKARTA—Islamic civilization has existed for centuries but hasn’t had a global calendar system yet. Chair of the Muhammadiyah Council for Tarjih and Tajdid Prof. Syamsul Anwar mentioned the global Islamic calendar principles.
First, the global calendar shows similar Islamic days and dates around the world. Quoting Ahmad Muhammad Syakir, a speaker of Sunan Tirmidzi, the beginning of the lunar month for Muslims must be the same no matter the visibility of the first crescent of the moon is.
Second, calendar-making should use a reckoning (hisab) method. Almost all Muslim scholars agree the astronomical calculation is valid to determine prayer time. Hisab wasn’t the only method used by Prophet Muhammad to decide the new moon, but a lot of literature on the Quran and sunnah tell hisab is the strong method.
Third, there isn’t any different position of the first visible crescent of the moon in the world geographically or politically. If the new moon happens in an area, it should be considered that it also occurs in all places on the earth.
“There should be a similar view to decide the first visible crescent of the moon in all zones. If each zone has a different view of the first moon, Arafah fasting in the U.S. and the Middle East can be different,” Prof. Syamsul said in the 136th Tarjih preaching on Wednesday (18/9).
Fourth, there should be the global visibility of the new moon or the transfer of imanu rukyat. Thus, the first visible crescent of the moon in an area is applied to all other areas.
“For example, if the first crescent of the moon is visible in America, it means it occurs in all continents like Asia, Africa, Australia, and others,” the professor of UIN Sunan Kalijaga said.
First, the Islamic global calendar has also applied the International Date Line is an internationally accepted demarcation on the surface of Earth, running between the North Pole and the South Pole and serving as the boundary between one calendar day and the next. It passes through the Pacific Ocean, roughly following the 180° line of longitude and deviating to pass around some territories and island groups.
However, Prof. Syamsul disagreed that the international date line runs above the Kaaba with a consideration that there’s a large population if it runs from the ground. The fact is that if the international date line runs above the Kaaba, there will be two different days in an area.
“For instance, the western part of the Kaaba of the Grand Mosque is already Friday while the eastern part of the Kaaba is still Thursday. They will perform different prayers, Friday prayer in the western part of the Kaaba, while noon prayer in the eastern part of the Kaaba,” Prof. Syamsul said.