The following decision was adopted in the Islamic Shura Council of North America meeting in Chicago on January 19th 1995. It was signed by all the leaders.
Position on the Crescent sighting:
For too many years, Muslims in North America have been divided on the issue of starting and ending the month of Ramadan, with one of the following positions usually being taken:
1) Accept the sighting of a crescent anywhere in the world.
2) Base on the evidence of any naked-eye sighting in North America.
3) On a confirmed sighting based on astronomical information following the birth of the crescent.
4) Rely solely on astronomical information.
The Islamic Shura Council of North America after consulting with scholars of Islam and Muslim scientists, has reached the following decision.
In keeping with our determined efforts to unify Muslims, we have adopted the following position which does not violate any Islamic injunctions, but which will bring together the majority of Muslim groups on this continent. The beginning and end of Ramadan will be decided based on the evidence of actual crescent sighting in North America corroborated by the astronomical data. Therefore a confirmed crescent sighting report will be accepted as long as such a report in North America does not contradict indisputable astronomical information.
Procedure for Crescent Sighting:
1. Every organization should have a crescent sighting committee. They should gather crescent sighting information through their contacts. If in a city there is no crescent sighting committee, we encourage that they should form one.
2. An expert committee of the Islamic Shura Council will be constituted by the nomination of one expert from each group. The committee will also provide the crescent sighting instructions. They will collect the crescent sighting reports and evaluate them and will give their conclusion and recommendation to the four leaders.
3. In the decision making process only the leaders of four organizations or their representatives in their absence will take part in a conference call.
4. The decision by the four leaders will be final and it has to be made within 4 hours after the sunset on the East Coast.
5. The decision has to be the official position of each organization.
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
The Ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed
Imam Jamil Al-Amin
Abdul Malik Mujahid,
Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)
Abdalla I. Ali,
Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
This decision was adopted in the Islamic Shura Council of North America meeting in Chicago on January 19th 1995. It was signed by the above leaders.