9. Summary and Conclusions
This paper has tried to explain the important of moon sighting for the UK by discussing the following:
9.1 To establish a lunar calendar by sighting the moon is a command of Allah and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and his Sahabah (رضي الله عنهم).
9.2 To start and end each and every month by local moon sighting is also established from the Sunnah, including Ramadan and Dhul Hijjah.
9.3 The Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم), has always followed local moon sighting and did not borrow the news from distance places (e.g. Makkah to Madinah).
9.4 The concept of “Global Moon Sighting” is a linguistic interpretation, which has never been practiced by the Muslim Ummah for past 1400 years and it is not possible due to the spherical earth and time-zone differences.
9.5 If local sighting is not possible due to abnormal geographical location, such as in the UK, then “Regional Moon Sighting” is probably a more correct interpretation of “Global Moon Sighting” mentioned in Fiqh texts.
9.6 There must be a time-limit by which the news of moon sighting must be considered, which was found to be between Maghrib (sunset) and Isha (dusk), i.e. between 1 - 1.5 hrs (for the UK Summer and Winter seasons).
9.7 In consideration of how far East or West the moon sighting news can be obtained from for the UK, it was found to be between Berlin (Germany) to the East and Dakar (Senegal) to the West for the UK Maghrib to Isha times.
9.8 Since the first visibility of moon shifts in both East-West and North-South directions, any moon sighting news for the UK must not cross the Equator, to avoid the moonset-before-sunset and change of season problems.
9.9 To avoid mistakes from individuals or solo observers, group sighting (Jamme Gafir) is a must for clear sky conditions, especially if astronomical data shows there is very little or no chance of sighting the moon.
9.10 According to our ICOP contacts, there are a few individuals in Europe (e.g. Germany) and North Africa (e.g. Algeria) who may be willing to help any future UK delegation to visit those countries for moon sighting, if needed.
9.11 It is not necessary for the UK to follow Hilal news from far places in the East, such as Saudi Arabia or South Africa, since any moon sighting from the East must be seen in the West, such as on the UK/Morocco horizons.
9.12 The lunar months have some visible and invisible phases as explained in the Tafsir Jalalyan, which can be accurately predicted by the crescent visibility map calculations and proven with actual observation results.
9.13 By defining the “Regional Moon Sighting” zone for naked eye sighting, it is possible to use visibility maps (with consideration of seasons) to prepare Hijri calendars for civil purposes, which will match actual sightings.
9.14 The past Muslims leaders and scholars have made great sacrifices to develop a unified moon sighting criteria to unite all the UK Muslims and this paper has built-on those efforts to suggest an improved criteria for greater unity.
9.15 Regular moon sighting efforts must be continued on the 29th (and the next day) and reported to the Moon Sighting UK website for future analysis with a view to developing a more reliable moon sighting calendar for the UK.