Thursday, August 20, 2009

As-salam `alaykum wa-rahmatullah

The Imams' Council of the Islamic Council of New England has once again decided this year, by a majority vote, to continue to use moonsighting to determine the start and end of Ramadan. We advise and encourage members of the community to follow this decision, by way of following this local leadership body in an opinion that reflects the view of the majority of contemporary and classical Muslim jurists. Insha'Allah, a Council decision on the start of Ramadan should be announced by Friday night.

We are aware that a few mosques/Islamic centers in the Greater Boston area have chosen to follow pure calculations, a minority juristic view which has been adopted by ISNA since last year. It is possible that different methodologies will coincide on start and end dates for fasting. In any case, we caution against making these disagreements a cause for barren argumentation (such as that which led to the knowledge of Laylat al-Qadr being lifted up), stereotyping or questioning of the intentions of those involved. Let us instead focus our energies on reaping the spiritual fruits of Ramadan.

Wa s-salam
Suheil Laher and Taha Abdul-Basser
Muslim Chaplains at MIT & Muslim Chaplain @ Harvard (respectively)

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