By Adil James, MMNS
Farmington–December 10–It seems as though â€˜Eidul Adha celebrations are more uniform than those for â€˜Eidul Fitr. Whether because â€˜Eidul Adha is determined farther in advance rather than in the heat of the moment, or because some scholars might decide to mirror the hajj despite their misgivings about the methodology used by the Saudi government to arrive at the hilal timings, or for whatever reason, the end result is more uniformity in celebration of this â€˜Eid which comes towards the end of the hijrah year.
The Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA), affiliated with ISNA, is the most powerful and most followed body on the subject of timings of the lunar calendar. FCNA announced that they recognized Monday December 8th as â€˜Eid.
ICNA is a competitor to FCNA on this subject, and announced, along with hilalsighting .com, that they would recognize Tuesday December 9th as â€˜Eid, based on the sightability and reported sightings of the hilal.
According to the official Saudi hajj, the â€˜Eid was December 8th.
A council of Shiâ€™a imams declared December 9th to be â€˜Eid, the Crescent Committee of Council of Shia Muslim Scholars in North America.
The Bloomfield Muslim Unity Center celebrated â€˜Eid on December 8th, as did the Flint Islamic Center, the Grand Blanc Islamic Center, IAGD, Detroitâ€™s Muslim Center, and the Tawheed Center–all honored Monday as â€˜Eidul Adha.
The Islamic House of Wisdom also celebrated â€˜Eid on Monday, as did the Canton Mosque (MCWS).
Said Imam Abdullah El-Amin of Detroitâ€™s Muslim Center, â€œWe went on the Fiqh Council of North America. We in this area decided to follow that,â€ explaining that the Shura Council of Michigan had made that decision.
He argued that Muslims have to bring the deen into the present, â€œnot 1400 years ago.â€
Hamza Yusufâ€™s Zaytuna Institute has been a convincing and powerful force behind the argument for local sightings, and much of the logic of their argument is based on undermining the premise that astronomical calculations now are better than those of many hundreds of years ago. They argue that in fact astronomers of the ancient world had very powerful models to predict lunar events, yet still relied on local observation.
Imam El-Amin dismisses this argument, â€œThey didnâ€™t know what we know today.â€
In that time, he says, â€œ50 miles from you, you didnâ€™t know what people were doing. Those people didnâ€™t have the means that we have today.â€
The unity of â€˜Eid celebrations awakens strong emotions. perhaps because â€˜Eidul Adha is an expression of synchronicity with hajj, â€œThereâ€™s no excuse for doing it on different days, at least for â€˜Eidul Adha,â€ says Muaz Obeid, of the Islamic Cultural Association of Franklin, which also recognized â€˜Eidul Adha on Monday.
In any event, the overriding benefit of the FCNA calculations and legal rulings has been increased unity and predictability–even if that unity is only for â€˜Eidul Adha, or even if only for this â€˜Eidul Adha–the level of unity has been striking among local mosques, and the FCNA legal rationale seems to have carried the day.
As for the Shiâ€™a mosques, there were two â€˜Eids because one powerful marja declared â€˜Eid on Monday, and two others declared â€˜Eid on Tuesday. According to Hajja Khalida Beydoun of the Islamic Institute of Knowledge, â€œSayed Mohammed Fadlallah pronoonced â€˜Eid on Monday, Sayed Ali Khomeini and Sayed Sistani both declared â€˜Eid on Tuesday, so our community was literally split.â€
It is common for Shiâ€™a families to be split because one member of the family follows one marja while others follow another.
Said Hajja Khalida, â€œEven for us, I know for me, my mom had â€˜Eid Monday. My marja said Tuesday. But my husband did â€˜Eid on Tuesday. But for me I did â€˜Eid on Monday because people saw the moon here. I have to use logic as well.â€
â€œWe (at IIK) did â€˜Eid Monday and Tuesday both.â€
This year the icing on the â€˜Eid cake will be an â€˜Eid Carnival, with rides, bouncers, games, and food on Sunday, December 14, 2008 from 11AM-7PM at the Rock Financial Showplace located in Novi, MI, just off Route 96.
Co-sponsors of the â€˜Eid Carnival include almost most of the local Islamic mosques and organizations: CIOM, Flint Islamic Center, IAGD, Islamic Cultural Association (Franklin), ICI (Islamic Cultural Institute, St. Clair Shores, Islamic Shura Council of Michigan, Islamic Society of Greater Lansing, Islamic Society of North America, Detroitâ€™s Muslim Center, Muslim Unity Center, Tawheed Center of Farmington Hills.
Admission to the carnival is $10 for an individual, or $40 for a family. That includes admission and rides. The carnival is featuring seven8six and Allah Made Me Funny, the movie.
You can buy tickets and find out more information about the carnival at:
Another festive occasion was the Islamic Center of Americaâ€™s program for children to replicate the hajj, done Friday 12/5/08.
IAGD, a co-sponsor of the Rock Financial â€˜Eid Carnival, is also going to have an â€˜Eid Celebration at their mosque, starting from 11AM.
The Islamic House of Wisdom will have a childrenâ€™s â€˜Eid Celebration on Saturday December 13, from 10AM to 2PM.