Another Angle on the Moon

By Adil James, TMO

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Despite ISNA’s endorsement of the moon calculations performed by the Fiqh Council of North America, the debate in the Muslim community over the necessity of physically sighting the moon continues, and an interesting contribution to that debate has been made by Mr. Nabeel Tarabishy, of Goodsamt, LLC.  Mr. Tarabishy spoke Saturday night at the Islamic Cultural Association before a small gathering on the subject “The Moon and the Islamic Calendar.”

Mr. Tarabishy’s speech delved into background issues concerning the astronomy of moon sighting, and then described his own approach to the issue in relation to the ongoing debate.
He began by exploring the Qur`anic Ayas concerning seeking knowledge, pointing out the important issue that Allah in Holy Qur`an said that the intercalation of the months that had been done by the pagan Arabs before Islam was not just wrong, not just kufr, but was “excessive kufr,” thus showing the importance to Allah of our seeking to understand and abide by the underlying structure of the universe determined the Almighty.  “We can’t change the facts of the universe according to our desire, we must accept facts, and truth,” he said.

Allah Himself divided the year into 12 months, the week into 7 days.

Tarabishy also pointed out that no world civilization has existed without a calendar, and he explored the history of the Christian Julian and Gregorian calendars.  He explained that the lunar year is 11 days shorter than the solar year, and he spoke about the intercalation done by the Jewish and Chinese calendars–which he explained is done in a “less chaotic” fashion than was done by the pagan Arabs before Islam.

Then Tarabishy explored the physical dimensions of the lunar and solar progression through the seasons and months and years, and described the physical positions of those three astronomical bodies over the year.

Then he introduced his argument that the Islamic calendar–as a window to our history and culture and more–should be made as predictable as the solar calendar, arguing that it should be possible to plan travel to coincide with any specific day of the Islamic year, thus calculations will be necessary.  He listed extremely prominent Muslim theologians who he said had endorsed calculation, including most notably Imam Shafi’i.

His chief requirements of such a calculation-based Islamic calendar were that “false positives” and “false negatives” contradictory to the physical sightings of the moon should be avoided or excluded.

To learn more, please visit  his website,


South African Cricketer Converts to Islam

By Parvez Fatteh, TMO, Founder of,

South African fast bowler Wayne Parnell announced this week that he converted to Islam this past January.

South African fast bowler Wayne Parnell announced this week that he converted to Islam this past January after a period of personal study and reflection and will celebrate his 22nd birthday on Friday as a Muslim.

He indicated in a statement to the press that he converted after a period of study and reflection, and is considering to change his name to Waleed, which means ‘Newborn Son’.

“While I have not yet decided on an Islamic name I have considered the name Waleed which means Newborn Son, but for now my name remains Wayne Dillon Parnell. I will continue to respect the team’s endorsement of alcoholic beverages. I am playing cricket in Sussex and this is my immediate focus,” said Parnell in his statement.

“As I am approaching my first period of fasting, I ask that this special time is treated with respect. I am a young man, a professional cricketer by trade, and while I can appreciate and am grateful for the public interest in my personal life, my faith choice is a matter which I would like to keep private,” said Parnell.

Proteas team manager Mohamed Moosajee, himself a Muslim, indicated that Parnell’s Muslim teammates Hashim Amla and Imran Tahir did not influence him in his decision to convert to Islam.

“Wayne already decided a few months ago to follow Islam,” Moosajee said to reporters. “The decision to convert was his own decision, but I know nothing of the name change,” he added.

Parnell’s teammates confided privately that Parnell was very serious about his conversion, and that he had not touched any alcohol since the recent Indian Premier League series. The players also reportedly confirmed that Hashim Amla never attempted to convert them to his religion, but they indicated that Parnell was impressed by the discipline and strict adherence that Amla showed to his religion, by refusing to participate in celebrations with them that involved liquor, staying regular with his daily prayers even while on tour, and refusing to wear the uniform sponsored by South African beer brand Castle Lager.

In his first two years with the team, beginning in 2009, Parnell developed a reputation as a partier. In October of 2009, he was kicked out of his provincial team following an incident in a night club in the city of Port Elizabeth in the early hours of the morning. How things have changed, as Parnell just turned 22 last Friday, and he celebrated his birthday, without alcohol, as a Muslim.