Confusion regarding start of Ramadan and Letter by the Shaykh
June 28, 2014
As there is confusion regarding the announcement of Ramadan by the main Mosques in Dublin and the difference of opinion of some smaller Mosques, the Muslims in Ireland are confused about the start of Ramadan.
The Islamic Centre has been receiving calls and e-mails since last night. Please see a letter that is written by the Imam of the Islamic Centre in regards to this confusion.
Assalamu Alaikum WWB.
In the name of Almighty Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. Peace & Blessings upon the best of all creation the Beloved Prophet Muhammad
In regards to the decision by the Irish Council of Imams of observing 1st of Ramadan on Saturday 28th June 2014 I would like to share my thoughts.
I am writing to you in regards to the serious issue of disunity among Irish Muslims that has come up in regards to the observation of Ramadan for 2014 / 1435H.
Decision of Irish Council of Imams
The Irish Council of Imams was established in 2005. Currently the council has more than 15 members.
The ICI adopted a policy that ICI will accept the announcement of ANY Muslim Country and adopt it respectively. This policy was adopted democratically in a meeting in ICI a few years ago.
According to this policy ICI announced that since Turkey and Yemen have announced Saturday 27th June 2014 to be the first of Ramadan 1435 H, Irish Council of Imams will also do the same.
Disunity among Muslims in Ireland on this issue
Even though personally I was not in favor of the decision of the ICI, for the sake of unity among Muslims and acknowledging the authority of the ICI,I announced in Al-Mustafa Islamic Centre Ireland that Tarawih will be held Friday 27th June 2014 and after Tarawih found out that some mosques have decided NOT to accept the announcement of the Irish Council of Imams.
These mosques are Limerick Mosque, Cork Mosque, Longford Mosque, Lucan Mosque, Dawah Centre, Madinah Mosque (Dublin City) and Sligo Mosque
This came as a shock to me as Cork Mosque, Luca Mosque and Limerick Mosque have representation in the Irish Council of Imams.
Why did these Imams choose to go against the decision of ICI. To differ in opinion is one thing but to decide to go against the decision of ICI is weakening the unity of Muslims in Ireland on this important issue.
The best approach would have been, in my opinion, to accept the decision of the authority and internally lobby to change the policy of ICI. This would not only avoid the disunity and confusion among Muslims, but at the same time address the concerns of these Imams including myself.
Unfortunately the approach taken by the Mosques has created for the first time in the history of Ireland a situation that is common and embarrassing in the UK.
Recommendations for the ICI
The ICI must meet at the 29th of Shaban every year to ensure that the decision of the ICI is effectively communicated to all members and all members sign a document that they agree with the decision.
ICI must organize a meeting to review its current policy as the announcements by Turkey and Yemen are absolutely wrong since there was no possibility of moon visibility Friday night. ICI must adopt a different policy and method. This could be following Saudi Arabia or adopting scientific calculation. This is to be discussed by the members. Once this is decided in light of the majority opinion it must be documented with signatures of all members.
ICI must organise an urgent meeting to address the current issue as some Muslims are observing 1st Ramadan today on Saturday 28th June and some will observe 1st Ramadan on Sunday 29th June 2014.