It is time for Muslims all over the world to wake up and accept the 21st century with all its magnificent human achievements. Muslims should adopt scientific methods to determine the date of Eid well in advance, as is scientifically possible in today’s world. Muslims should no longer have to live in a past which was defined thousands of years ago
Localised visual sighting had a point during Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) times, when he used the pre-existing knowledge of the time to use the naked eye to see the crescent. There were no means to travel other than on horse or camel back. They had no means to communicate other than letters that were sent through messengers who travelled on horseback. The letter would take days, weeks or months to reach the recipient.
But the world has changed and Muslims today are reaping the fruits of science and the 21st century. We travel by cars, planes, ships. We communicate by mobile phones, email and instant messaging. We have the internet. We have state of the art hospitals, research facilities, academic institutions, massive business houses and some of the most modern cities in the world.
So we can know exactly when the crescent moon will rise and we can communicate this to the whole world in an instant. This would not make us any less Muslim. It would simply stop the unnecessary disruption to our lives, which affects businesses and even holiday plans.
Using such scientific methods would also unify Eid throughout the Muslim world. We must all start Ramadan on the same day and celebrate Eid on the same day. The Muslim world should be united in celebrating the advent of Ramadan and the joy of Eid. If we cannot unify Ramadan and Eid, how do we expect to unite politically? How do we expect to end strife in the Muslim world?
This will not harm Islam as a religion because it is a gift from God. It is time Islamic nations put an end to the old ways and embrace the 21st century.