by Muammar Al Gaddafi
By Muammar Al Gaddafi - Stop Fasting When You See the New Moon
Stop Fasting When You See the New Moon
The messenger of God, may peace be upon his soul, said "Begin your fast when you see the new moon and break your fast when you see the new moon again. Should it be overcast, complete your fast for thirty days" This is the Sunnah (i.e. followed by Muslims in this respect) .
Consequently, every year the adherence to this Mohammedan Sunnah gets Muslims into difficulties concerning the first and last days of the fasting month of Ramadan and the Hajj (i.e. the annual pilgrimage to Mecca) except this year, and we shall know how this difficulty has been avoided only this year. Of course, the appearance of the new moon differs from one place to another, or rather, from one continent to another where Islam has universally spread and where local ways of spotting the new moon were unable to cope, as the Arabian peninsula, or perhaps Mecca and Medina were the only places meant at the time when communication was non-existent. Therefore, it was out of the question to expect news from Yemen about the new moon if we were in Mecca or Medina, as it would have taken the traveller more than a month in order to come an tell us about the new moon.
However, nowadays that the world can communicate on a wide scale at the speed of sound (i.e. 340 m/s), it is feasible to announce the appearance of the new moon throughout the world. But the difficulty has not been made easier even by this important, scientific change in communication. On the contrary, the difficulty has become more complicated as we now know more about the world than we used to know. This fact has increased the strife among Muslims: Sheiks, laymen, princes and poor people.
The Saudis do not relish the idea of the Hajj falling on a Friday because of the overcrowding which takes place and the problems they have to face accordingly - and they have every right to be wary in this respect. Of course, they have the right to be even more concerned should it be proved that the Hajj on a Friday usually coincides with the death of one of the members of the Saudi royal family - God forbid! Such is the pessimism of our brothers in Saudi Arabia about the Hajj on a Friday ... So let it be on a Saturday, or a Sunday, but not on a Friday when the risk of losing one of the princes looms large.
God forbid! Some facts have been made clear to us by the progress of modern sciences and rapid communications, which we hope would facilitate our symbol of unity in deciding the beginning and the end of the fasting month of Ramadan and the Hajj. It has been made clear that Friday in Indonesia is actually Thursday in Libya - in other words, the thirteenth of Shabaan in Libya is, in fact, Ramadan the first in Indonesia or in the Solomon islands, in the pacific ocean - that is to say, if Indonesia were to telephone to announce the beginning of the month of Ramadan, Libya would still be in the month of Shabaan, This proves that sight of the new moon can only be limited ... so limited that every region has to begin fasting at the local sight of the new moon and break their fasting in the same way. But the thorny problem is that of the Hajj. The beginning and end of fasting is not much of a problem, practically speaking.
The real insoluble problem is that of the Hajj. If people set off for the Hajj from every distant corner of the world with prearranged dates for the rituals of going round the Kaba, standing on Mount Arafat and the casting of pebbles in accordance with their local lunar calendar, indicating the beginning and end of fasting, this would create the problem of every distinct group of Muslims having their own Hajj which is different in time to that of the other groups, and consequently, there would be no one day for the standing on Mount Arafat and the following day of Sacrifice ... and the other rites of the Hajj.
This would be a serious problem both spiritually and practically, especially for our brothers in Saudi Arabia. However, this affair was settled only this year by General Schwartzkopf personally, the blessing of the Lord be upon him! He decided in advance ... from the first week of Ramadan that Eid Al Fitre (Feast of the end of Ramadan) would be Monday the 15th of April 1991 A.D. and accordingly, he categorically fixed the days of the Hajj in accordance with the western calendar, no matter, as far as General Schwartzkopf was concerned, whether seen or not -- I mean the new moon and not General Schwartzkopf -- or whether the month of Shabaan was thirty days or less ... or even if the month of Ramadan itself was twenty-eight, thirty or, if need be, thirty-one days. The whole affair was not for discussion or subject to the new moon being seen or not; nor was it a matter of Sunnah or Fardh (Command from God), or "So said the Prophet, and so said God " The decree of General Schwartzkopf had to be obeyed.
The whole affair was one of security for the American forces, its allies and the territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, God's House and the tomb of his prophet included. The month of Ramadan this year had to end, for security reasons at the latest on Sunday 14.04.1991 for all Muslims who began fasting on Saturday, Sunday or Monday: the fourteenth meant the fourteenth, no matter whether it was overcast or people strained their eye-sight out. This necessarily meant that the first of Shawal had to fall on 15.04.1991 even if it were a full moon or not, or even if it were found necessary to choose another month for the Hajj, such as Shawal itself or Dal Qeedah. On the other hand, if the timetable of General Nor.
were to be rejected, the Muslims, enjoying full self respect, self-sovereignty and freedom of choice in the matters of their religion, could always, choose any other month. This did not contradict the Koran as General Schwartzkopf himself said. The Koran says, "For Hajj are months well known," So, it is not a month but months! Thus, thanks to General Nor.
Schwartzkopf a practical solution was at last found to this problem, which had always been a bone of contention in as far as the sight of the new moon was concerned. There was no need for Muslims to try to catch sight on the new moon of Shawal as the whole thing had been settled. It was formally announced in Saudi Arabia that the last day of Ramadan would be Sunday and the following Monday would be the first of Shawal ... and to hell with you, and your new moon, and your Islamic and non-Islamic courts of law! Moreover, General Schwartzkopf had decreed that all registrational formalities for the Hajj, in all corners of the world, be completed before the end of Ramadan; and it was for this reason that General Schwartzkopf had to fix the end of Ramadan, because this action for the first time was made compatible with arrangements for the Hajj.
The Hajj was of considerable concern to General Schwartzkopf because the arrival of hundreds of thousands of people from the Islamic world to places under his protection was a very delicate matter. The Hajj this year was different from that of previous years, because it came this time when Mecca and Medina were under the protection of the American forces.
And, as every one knew, the Saudi government invited these forces to protect them when the Iraqi forces entered Kuwait and perhaps might have wanted to enter the sacred places in order to annex them to Iraq. That would create a very serious situation as these forces might invade the western oil fields, too.
For this reason the Saudi Government, as a sovereign state, had every right to ask for protection, and it was in the interest of America to grant such protection; and, but for the intervention of the American forces, Mecca and Medina might have been annexed to Iraq despite the pros and cons of the whole affair. Now that the protection provided by the American forces had averted such eventuality, who would blame General Schwartzkopf for drawing up a timetable for the end of the months of Ramadan and Shawal and the days of standing on Mount Arafat, the offering of sacrifice and the casting of pebbles, and the last day of Ramadan as the closing registration date for those who wished to undertake the duty of the Hajj?! For this tactical reason, it was impossible to leave the end of Ramadan to the chance sight of the new moon as that could jeopardize the forces entrusted to protect the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In other words, General Schwartzkopf had no choice but fix the fourteenth of April as the last day of Ramadan and the fifteenth as the first day of Shawal ... and the rest till the day of standing on Mount Arafat according to the western calendar only ... In addition to the prohibitions mentioned in the Koran - namely, " Let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness, nor wrangling in the Hajj ..." General Schwartzkopf decreed that the pilgrims to God's sacred House this year had to observe an additional list of prohibitions coming from the General himself and not from God.
forbade the pilgrim to bring any pictures other than the one in his
passport and books of all kinds, the Koran, Hadith and Fiqh
He also forbade the pilgrims to say any prayers except the ones prepared by the General himself, copies of which were available free of charge at all guides' offices. The prayers were to be strictly followed as any other form of prayers under the guise of freedom of speech might lead to hostile slogans against the American forces, or perhaps against the General himself or his president - God forbid! Such eventuality might bring on agitation and protest marches which would disturb the law and order for which the American forces were responsible as Mecca was an integral part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia whose protection was the sole responsibility of General Schwartzkopf.
Who was in the wrong, then? No doubt, it was the non-committed one, the one who deviated from the right course of action; the one who disobeyed the orders. Why should one look up high into the sky to see the new moon? One might as well say, "It was overcast " by which method one would hit several birds with one stone: In this way, which would be most desired, one would have followed and adhered to the Sunnah since it was overcast and so one had to observe Ramadan for thirty-two days. On the other hand, one would have gained an excellent recompense and reward of fasting two more days.
And who would dispute the matter or brand one as infidel when one could answer back Koranically, "And it is better for you that ye fast " And he would be one of those who bow down their heads submissively in obedience of God's command. " And bow down your heads with those who bow down (in worship) ". The Koran is being exploited, or rather, misused by many Muslims to gain power and to justify unfair gains, murder and illegal practices; even prostration and openness. So long as you claim to be a Muslim, you can exploit the Koran for any personal gain.
Can you pretend to be more pious or righteous
than the Muslim Brothers, the Repentance and Migration Party,
Sultan Abdul Hamid, Abdul Majid, Sheikh Abdul Rahman, Abd Norman
and Abd McMillan ...? Therefore, the fifteenth of April 1991 AD
(i.e. western calendar) had to be the feast-day (Eid Al Fitre) and
the Eid service had to be held at the Mecca sanctuary at 06.50 and
at the sanctuary of the prophet at 06.00.
The rest of the Islamic world had to observe the differences in time undisputed.
General Schwartzkopf Air, Land and Sea Protected Mecca. > Next Book >