All praise is due to ALLAH, and may His peace and blessings be upon the final messenger (s).
Over the last few days, a number of respected scholars and imams that form the Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) gathered to adopt a unified position, and by the Grace of ALLAH swt they have succeeded in agreeing on a methodology that unifies our position.
ANIC adopted a unified methodology for identifying the start of the month of Ramadan, which is the clear evidence of the birth of the new moon after the setting of the sun- rather than before or during the sunset-. So that methods of physically witnessing it are available if the conditions allow it, such as time of day, angle and clarity of the sky … etc.
After many meetings and discussions in person and over the phone with the members of ANIC around Australia. The following was decided:
Firstly: It will be impossible to physically see the crescent on Friday the 27th of June 2014 AEST. This will also be the case for the majority of Muslim countries according the Islamic Crescent Observance Project this year. A definitive eyewitness account of the crescent cannot take place in Sydney during sunset on Friday. Therefore, Saturday the 28th of June 2014 will mark the end of Sha’baan, which makes Sunday the 29th of June 2014 the first day of the month of Ramadan for the Hijri year of 1435.
Secondly: Myself along with scholars and imams representing ANIC reiterate the importance of working side by side in the community, and to avoid involving people -and especially the youth-in matters of contention even amongst scholars. It is not helpful and would only serve to exacerbate rather than remedy
Thirdly: We assert our acknowledgement and appreciation of the positions of the scholars and imams who do not share our opinions, and respect their points of view. We remind that it is important to continue in this conversation concerning such dynamic issues which affect the future of our community. We believe dialogue is the only way forward. Through it, we can understand and appreciate each other until ALLAH swt blesses us with complete agreement and unity in heart and mind. We pray that ALLAH help us to make ourselves better.
“We assert our acknowledgement and appreciation of the positions of the scholars and imams who do not share our opinions, and respect their points of view.”
My dear brothers and sisters:
Ramadan comes to us this year full of tragedies that weigh heavily on our hearts. We see the Arab Spring has not born the fruits of freedom and justice for which we had hoped. We see the powers of oppression and tyranny doing their best to keep their people from living freely. We see clear instigation towards division, sectarianism and tearing apart the fabric of unity that defines the Muslim Ummah .
Racism and double standards are applied against whole nations, while others are above the law, free to engage in horrific abuses of humanity without any accountability.
We see countries occupied and colonized for years and decades. Their people humiliated and kept from their rights to live freely and justly. Worse still, we are seeing those who would justify and defend this brutal oppression.
There are regimes launching all out wars on their own people, and what is even more gruesome is their allies support them militarily and politically to massacre innocent men women and children .
Therefore I, in my position as Mufti of Australia, and the respected members of ANIC call on the Muslims of Australia to remember their fasting brothers and sisters in Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, Burma, and all the lands and nations of Muslims around the world, and to provide them with all the channels of support available to us here. We pray for them and remember them in our dua’s, and ask ALLAH swt to bless and protect our home, Australia, and all the countries of the world.