Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Start of Ramadan; an Annual Political Excercise

Ramadan is based upon a lunar calendar and starts officially upon the sighting of the new moon. Thus, the holy month whereas Muslims abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset might start tomorrow or Saturday. Throughout the Muslim world, people will try and spot the new moon (hilal) within an hour window at dusk time. In the Muslim countries, there is an official committee who hereby hears testimony from the witness(es) that have spotted the hilal and declare the start of Ramadan.

The irony is that this becomes a political affair whereas certain countries take the sighting of the moon in another country as applicable to their own country, while others do not. Thus, a religious and simple affair has to suffer at the hands of politics throughout the Muslim world. Instead of rejoice and solidarity amongst Muslims, the occasion become fraught with disharmony and divide. The masses suffer as a result and become disenfranchised from their political leadership.

I call upon key opinion leaders throughout the Muslim world to condemn this political grandstanding and unite behind the masses in having one start to the Holy month of Ramadan. This should be simple and benefits all Muslims throughout the world as the religion is inclusive and not exclusive. Please show us the Ramadan spirit.

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