Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “commence with your fasting when you see the moon and stop fasting again with the sighting of the moon. If the sky is unclear then complete the full 30 days of shabaan.”
From the skies of Arabia 1437 years ago up to this day, the moon is searched for by eager eyes to witness the dawn of one of the most blessed months of the year. Yet it can’t be denied that with the onset of social media and technology, the act of venturing out and searching for the moon has become a rarity. Since why take the trouble of spotting something as thin as a needle in the sky if your local radio will inform you about it. Its moments like these that the words of our Prophet S.A.W echo through my mind,” whoever revives a Sunnah from my Sunnah and the people practice it, will have the same reward of those who practice it without their reward diminishing”. And so The Deen team could up the challenge and got the boys out scouting for the birth of the new moon.
On the night of June 5th, 50 boys and men gathered at the Northcliff Eco Park to welcome the month of Ramadhan. The night was alight with the beautiful voices of Hafez Yaseen Choonara, Qari Umar Bashekh and Qari Usama Ishaaq. The Maghreb prayer was performed and then the men gathered together, eyes skyward, excitement welling within, and Lo and behold, through the grace of the One who causes night and day, we were fortunate enough to spot the moon and welcome the beginning of the month of Ramadhan.
But it didn’t end there. With hungry tummies, and the anticipation of Eid, The Deen Team gathered its troops yet again upon the Northcliff Eco Park hill. Standing atop the hill, the moon searchers were gifted with the view of an entire city. Spectacular would be an understatement. On July 5th, one hundred males made their way with their iftaar goodies packed and ready. The event commenced at 4:15pm, where all were gathered in a tent pitched atop the hill, once again the spirits of these boys and men rose with the wind as heart soothing qiraats and anasheed were rendered by Qari Ridwaan Kaka and Haafidh Salman Kaka. Post Maghreb Salah the crew rushed to be under the night sky, squinting and pointing, trying their best to find the silver line that would bring the dawn of Eid and the end of the most beautiful month. It was by Allah’s will alone that we were unable to spot the moon this time around. Yet the moods were not dampened as the joy of reviving a Sunnah filled these boys and men with the love of their Prophet S.A.W and the impatience to get home and prepare for a day of celebration.
It was an experience that triggered a sense of satisfaction, since on these nights, these boys and men were able to play a direct part in a tradition that was encouraged since the Prophet S.A.W time. We at The Deen Team were extremely impressed by the turn out of the event and the excitement that it created. Therefore, we intend for the “Moon Sighting Event” to be an annual occurrence, where we can be instrumental in reviving a Sunnah and uniting the ummah.