As usual confusion as to when Ramadan begins this year is abound. IT really does surprise me as to how a LOT of people cannot get their heads around basic astronomy and continue to ignore facts – oft blaming those using facts of being ignorant themselves.
Islam uses a Lunar calendar. From one new moon until the next is called a Lunar month and is usually 29.5 (29 and a half) days. So please understand clearly that a Lunar month doesn’t fit nicely into the category of exactly 29 or exactly 30 days, it is squarely in between.
Getting to the point. Sighting of the new moon (‘hilal’) for the beginning of any Lunar/Islamic month is NOT a religious matter. It is a scientific one. Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, the month preceding is called Shabaan.
So when does Shabaan end and Ramadan start?
Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said: “Observe fast on sighting it (the new moon) and break (fast) on sighting it (the new moon), but if the sky is cloudy for you, then complete the number (of 30).” Sahih Muslim; Hadith No 2379a
So the Islamic tradition is to attempt to observe the new moon yourself on the 29th of Shabaan, failing that because 1) it is not there to observe or 2) your view is obscured (cloudy evening/night) you are to complete 30 days of Shabaan and begin the 1st of Ramadan straight after. Hence why I stated that the observation of the moon is a purely scientific matter. Read more
Birmingham. The UK’s 2nd City. Home to 1 Million people. More than half of whom are female.
It’s election time, although the attention is on seats in the House of Commons I prefer to focus on more local matters. There are a number of council seats up for re-election within Birmingham. For those of you doubting who to vote for – vote for a woman. Why? Simply put we need more of them in that council chamber. See the glorious infographic below for an answer as to why I say that (click for larger version):
Of course, if you already have an awesome councillor who truly works hard on behalf of the people in your Ward then sure – vote for them regardless of their gender. This is simply a message for those are undecided and who may take a stab in the dark (although one should always make a serious, considered & balanced decision when choosing whom to vote for).
The reason the city is in such financial disarray, selling off prized assets to raise cash? An equal pay claim dating back many years, where women were paid less then men for doing the same job. That and central goverment cuts to local budgets are killing Brum financially.
[be nice, it’s my first ever Infographic so a little rough around the edges]
[Statistics correct as of end of 2013, sources: Birmingham City Council, ONS]