Istihlal

Priority: b, Quality: c
From wikishia
Isthilal of the new moon in Iran

Istihlāl (Arabic: اِستِهلال), is sighting the crescent moon on the eve of the first day of a lunar month. Istihlal is recommended and in some cases, it is a collective duty. Some of the individual and social Muslims acts of worship, including the beginning and the end of Ramadan month, performing some hajj rituals, and determining the sacred months are based on recognizing the beginning of the lunar months. In some Islamic countries, some committees have been formed for Istihlal.

Most jurists consider sighting the crescent with an unaided eye (without using a camera) as the criterion for proving the beginning of a lunar month, but according to Ayatullah Khamenei, a Shiite marja' and the leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, sighting the crescent with a camera is also valid.

Meaning and significance

Looking at the sky to see the crescent moon on the eve of the first day of the lunar month is called Istihlal.[1] Istihlal literally means to raise the voice.[2] According to al-Shaykh al-Mufid, sighting the crescent moon was called so, because when people saw it, they raised their voices to say Allah-u Akbar and point to it.[3]

Some Muslims rituals and acts of worship are based on the lunar months, and one of the ways to recognize and prove the beginning of the lunar month is to see the crescent moon.[4]

Istihlal is a recommended practice and is sometimes a collective duty.[5] According to hadiths, the obligation to fast in the month of Ramadan and its end in Eid al-Fitr depends on the sighting of the crescent moon.[6] Also, in jurisprudence, determining the time of performing the rituals of hajj and staying in 'Arafat, Mash'ar, and Mina is based on the sighting of the crescent moon of Dhu al-Hijjah.[7] Therefore, a number of Shiite and Sunni jurists believe in collective duty of Istihlal in the months of Ramadan, Shawwal, and Dhu al-Hijjah.[8]

Istihlal with unaided eyes and with camera

Jurists have different opinions about the method of Istihlal.[9] Some Shiite jurists believe that sighting the crescent must be done with unaided eyes, and sighting the crescent using a camera or a telescope is not valid.[10] Ayatullah Khamenei, a Shiite marja' and the leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, considers also seeing with the use of tools as valid. Therefore, in Iran, optical cameras are used for sighting the crescent.[11] Thus, in cases where the crescent can be seen with such tools but not with naked eyes, there are differences of opinion among marja's in announcing the beginning or the end of the lunar month, including the day of [[Eid al-Fitr].[12] Also, Sunni jurists in some countries, such as Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf countries, consider only sighting the moon without tools as valid.[13]

Istihlal Committee

According to the order of Ayatullah Khamenei, the leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a committee has been formed for istihlal. At the beginning of the lunar months, this committee sends observation groups to different regions and publishes the report of sighting the crescent moon on a monthly basis.[14]

See Also

Notes

  1. ʿAmīd, Farhang-i Fārsī, under the word istihlāl.
  2. Ṭurayḥī, Majmaʿ al-baḥrayn, p. 499.
  3. Mufīd, Jawābāt ahl al-Muṣil fī al-ʿadad wa al-ruʾya, p. 16.
  4. Jalīlī, Barrasī-yi fiqhī-yi istihlāl dar nazd-i farīqayn, p. 97.
  5. Ḥillī, Taḥrīr al-aḥkām, vol. 1, p. 493; Kāshif al-ghitāʾ, Kashf al-ghitāʾ, vol. 4, p. 17.
  6. See: Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 4, p. 77.
  7. Khurāsānī et.al , Istihlāl, p. 389.
  8. Khurāsānī et.al , Istihlāl, p. 389.
  9. Jalīlī, Barrasī-yi fiqhī-yi istihlāl dar nazd-i farīqayn, p. 103.
  10. Jalīlī, Barrasī-yi fiqhī-yi istihlāl dar nazd-i farīqayn, p. 103.
  11. How is the new crescent moon seen? (Persian).
  12. Jalīlī, Barrasī-yi fiqhī-yi istihlāl dar nazd-i farīqayn, p. 99.
  13. Jalīlī, Barrasī-yi fiqhī-yi istihlāl dar nazd-i farīqayn, p. 100.
  14. How is the new crescent moon seen? (Persian).

References

  • ʿAmīd, Ḥasan. Farhang-i Fārsī-i ʿAmīd. Tehran: Ashjaʿ, 1389 Sh.
  • Ḥillī, al-Ḥasan b. Yūsuf al-. Taḥrīr al-aḥkām al-sharʿiyya ʿalā madhhab al-imāmiyya. Edited by Ibrāhīm Bahādurī. Qom: Muʾassisat Imām al-Ṣādiq, 1420 AH.
  • Jalīlī, ʿAbbās. Barrasī-yi fiqhī-yi istihlāl dar nazd-i farīqayn. In Ḥabl al-matīn magazine. First number. 1391 Sh.
  • Kāshif al-ghitāʾ, Jaʿfar. Kashf al-ghitāʾ ʿan mubhamāt al-sharīʿa al-gharrā. Qom: Intishārāt-i Islami, 1422 AH.
  • Khurāsānī, Ḥamīd Riḍā and Mukhtārī, Riḍā. Istihlāl in Dānishnāma-yi Ḥajj wa Ḥaramayn-i sharīfayn. Qom: Mashʿar, 1392 Sh.
  • Kulaynī, Muḥammad b. Yaʿqūb al-. Al-Kāfī. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1407 AH.
  • Mufīd, Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-. Jawābāt ahl al-Muṣil fī al-ʿadad wa al-ruʾya. Qom: Kungira-yi Jahānī Hizāra-yi Shaykh Mufīd, 1413 AH.
  • Ṭurayḥī, Fakhr al-Dīn b. Muḥammad al-. Majmaʿ al-baḥrayn. Edited by Sayyid Aḥmad Ḥusaynī. Tehran: al-Maktaba al-Murtaḍawīyya, 1375 Sh.