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Predicting the Jumada al-Awwal Crescent according to Shiʻa Marjas’ Fatwas

Certain factors are at play for sighting the crescent on the first night of the month. These factors include “the time when the sun and the moon sets”, “the interval between the setting of the two”, “the coordinates of the sun and the moon and also the difference between the angles of them which is down to the latitudinal as well as the directional difference of the moon and the sun”, “the percentage of the crescent illumination, also known as the phases of the moon”.

Nowadays, by taking these factors into consideration, computer programmers have built some applications which work for most parts of the world. These programs can predict and draw visibility patterns of the crescent through computing and according to mathematical and scientific criteria. (the criteria for the latitudinal zone are 60 degrees south to 60 degrees north and do not work for latitudes more than 60 degrees.)

Take a look at the following pictures:

Map 1: Crescent visibility map in the lunar month of Jumada al-Awwal, 1440 at Sunday’s sunset on January 6, 2019 based on the Yallop criterion.

Map 2: Crescent visibility map in the lunar month of Jumada al-Awwal, 1440 at Sunday’s sunset on January 7, 2019 based on the Yallop criterion.

Map 3: Crescent visibility map in the lunar month of Jumada al-Awwal, 1440 at Sunday’s sunset January 8th, 2019 based on the Yallop criterion.

Map colors explanation based on the Yallop criterion:

In the green shaded area, the crescent should be easily visible to the naked eye.

In the yellow (similar to orange) shaded area, the crescent should be visible to the naked eye under favorable atmospheric conditions.

In the purple (similar to pink) shaded area, sighting the crescent might require special equipment and an aided eye, that is to say the crescent may become visible to the naked eye after sighting through the equipment.

In the blue shaded area, the crescent can only be sighted with an aided eye.

In areas with no color, sighting the crescent is impossible and infeasible (because although conjunction occurs before the sunset and the moon also sets after that, the crescent is not illuminated enough for it to be sighted even with an aided eye.)

In the red shaded area sighting the crescent is impractical and absolutely out of the question (because the moon sets before the sun does, in other words, conjunction occurs after the sunset).

Conclusion:

Conjunction between the moon and the sun occurs at 1:28 a.m. UTC on Sunday, January 6, 2019; but it requires more than 18 hours for the crescent to become visible with the aided eye and more than 22 for it to be observable with the naked eye.

According to various Jurisprudential bases, the crescent visibility (for the latitudinal zone of 60 degrees south to 60 degrees north) is predicted in such a way:

(You only have to find the name of your Marja taqlid (the highest religious authority) and read the lines related to that particular basis. At the end of the bases which have multiple lines, it is mentioned that which region in the lines Iran belongs to.)

The first basis:  The basis that “requires sighting the crescent with naked eyes” and “the horizon’s integrity conditions” (well-known jurisprudential basis of jurisconsults (in Mohammedan law) like the highest Islamic authorities: Imam Khomeini (may Allah bless his soul), Golpaigani (M.A.B.H.S), Araki (M.A.B.H.S), sayyid Muhammad Sadr (M.A.B.H.S), Sistani, Shabiri Zanjani, Makarem Shirazi, and Sayyid Muhammad Taghi Modarresi).

1.Sighting the crescent of the moon with naked eyes will easily be materialized at sunset of Sunday, Dey 16, 1397 (SH)/ January 6, 2019 A.D, at the far west end of Pacific ocean [ the green area of the map No.1 represents Cook islands, Line islands, Kiritimati island, Hawai’i islands, and the marine areas surrounding them] and in the same area, Monday,  January 7, 2019 A.D, it will be the first day of Jumada Al-’Awwal, 1440 (LH) .

2.Sighting the crescent with naked eyes at sunset of Sunday, January 6, 2019 A.D, in middle and eastern areas of the Pacific ocean and the west of Central America [the orange area of the map No.1 are Polynesia islands, Pitcairn island, Galapagos island, Cocos island,  southwestern of El Salvador( San Salvador city), southwestern of Guatemala( Guatemala city), southwestern of Mexico( Mexico city, Acapulco, Guadalajara and cities adjacent to it), Baja California Sur state in Mexico and more western areas than them] the crescent may be sighted. Also, within the scope of Monday, January 7, 2019 A.D., it would be the first day of Jumada Al-’Awwal, 1440 (LH) (If the crescent has not been sighted, this scope will be added to the areas of paragraph No. 3.

3.Except the areas of paragraphs No.2 and 3, for most of Earth’s regions (the continents of America, Africa, Europe, and Australia, apart from the areas which was mentioned in paragraph No. 4) at sunset of Monday, Dey 17, 1397 SH. (and Rabi ath-Thānī 30, 1440 (LH) in Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia) that is equal to January 7, 2019 A.D., the crescent would be visible with naked eyes, and Tuesday, January 8, 2019 A.D., will be the first day of Jumada Al-’Awwal, 1440 (LH).

4.Areas which are in pink, blue, and colorless parts of map No.2; they represent almost all  New Zealand, the far northwestern end of Asia (Kamchatka peninsula and beyond it), north of Asia [almost the whole Russia except its southern outskirt (including west of Sakhalin and cities like Khabarovsk, Blagoveshchensk, Chita, Krasnoyarsk, Tomsk, Yekaterinburg, Perm, Kirov, and Saint Petersburg and more southern cities than them which are part of areas of clause 3). At sunset of Wednesday, January 8, 2019 A.D., the crescent would be visible with naked eyes and Wednesday, January 9, 2019 A.D. will be the first day of Jumada Al-’Awwal, 1440 (LH) for them.

The second basis: the basis that “requires sighting the crescent with the naked eye” and the basis indicating “the sufficiency of sighting the crescent the areas where most of nighttime fell simultaneously”(the Jurisprudential basis used by Grand Ayatollah Wahid Khorāsāni)

  1. It is easy to sight the crescent with the naked eye at the sunset of Sunday, January 6, 2019 at the far east end of the Pacific Ocean [the green area on Map No. 1, consisting of Cook Islands, Line Islands, Kiritimati Island, the Hawaiian Islands and the marine regions surrounding them]; moreover, Monday, January 7, 2019 will be Jumada Al-’Awwal, 1, 1440 (LH) in the same region in addition to the whole north, central and south America (all countries such as: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and the northwest outskirts of Brazil) where the crescent can be sighted simultaneously for most of the nighttime.
  2. It is possible to sight the crescent with the naked eye at the sunset of Sunday, Dey 16, 1397 (SH)/ January 6, 2019, in the middle and eastern areas of the Pacific Ocean and the west of Central America [the orange area on Map No. 1, consisting of Polynesian Islands, Pitcairn Islands, Galápagos Islands, Cocos Island, the southwest of El Salvador (San Salvador city) and of Guatemala (Guatemala City), and of Mexico (the cities of Mexico City, Acapulco, Guadalajara and the nearby regions and the state of Baja California Sur) and the regions further west] in which case, Monday, January 7, 2019 will be Jumada Al-’Awwal, 1, 1440 (LH) , in the above mentioned areas and the whole American continent and the North-west corner of the Africa continent (the countries of: Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, the Midwest Algeria and the more western countries), and the western half of European continent (the Midwest Italy and the entire countries of: Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Belarus, Estonia, Finland, and all the countries that are more in west), where the crescent can be sighted for most of the nighttime.
  3. As for the remaining regions of the earth (excluding the areas located in the first two paragraphs), Tuesday, January 8, 2019 will be Jumada Al-Awwal 1, 1440 (LH).

The third basis: the basis that “requires sighting the crescent with the naked eye” and the basis indicating “the sufficiency of sighting the crescent in regions where part of nighttime falls simultaneously.”

  1. It is easy to sight the crescent with the naked eye at the sunset of Sunday, Dey16, 1397 (SH)/January 6, 2019at the far east end of the Pacific Ocean [the green area on Map No. 1, consisting of the Cook Islands, the Line Islands, Kiritimati Island, the Hawaiian Islands, and the marine areas surrounding them]; Moreover, Monday, January 7, 2019 will be Jumada Al-’Awwal1, 1440 (LH) in the same area in addition to the entire American and European continents and most of the African continent (excluding the countries located in the northeast outskirts of Africa, including Madagascar, Somali, Ethiopia, Kenia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Southern Africa, and the northwest of Hijaz, Iraq, and the entire parts of Syria, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, and the west of Kazakhstan, and Russia, where the crescent can be sighted simultaneously for some of the nighttime.
  2. It is possible to sight the crescent with the naked eye at the sunset of Sunday, January 6, 2019 in the middle and eastern regions of the Pacific Ocean and the west of Central America [the orange area on Map No. 1, consisting of the Polynesian Islands, the Pitcairn Islands, the Galápagos Islands, Cocos Island, the southwest of El Salvador (San Salvador city) and of Guatemala (Guatemala city), and finally of Mexico (the cities of Mexico city, Acapulco, Guadalajara, and the nearby regions and the state of Baja California Sur) and the regions further west, in which case, Monday, January 7, 2019 will be Jumada Al-’Awwal 1, 1440 (LH) in the above-mentioned areas and the entire American, European, and African continents and most of the Asian continent (excluding Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Lagos, Philippines, Japan, North Korea, and South Korea, the eastern half of China, and the southeast outskirts of Russia), where the crescent can be sighted for some of the nighttime.
  3. As for the remaining regions of the Earth, (excluding the regions located in the first two paragraphs) Tuesday, January 8, 2019 will be Jumada Al-’Awwal1, 1440 (LH).

Fourth Basis: the basis that “requires sighting the crescent with the naked eye” and the basis indicating “The Sufficiency of Sighting at Every Point of Everywhere on earth” (The Basis of the Islamic Laws of the Grand Ayatollahs Lotfollah Safi Golpaygani, Mohammad Ishagh Fayyaz, Bashir Hossein Najafi)

  1. It is easy to sight the crescent with naked eye on the evening of Sunday, January 6, 2019, at the far west end of the Pacific Ocean [green area of the map No. 1, consisting of the Cook Islands, the Line Islands, Kiritimati Island, the Hawaiian Islands, and the marine areas surrounding them]; Therefore, for entire regions of the earth, Monday, Dey 17, 1397/January 7, 2019, will be the first day of Jumada Al-’Awwal 1440 Hijri.

The fifth basis: the basis indicating “the sufficiency of sighting the crescent with the aided eye” and “the condition of the unity of the horizon” (the Jurisprudential basis of the Grand Ayatollahs Bahjat (mabhs) and Khamenei)

  1. It is possible to sight the crescent with the naked eye at the sunset of Sunday, January 6, 2019, in the blue, pink and orange areas on the map No. 1, consisting of the Pacific Ocean and in the West Atlantic and all of the Central America and Northern part of South America [(All countries of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, a small outskirts of the north of Chile and Argentina and Paraguay, Most of Brazil (excluding the southeast, such as the cities of Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and the southern cities)]. And one third of southern part of the North America [(Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico, and most of the United States (The cities of Richmond, Charleston, Indianapolis, Demonian, Boyce, Salem, and the cities with the same latitude and the further south regions)] in which case, Monday, Dey 17, 1397 (SH)/January 7, 2019 will be Jumada Al-’Awwal 1, 1440 (LH) only in these regions.
  2. Excluding the regions in paragraph 1, for most parts of the earth (The rest of the American, African, Europe, Asian, and Australian continents except the areas that are mentioned in paragraph 3) In the evening of Monday, January 7, 2019 (30 Rabi al-Thani 1440 (LH) in Iran, Iraq and Hijaz), the crescent will be seen with the aided eye and Tuesday, January 8, 2019, will be the first day of Jumada Al-’Awwal 1440 (LH).
  3. The regions with no color on the Map No. 2;just a small part of far northeast end of Asia (North Kamchatka Peninsula and the upper parts) It is possible to sight the crescent with the naked eye, on the evening of Tuesday, January 8, 2019, then, Wednesday January 9, 2019, will be the first day of Jumada Al-’Awwal, 1440 (LH).

The sixth basis: the basis indicating “the sufficiency of sighting the crescent with the aided eye” and “the sufficiency of sighting the crescent in regions with partly simultaneous nighttime (the Jurisprudential basis used by Grand Ayatollah Fazel Lankarānī, Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Kāẓim al-Hā’irī, and Grand Ayatollah Nῡrī Hamedāni)

  1. It is possible to sight the crescent with the naked eye at the sunset of Sunday, January 6, 2019, in the blue, pink, and orange areas on Map No. 1, consisting of the Pacific Ocean, the west of Atlantic Ocean, the entire Central America, the northern half of South America [consisting of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, a small part of the northern outskirts of Chile, Argentina, Paraguay and most of Brazil (excluding its southeast, such as Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and the cities further south)], one-third of the south of North America [consisting of Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico and most of the United states of America (Richmond, Charleston, Indianapolis, Des Moines, Boise, Salem and the cities with the same altitude and the cities further south)], in which case, Monday, January 7, 2019 will be Jumada Al-’Awwal, 1, 1440 (LH) , in the above mentioned areas and the entire American, European, African, and Asian continents and the western half of Australia, , where the crescent can be sighted for part of the nighttime.
  2. As for the remaining regions of the Earth (excluding the areas described in Paragraph 1), Tuesday, January 8, 2019 will be Jumada Al-Awwal 1, 1440 (LH).

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