Moonsighting or Moonfighting? (Part 2, Theo-Geo-Political Moons)
How the annual conflict to determine Ramadan inspires my art.
To see part 1 visit https://islamime.medium.com/
It’s 6am on Sat April 2nd, and I have finished the pre-dawn meal called Suhoor, prayed the pre-dawn prayer called Fajr, and am preparing for the first day of fasting of Ramadan.
But it almost wasn’t Ramadan for parts of my family. As we do each year my larger extended family of uncles, aunts, and cousins, was shooting around messages in our WhatsApp group. Which was comprised of those using a scientific method to sight the moon, a global method to sight the moon with the naked eye, and a local North American method to sight the moon with the naked eye. The calculation and global sighting members were waiting for the local moonsighting group to say something.
Finally around 11pm Eastern the news came from the local geographical moonsighting group that the moon had been spotted in California. I am not sure how California is a local area to Toronto, Ontario, Canada but I would take it. I was personally excited because I would begin fasting the same day as my kids. My ex-wife whom I co-parent with, was going with calculation while my parents were going with local sighting, so I was up late in the night trying to figure it all out till the last minute!
The World is united for Ramadan!
Except in another WhatsApp Group with family from Pakistan, and India, it turns out they are in fact starting fasting on Sun April 3rd.
Also Iran is starting Ramadan on Sun April 3rd, and many Shia Muslims who differ from Sunni Muslims (this is for another time:) will follow what is happening overseas even if they live in Toronto.
The World is NOT united for Ramadan!
You can’t separate religion from politics, not when Islam came to life over 1400 years ago, definitely not now.
Saudi Arabia home of Islam’s two holiest sites the Prophet Muhammad’s Mosque, and the Kabah, the sacred house of Allah (God) where Muslim’s direct their prayers is considered to be the centre of Islam.
But there is deep animosity and religious differences between it and other parts of the Muslim world. Starting Ramadan is a political statement as much as it is a religious one.
Whose Islam is more authentic?
What kind of mental gymnastics does the average Muslim have to do when they are fasting and their fellow Muslim is not?
It is almost that while conceptually there is Islam, practically there are Islam's…
In my next post I will talk about how I plan to unpack these complicated concepts through the different prismed lenses of the characters of my series.
Nadir Shirazi, is the Founder of MultipHacet Entertainment Inc. and the Creator of the upcoming MultiFacet Islamime (Islam + Anime) Project launching June 2022. In the lead-up to launch he will be releasing a series of articles at https://islamime.medium.com/
For more information please visit www.islamime.com or reach out to him at email@example.com