Friday, December 16, 2005

Fast another day?

In Oman we've been lucky that there hasn't been any fragmentation of society among the sects. While the government is ibadhi, the population is probably more sunni than ibadhi and there's a small but prominent shia minority. Other countries have enough problems from just having shia and sunnis. Oman has three sects and yet thank God, we've been stable. This stability is best displayed by the fact that there has never been a fragmentation from following the government in observing the begining and end of Ramadhan. Unlike some of our neighboring countries where we always here news of the sunnis and shia fasting and breaking fast on different days, here in Oman we all follow the govenrment. I have never once heard a shi3i say that they don't believe the govenrnment's declaration for the begining of Ramadhan. We all trust the government and we are proud of the fact that unlike other countries Oman follows its own sighting. We don't just wait to hear if Saudi Arabia has sighted the new moon and then follow it blindly like some other countries do. True, this results in Oman often being a day ahead or behind other countries, but we don't mind because we trust that we're probably right.

A week ago rumors came out that the grand mufti has declared that this year's eid sighting was in doubt and hence he advises everyone in Oman to fast an extra day to compensate. This would be well and good if it weren't for the fact that the mufti himself was involved in the live television broadcast on the night of 29th Ramadhan with live telecasts from various points in Oman in which not one of the remote locations had seen the new moon. And yet despite that the mufti declared the begining of eid due to a few other sitings from off-site locations. And now the mufti says that one of the astronomers in one of those sites has declared a doubt about whether he really saw the moon. So the mufti is basically telling us that even though on the night of 29th Ramadhan he got multiple witnesses with sightings which he believed, he is now willing to ask a whole nation to fast an extra day due to a single doubting astronomer?

Does the mufti not realize the path that he's putting us on by doing this? I would really hate it if next year the sunna, shi3a and ibadha all start fasting on different days. If it happens it will all be traced to this one decision.

11 comments:

NiGhTFaCe said...

I agree, the people will have doubts about if we should trust the council judges or not!

OceanDream said...

I agree with Nightface. I for one, saw the live broadcast of the moon sightings. I heard all the calls of people saying there was no sightings in their area. Everyone in that council meeting seemed jittery for some reason. It was evident that there would be no eid the next day. Yet, when the television presenter received the piece of paper that contained the final decision, he proclaimed that eid was indeed the day after due to three (I think) moon sightings. It was a shock. Even the presenter looked confused.

I remember my father in law sitting in the same room with me saying that it was rediculous. That there was no way Eid could be the netx day.

Anyhow, all of us at home (except Mux) decided that we would fast this coming Monday inshallah.

Kazablanka said...

Mistakes happen everywhere.

I remember when we were living in the emirates like 6 years back, one year after ramadan they announced that we fasted late and that we have to fast an extra day. It didnt start any problems though.. i dont know.. you cant really be sure about things like this so u cant really blame the people who decide and stuff.

My family and I decided to fast on monday too..

Sowhat said...

tottally agree with you muscati .. shia and sunni in kuwait never manage to fast and have eid together which always cause alot of confusion to which you should say eid mobarak and to which you shouldnt .. wo i always been happy that Oman doesnt have this problem ..

this year unfortuanlty alot of ppl had doubts about the way the eid had been annouced .. and those doubt now became facts by the rising rumour ..

Arabian Princess said...

I really hope this doesnt create any conflict between sects .. I dont think its related to sects here. My sunni colleuge at work said someting that made me change my prespective (which was simmiler to yours) .. he said that the commitee is willing to say they were mistaken, or that there is more doubt is good. It means ildinya lisa bikhair :)

I would fast, its one day after all .. but I would really love to hear an official statment about this if it was confirmed that we fasted wrongly.

Wardat_il'7leej said...

FYI: 75% Ibadhi Muslim population in Oman

As for fasting an extra day even if it was mistakenly judged it also considered as something good if you go ahead with it. I don’t see the harm in fasting the extra day whether it be for the mistake that was made or just for self benefits

muscati said...

Warda - regardless of the government's insistence that Oman is 75% ibadhi, I beg to differ until credible evidence is shown to prove it. Dhofar, the wusta, sharqiya and dhahira regions are all majority sunni. The batinah is the most populous region of Oman and it is a mixed blend of sunna and ibadha. The one region that is majority ibadhi is the dhakhiliya.

Even if the ibadhi sect was a majority it would not be an overwhelming one like 75%. Probably in the 50% range because there's no way that the percentage of sunnis are less than 25%.

Abu Al-Mahdy said...

Why dont we follow The Saudis like the rest of the Gulf ?

Kay said...

i thought it was the entering of ramadan that was wrong, not whether we should have fasted 29 or 30 days. eid day was right laken the day we started to fast wasnt, we were supposed to fast a day before.

fasting an extra day isnt soo bad, but there needs to be a public announcment at least. i suggest the gov pays a kafaara 3aana :P it was their mistake, honest or not.

Arabian Princess said...

"Dhofar, the wusta, sharqiya and dhahira regions are all majority sunni."

Just a correction Muscati, Sharqia are majority Ibadhis, its just sur & Ja3lan banu bu hassan where the majority are sunnis.

Samyah said...

"I have never once heard a shi3i say that they don't believe the govenrnment's declaration for the begining of Ramadhan."

I have. I know a couple people who are shi3a and fasted a day earlier than the rest of the country did last year.

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I think I will fast, but not for the government, just to be away from mowda3 shak.