Islam, USA

Um. Eid mubarak

It appears to be Eid today in the Atlanta and Athens area. We found out late this morning (as the Eid congregational prayers at the Athens mosque were ending), since we’d been following both ISNA announcements and Now, I don’t know what reasons led to Eid in the Atlanta area, and I don’t know (yet) if other areas in N. America are taking that route as well–(update: I’ve looked up Chicago, DC and Toronto, and Atlanta seems to be alone in its decision so far) and my not knowing all of this is most irritating to me. The whole notion of fasting Ramadan in unity is shattered as Eid rolls along, and suddenly the last day of Ramzan and the day of Eid are clouded over in uncertainty. I usually don’t express frustration with the process, believing as I do in pluralism within the community, but a pluralism that leaves so many of its members out in the cold is not true pluralism.

So. Why do I have arguments with Eid today? Well, first, because of astronomical calculations (based on the moon which is not a secular object but created by the Divine), and then because as far as goes, the moon has not been sighted in the US. Yes, it has been sighted in Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabia is in a different geographical and time zone, by the way and there’s no reason to follow its lead in terms of the moon. The moon is sighted/calculated differently in different places. In this dimension of earthly existence, we operate under the assumption that time and space are a “reality.” So what happens at Eid?

Anyway, suddenly, we have to scurry in different directions, wondering where we can go to breathe in an Eid environment. Raihana is 18 months old and I do not want her 2nd Eid to be spent in daycare. Soon Christmas will be here and she’ll be surrounded in malls and at daycare with trees and nativity scenes, and possibly nothing on Eid.

Any ideas on where we can go in Atlanta to mill around aimlessly amid a bunch of muslim strangers and eat “Muslim” foods?

10 thoughts on “Um. Eid mubarak”

  1. Assalamu alaikum, Atlanta is not alone, Nashville/Clarksville also did Eid today, as well as my local masjid in Florida (I pretty much told my husband who went to the Eid pryaers that I’d not do Eid today). Even though Saudi is in a different time zone, according to, the elumination of hte moon in Makkah for October 11 was 0% meaning no light reflecting off of it from the sun. And at 3:15 AM Makkah time which was like 10 PM Eastern here, the moon was only 0.7% eluminated, which pretty much meeans the moon is dark and can’t be seen! So if anyone saw something in Saudi, Allah knows best but it most likely wasn’t the moon! Now when I say this people will say “nothing is impossible” when I say that it was impossible to see the moon etc., or they’ll say “are you accusing Muslims of lying”, and I’d say that firstly, no one is accusing anyone of lying, we’d just say that they made a mistake, and also, the Qur’an says that the moon and sun and other celestial bodies follow a “course” determined, so that means we know where the moon, sun, etc., are! So to say we should just dispense with the knowledge that God has given us for the “witness” of someone who saw something that can’t be seen, well, what can you do in that case?

    Many things can be mistaken for the moon, so what do you do? I actually was the real odd one out and just follows Zaytuna *smile*. Because it seems like all of the organizations are flip flopping, oneyear they follow Saudi, the other it’s calculations, the other year it’s soemthing else! Just pick a criteria and stick with it already! And would it not be somehow possible to have the Eid prayers on different days in the same community to accommodate the varying opinions? That would go more to fostering unity than anything else, imho, as we can just agree to disagree and say Mashallah, when someone has a different opinion than we do! Because I’d sure like to pray Eid pryaer too and preferably not in my house by myself. Sorry for the long comment.

  2. Assalamu alaikum, thanks for your comment on my blog as well and Alhamdulillah that my comment here was helpful to you. If you want to find the astronomical data for Makkah (or Madinah for that matter), go to, do a search for Makkah Saudi Arabia, it will come up, you can see the astronomical date for today, but you can also go back, just click in the boxes to pick the day you want to go to. It will show you the sunrise, sunset, moonrise, moonset and percent of the moon’s elumination as well as the phase that the moon is in. Very useful info! Also I think the US naval observatory may also have this info, but if you want to find it easily, Weather Underground is a good place to start. is a good source of info too, but I’m not of the “let’s dispense with the Sunnah of moon sighting and just stick with calculation camp”. IMHO, and it is a humble opinion indeed, I think that Zaytuna has found a nice happy medium in striving to keep alive a confirmed Sunnah, while at the same time making use of the tools and knowledge that Allah Subhana wa ta’ala has given us. People can make mistakes in moon sighting if they don’t know what they’re looking for, don’t have knowledge of astronomy, or if not that, at least the positions of the moon, stars, etc., in the sky, to enable them to know the difference bwetween a jet’s comtrail and the thin line of the new crescent. It makes me sad that we have to go through this every year, not the differences mind you, but the ensuing battles that rage and the accusations of “fitna” that go along with it. And the sad thing is for some reason I fall into the same trap myself. Possibly because this subject of moon sighitng is an interest of mine, and also because it’s caused me such confusion and stress in the past. What is more, I’ve read on other blogs and websites that Saudi Arabia has delcared Eid early and then later gone back and said “oops we made a mistake, you gotta make up a day of fast”, why not be scrupulous about someone’s moon sighting account in the first place and not lead to millions of Muslims breaking their fasts and then baring the responsibility of that? that would seem a safer way to me, but hey, what do I know? Sorry again for the long comment. Assalamu alaikum and Eid Mubarak.

  3. Oh, guess I should have told you that (most of Sunni) Atlanta follows Saudia. And the Saudis have a special potion they must drink before sighting the moon.

    I added some links for moon info to my Eid post.

    As for events/bazaars/melas, we are trying to find some info on that as well. I know there was some chandraat stuff. If I find something interesting, I’ll let you know.

  4. Any ideas on where we can go in Atlanta to mill around aimlessly amid a bunch of muslim strangers and eat “Muslim” foods?

    How about our place Sunday? You guys are coming, right?

  5. In Minnesota this happens every year. Some masjids are doing things today while others are doing it tomorrow. One year there was one masjid that did things both days because they couldn’t even agree within the group what to do.

  6. Eid Mubarak! This happens every year so don’t put yourself out over it. Let’s make the best of it Koonj after all we’re pardesi aren’t we?

  7. It’s not just in the US. We had Eid here in Jordan on friday, and then found out that Jordan had just followed Saudi, which is not too trustworthy. So we’re all doing a make up fast along with the shawwal fasts. I know there are some KFC’s in North Atlanta that serve zabiha upon request. I had a zagat guide, but it’s in the states!

  8. So it would appear! My brother tells me that Peshawar had 3 Eids: one for the Saudi-ites, and two for all the others. Only thing, in Pakistan Eid generally spreads out over a few days anyway, so they didn’t have an enormous loss. We on the other hand, have just 1-2 gatherings to catch and that’s it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s