Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
Shaykh Hamza Yusuf was born in Washington State and raised in Northern California. In 1977, he became Muslim and subsequently traveled to the Muslim world and studied for ten years in the U. A. E., Saudi Arabia, as well as North and West Africa. He received teaching licenses in various Islamic subjects from several well-known scholars in various countries. After ten years of studies abroad, he returned to the USA and took degrees in Religious Studies and Health Care. He has traveled all over the world giving talks on Islam. He also founded Zaytuna Institute which has established an international reputation for presenting a classical picture of Islam in the West and which is dedicated to the revival of traditional study methods and the sciences of Islam. Shaykh Hamza is the first American lecturer to teach in Morocco's prestigious and oldest University, the Karaouine in Fes. In addition, he has translated into modern English several classical Arabic traditional texts and poems. Shaykh Hamza currently resides in Northern California with his wife and five children.
||Every community should have a group of people that commits to sighting the new moon each month. High-quality astronomy magazines and websites indicate the most probable day for its sighting. However, astronomical new moons and juristic new moons are not the same: the birth of a new moon astronomically is not its birth according to the jurists of Islam. This fact creates much confusion every year and could be easily resolved if Muslims return to the sunna of the Prophet , as he said in a sound hadith related by Imam al-Hakim, "The best of Allah's servants are those who observe the new moons and shadows as a way of remembering Allah." Although the hadith generally refers to the muezzin who traditionally fulfilled that function, it does not exclude others who partake in the practice of tawqit.|
|This paper will examine the issue of Muslims physically sighting the crescent moon as the basis for beginning the months that constitute their lunar calendar. The argument posed here is especially relevant in the United States and Canada where the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and its allied Fiqh Council of North America are attempting to establish a norm of using calculations as the basis for determining the beginning of the lunar calendar, and the timing of associated devotional acts such as the Fast of Ramadan and the Hajj.|