The Sighting of the Moon?

Finally for once the whole Muslim world agreed that Ramadan starts September 1st (edit, Silent Reader pointed out Libya and Iran started differently).

Now I get an email stating that Eid will be “dependant on the sighting of the moon”.

My question is: WHY?!

Science has come a long way now and we can predict weather (which fall under Chaos Theory) so definitely we can predict something as systematic as the lunar cycle.

It pisses me off when for instance, Saudi Arabia says they saw the moon, so Ramadan starts, and Syria says they didn’t see anything and they delay Ramadan by one day. I thought the moon is a universal phenomena and won’t really change much if you go vertically up just a little in lattitude. If it appears in one place, it should appear pretty much everywhere in the region (poles excluded but will come to that later).

Which brings me to the point of Qadr. I am fine with not having the exact date revealed and that it is most likely 27. Now, aside from the fact that some people say “the night changes every year” *rolls eyes… I mean if the Quran was revealed on 27 then it is 27 on all Ramadans not 27 in one and 23 in another*… when we have different countries starting with different dates then which country is actually “correct” about the night (let us assume it is 27)?

A sheikh in one khutba said “but this is one of the great miracles!”. I am not going to that mosque again.

Now let’s assume I’m following the traditional way and I am living in Antarctica. I get 6 months plus worth of total darkness and a couple of months of total sunshie. Strictly speaking, then, a lunar month is 29-30 years there.

What if the moon flew off orbit or it exploded? Will Islam be doomed? Will we then resort to the scientific, calculated dates? We’re doing it for PRAYERS… I mean God forbid they said Iftar is at 6:23 and it is actually 6:24!

I can understand when 1400 years ago the sighting of the moon was the best if not only indication for the new lunar month. But now in 2008 things are different. Islam told us to embrace science, to seek it and make use of it. Why aren’t we? They’re predicting the exact timing of a prayer can’t they predict what stage the moon is in?!

Eid Mubarak :D I will be freezing in Jordan (it is 27C-31C at night here and 3C-7C at night there) starting from tomorrow LOL!

PS: You don’t need to call me a lying blaspheming infidel. Am a believer and like everyone else I just have questions and seek answers.