Rochdales got the “EID FACTOR”

Thursday EID Prayer at KYP 

Well well well…………………..what an interesting week its been. Its not been the usual EID. In fact its been very UNUSUAL. It all began with the Rochdale Reut-e-hilal Committees announcement that Eid-ul-Adha would be on Friday. This kinda sent some shock-waves around Rochdale.

“Friday!!??” was the puzzled response with everyone looking at each other. “But Oldham, Bolton, Manchester, Bury and other areas are doing it on Thursday!” was the flabbergasted response. Hmmm………..things were not making sense!!

Anyhow, an idea propped up in the minds of a couple of taxi drivers. “Why not organise an Eid Prayer on Thursday?” was the thought (sounded quite radical and revolutionary to me!) The idea resonated with a lot of people. So it was then taken forward. Dissent with those people who are in-charge of the moon sighting and announcing Eid was clearly being expressed- not just in words- but now in actions.

Kashmir Youth project (KYP) was booked and on Thursday 20th December, an Eid prayer was organised (two jamaats) with attendees exceeding over 500. In fact there was even a collection made which amounted to £1510 in total- It was then decided to be used to purchase two Dialysis machines to send to a needy hospital in Pakistan.

Unsurprisingly, the common dialogue on every-ones lips at the Thursday Eid prayer was “The Maulvi’s are taking us for a ride!!” as they had seen a similar display during Eid-ul-Fitr earlier in the year  when Rochdale again was the odd one out in the whole region in beginning fasting and celebrating Eid.

One thing we can learn from this episode is the need for transparency in areas of important decision making for issues close to the communities heart- like the issue of Eid.  After-all, it is in the name of the Rochdale Muslims that certain groups have been set up to serve their needs and that will need to remain the fundamental factor in dealing with such problems.

Personally…………………….. i just think that Rochdale’s unique as its got the “Eid factor”, and there’s nothing more to add to that.

Eid Prayer at KYP

Large turnout at Thursday at KYP



  1. Exasperated Brother says:

    I think the people who did Eid on Thursday are reminiscent of the Khawaarij, They are so self-righteous they probably think they walk on wings. It is probably these same people who call for ‘unity in the global Ummah’ but then themselves go and cause a fitna in their own little town! I’d like to know if they’re up to scratch with the other Islamic months or do they only become ‘experts’ in Dhul Hijjah?! If people really think the mosques are wrong why don’t they join the committee’s and not only learn the Islamic viewpoints the committee’s take but also then put their thoughts and ideas across to make a change where required? Everyone’s a scholar these days though, they would much rather moan about issues like old ladies than have things fixed. They won’t follow anyone who stands up to be a leader unless that leader happens to do everything they want him to do rather than the leader doing what he sincerely thinks is the right choice. Instead of invoking all the finer points of Shariah as these people feel they are doing they would best spend their time learning about Islamic adhab, keep the unity within your own micro ummahs and you might just get the global wish that we all share. The mosque leaders do not make these decisions lightly and are well aware that they will be answerable to Allah (swt) on the DOJ. But that’s not enough for these people, they want the leaders to answer to them. What does that say about their Islamic viewpoint? This move was ridiculous and childish regardless of which day was right or wrong.

  2. Maulana Irfan Chisthi says:

    All praise is for Allah, the Creator of the entire Universe, and Special blessings, salutations be upon our Noble Master – Muhammad, his family, companions and all those that followed and believed in him.

    “They ask you concerning the new moons. Say: They are but times appointed for [the benefit of] men, and [for] the pilgrimage … …”
    (Al-Baqarah 2:189)

    Dear brothers / sisters,

    Assalaamualykum wa Rahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu,

    I am writing this on the eve of what has become once again a huge Eid commotion and as a response to many requests made for a written explanation of the Rochdale Ruyat Hilaal Committee’s (RRHC) decision with respect to the start of the month of Dhul Hijja 1428 AH, the 21st December 2007.

    First and foremost I must begin by asking you (especially if you live in Rochdale) to think about the situation of our locality prior to the emergence of the RRHC. On one street we had two Eids, families divided and Imams and mosque committee members at loggerheads with each other….

    Nothing much different from the situation we find ourselves in today I hear you cry!!! But there is a major difference and that is that all the Ulema and Committees of the major and majority mosques in our town are UNITED.

    I know that this unity is not complete with Jalaaliya Masjid and Al Furqaan offering their Eid prayers today (Wed 19th) but it is well known that they simply follow Saudi no matter what any one else says even though, ironically Saudi scholars are instructing otherwise:

    Both of the aforementioned mosques have been invited several times to attend the meetings and to join the Committee. To date all such efforts have been unfruitful and invitations declined. The rest of the Mosques have a united agreement to celebrate Eid ul Adha and any other Islamic celebration together.
    Members of the RRHC:

    1. Central Mosque
    2. Neeli Masjid
    3. Jamia Chashtiah
    4. Jamia Haidriya
    5. Daarul Munnawwar
    6. Golden Masjid
    7. Bilal Masjid
    8. Al Quba Masjid
    9. Madina Mosque
    10. Urdu Centre

    The above unity is unprecedented in the UK as amongst that group of ten we have most of the major denominations within our faith represented.

    The RRHC sat on Monday 10th December 2007 – this date corresponded to 29th of Dhul Qada 1428. May I add here that the RRHC sits on the 29th of each of the Islamic months and as a sign of respect and acceptance of each other – the meeting rotates around each of the member mosques. The meeting went on for almost 4 hours. The final decision was based on the two fold formula that has always been consistently followed for the last 32 meetings.

    1) Look to the astronomical data from the Greenwich Observatory informing us about the position of the moon in Rochdale, Morocco and Saudi Arabia.
    2) Get a confirmation of actual sighting from Morocco.

    This second stem of the formula is what has caused the mess this year. Previously people were more or less clear that “we are always going to do Eid one day after Saudi” but the two day gap we can not understand.

    Those that have announced for Thursday are in agreement that the moon was not sighted on Monday 10th December 2007 but according to their calculations it was POSSIBLE in Morocco as it was of an age of 23 hours and 38 minutes. However if we look to the Astronomical data
    this gives us a code F = “NOT VISIBLE below the Danjon limit”.

    Some very able and astute scholars of which include Allaama Zafar Mahmood Firaashwi Sahib who are in the forefront of achieving a unified Eid decision in most parts of the country, have proven that regardless of the above code, the crescent moon of 23 hrs and 38 mins can be Islamically constituted as the Hilaal (Crescent Moon) and therefore the 1st of the new Islamic month can be announced.

    BUT … it does not take us away from the condition laid in the Hadith to see the crescent moon.

    As soon as it was realised that there was going to be this issue of three Eid’s in England our local radio station, Crescent Community Radio hosted an emergency meeting with the intention of

    1) Explaining to the public the decision to go with Friday 21st as the day of Eid ul Adha
    2) Reconsider the decision on the basis that there was now a national consensus.

    We spent over two hours on Wednesday 12th December 2007, listening, debating and questioning at length live on air at Crescent Radio studios. Members of the RRHC were all willing to reconsider their decision but on the basis of a correct Islamic viewpoint. The ulema listened to all the points of views presented – and yes took a lot of stick and anger – however when the crucial question was asked: was there a confirmed ACTUAL sighting of the new crescent moon from a country on the same time line as the UK? The reply was a disappointing negative.

    The RRHC therefore remain unconvinced at the interpretation that the number of hours etc surmounted to an actual sighting.

    When quizzed about sightings elsewhere in the world – namely South Africa and Mauritius – the reply was that it was an unconfirmed sighting and that we would be dependant upon unreliable internet reports that did not constitute Islamic shahadah.

    Below is a scanned copy of the actual fax report received from the Ministry of Waqf and Islamic Affairs of the Kingdom of Morocco.

    This information is received on a monthly basis direct from the Ministry to an officer of the RRHC in Rochdale. You will notice the name of Sultan Ali who was the first Muslim Mayor of Rochdale at the time of the inception of RRHC and in fact it was through his and other people’s efforts that the RRHC was formed.

    In sum then, I know and understand the anguish, anger, stress and anxieties that the people of Rochdale and beyond are feeling right now. However venting your anger, disrespect and abuse in the direction of the very Imams that have been leading your prayers, teaching your children, serving your community is perhaps not the best way forward to resolve this very unfortunate situation.

    My personal view (and I assume that of all sane Muslims anywhere in the world) is that we all need to continue to work together to AGREE to a FIRM ISLAMIC position on the decision making process for the start of the Islamic months. These principles need to be rooted in traditional Islamic law and science – yes science because we forget that we have a heritage of centuries of Islamic scientific scholarship that in fact laid the foundations for modern science.

    There was also a report tonight that some people have decided to rebel against the RRHC decision and organise a separate Eid prayer in a community hall – and some people will no doubt pray tomorrow (Thursday 20th Dec). All I want to say about this situation is that it is unfortunate that some people feel that they can no longer trust their own Imams and have decided to revolt against them. I certainly hope and pray that we can reunite such people. An expression of this kind in any society is a clear sign of mistrust and dare I say arrogance of a certain few. I can certainly understand their frustrations but cannot condone the methodology. It would have been much better if those concerned contacted and spoke with the RRHC and expressed their concerns in a proper manner and arrived at a unified resolution. This seems is no more than a political protest – not an expression of worship. Please note my choice of word seems as I do not have the ability to look into the hearts of people and ascertain their intentions.

    Talking about rumours – there was another rumour that Morocco had changed its mind. I have just contacted a local Radio Station

    in Morocco and spoken with a gentleman there. He confirmed to me that Eid there is on Friday.

    Ever since I was a young child I have remembered this whole Eid affair coming back year after year…. The offering of a waajib prayer, not even fardh has caused so much upset, emotions and anxieties when there are far far more pressing issues affecting the Ummah at large that we don’t even think to concern ourselves with….abuse, underachievement, poverty, rape, violence, corruption, drugs, alcoholism etc etc ….

    I can only hope and pray that we all begin to wake before its too late…

    I would like to end with a prayer of Sayyidunaa Ibraheem that he offered after building the Kaaba:

    Our Lord! make of us Muslims, bowing to Your (Will),
    and of our progeny a people Muslim, bowing to you (will);
    and show us our place for the celebration of (due) rites;
    and turn to us (in Mercy);
    for You are Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.

    Holy Qur’an (2:128)

    Muhammad Irfan Faizi Chishti

    Member of RRHC,
    19th December 2007
    10th/9th/8th Dhul Hijja 1428

    Further recommended reading:

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