MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, YOGYAKARTA—European Muslims eagerly await a global Islamic calendar so that a difference of the beginning of Ramadan, Shawwal, and Dzulhijjah in countries can be ended. In fact, the global Islamic calendar requires progressive thinking that integrates Islamic teaching and modern science. It should be aware that building togetherness entails sacrifice, courage, and shared commitment.
The Head of the Division of Hisab and Science of the Muhammadiyah Council for Tarjih and Tajdid Susiknan Azhari mentioned a difference happened in the determination of Eid al-Adha in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2005 AD/1425 Hijri. Quoting a Muslim scholar at the University of Oxford, Afifi Al-Akiti, the difference emerged because of two different methods, rukyat and hisab (reckoning). Based on the hisab (reckoning) result on 10 January 2005, on Sunday (22/01).
People believing in the reckoning determined the beginning of Dzulhijjah on 11 January 2005, while people believing in the rukyat decided the beginning of Dzulhijjah on 12 January 2005. Al-Akiti revealed that textual understanding of rukyat hadith in the modern era seems less relevant. If the new moon doesn’t appear, people may utilize science.
The presence of the 2016/1437 Turkiye global Islamic calendar in a contemporary perspective is a breakthrough in realizing global togetherness. The Grand Imam of Hagia Sophia Mosque, Istanbul, Ferruh Mustuer Kimdir recognized the global Islamic calendar as a product of ijtihad, which is necessary to create civilization as demands of the times.
In the Indonesian context, the Turkiye global Islamic calendar was a “middle way” to coin the Islamic calendar. Neither side won nor lost. All Islamic mass organizations in this country and the government should change their perspective by considering the common good.
The view that the Turkiye global Islamic calendar gives more support for reckoning believers and leaves rukyat believers was not true. On the contrary, the Turkiye global Islamic calendar tried to provide equal space between reckoning and sighting by adopting the agreed criteria of “hilal visibility” everywhere.
According to Susiknan, Indonesia, as a large nation with a majority Muslim population, should go hand in hand hands and become a pioneer in implementing the global Islamic calendar. It is necessary to carry out a continuous campaign of the global Islamic calendar to raise public understanding. Thus, people will easily accept it.