An Open Letter

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

Alhamdulillah, by the blessing of Allah سبحانه و تعالى we have come to the final days and nights of Ramadan. The precious nature of these days and nights are unimaginable. It is without any doubt that if we truly understood the value of these waning moments of Ramadan that we would immerse ourselves in worship. We here at Chicago Hilal would like to wish you all a blessed end to Ramadan and request your du’as.

Over the past thirty years, the Chicago Hilal Committee has made every effort to bring to you the most reliable reports of the beginning and end of each Islamic month. Our team of dedicated scholars and activists realize that with the recent push toward calculations, the convenience that such method affords the public may be unmatched. Thus, we would like to thank all of you for your support in upholding the time-honored Islamic method of visual sighting of the moon to signify the beginning of each month.

Our recent acquisition, www.chicagohilal.org, has also been a successful means by which we have been able to communicate our findings. We want to apologize for the difficulty our website experienced on the twenty-ninth night of Shaban. Despite our new server, the high traffic volume caused our site to temporarily be inaccessible. Rest assured that we have upgraded again to yet another new server and are looking forward to serving you to the best of our ability.

We are also very happy to see that many respected scholars from varying moon sighting organizations, including www.crescentwatch.org, also agreed with our decision to begin Ramadan on Saturday. Such consensus and support is not only reassuring but is also further proof that our ummah’s collaborative efforts to preserve the sunnah of moon sighting remains strong in the face of detractors.

Finally, we want to thank you all for your emails and communication. Some of the emails that we have received have not been so kind. We also thank you for those emails. Constructive criticism is a necessary component in the growth of any organization. However, some people have taken it upon their shoulders to send emails that aim to blame Chicago Hilal for breaking up their families because our decisions have not coincided with those of calculations. People have even had the audacity to encourage a response from us so that they can continue to deliver their useless banter and anger. To these people we also say jazakAllahu khairan. However, we would like to mention two things. 1) If an organization has been consistently following one set of standards and procedures for over thirty years, and other organizations have only recently adopted a new method, is it fair to then blame the organizations that have been consistent or those organizations which have changed their methodology? 2) We are all in need of any acts of worship, as promising or defective as they may have been, in the month of Ramadan. Please do not ruin those actions by sending vulgar statements to a group of scholars that have done nothing but sought to serve the community and take away no materialistic gain from their efforts and decisions.

May Allah سبحانه و تعالى accept all of our efforts and intentions, and may He allow us to be consistent in acting upon anything we have gained.

وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته

The Chicago Hilal Team

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