Introducing ACJU (Part X) - Hilaal (Crescent) Committee
In line with the Islamic usage of lunar movement and the lunar calendar to determine key events and timings, the ACJU's Hilaal Committee is tasked with determining the Hijri Months, changing salah (prayer) times according to various geographic locations in the country, and providing accurate Qiblah directions.
A moon sighting mechanism organized according to the internationally adopted standards are in place to determine the (beginning and end of) Hijri Months. According to plans in place, sub-committees at National level will guide the committee in implementing this mechanism. At a grassroots level Jumu'ah Masjid representatives for Hilaal (crescent moon), will operate under the ACJU Divisional branches.
Public awareness of the Hijri month declaration will be done through SMS, while the Hijri calendar will be published through email and in the ACJU web site. In addition, the public will be kept informed of solar and lunar eclipses.
Changing salah times according to various geographic locations in the country as a future project in the pipeline, the ACJU intends to assign representatives of all Masjids in different geographic locations to report the Fajr and Maghrib prayer times, in order to determine the changes of salah times. Based on these recordings, prayer time differences in these locations will be established in the future.
Providing guidance for determining the accurate direction of the Qiblah having taken into consideration the fact that due to dependence on technology, the direction of the Qiblah established in Masjids has been wrong at times, the ACJU is planning to introduce a system based on the Sun to identify the accurate direction of the Qiblah.
To achieve the above goals the ACJU has already conducted in house training programs at divisional levels to all participants of th program. It also plans to inform the public at the Masjid at prayer times, to be vigilant about moon-sighting, on the 29th day of each lunar month. Once it has been determined that the crescent moon is sighted and a decision is taken in that regard, the Colombo Grand Masjid and the ACJU will share the information with the public.