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Understanding the Hilal Rukyat theorem by means of language

The differences start and end Ramadan often-or frequently-occurs in Indonesia. Muslims in Indonesia have been experienced with differences in starting and ending the fasting month of Ramadan since more than twenty-five years ago. In the beginning it makes Muslim anxious enough. But Muslims in Indonesia could accept it because it happens almost every year and occurs in a long time.

The differences of Ramadan’s start and end decisions had been continuing today. But the difference is not perceived as something that makes them upset. If they know that on this year will be differences in the beginning of Ramadan or Iedul Fitri they only choose to follow the best. Despite all Muslim hope they can start fasting and festivities together.

The difference start and end Ramadan begins from how scholars and Muslims understand the hadith that tells the subject. Rasulullah PBUH said:

“Fast upon seeing it (the new crescent) and break it upon seeing it. If you are unable to see it (before Ramadan), complete the month of Shaban with 30 days.”( Bukhari and Muslim with a chain up to Abu Hurairah who related that the Messenger of Allah, praise and peace be upon him, said this).

From the hadith the distinction of understanding becomes more specific to one sentence li ru'yatihi-  seeing the new crescent. Some Muslims understand the phrase seeing the new crescent with their eye directly as held by most of Nahdliyin and others understand it with count or reckoning method as practiced by Muhamadiyah

Apart from differences of opinion by law, there is nothing too lose to try understand the hadith from the language side, especially on the sentence li ru'yatihi . Understanding the theorem by means of language becomes important considering the Islamic laws derived from the Qur'an and hadith of course in Arabic and to understand it proper and correctly we must involve an adequate understanding of Arabic.

The Meaning of Ru’yah

The word ru'yah comes from the word ra'â - yarâ. Ra'â is a past verb or fi'il madly, while verb yarâ denotes the present and or future time in Arabic or usually called fi'il mudlori '. The verb ra'â - yarâ is in its origin turned into two words there are ru'yatan or ru'yah and ra'yan or ra'yun.

the word ra'â - yarâ in the verb form means seeing, Then in the origin form each has meaning "see" with a particular classification. The Ru'yah is seeing with eyes. While ra'yun is seeing with science or mind (See Ibnu Mandhur, Lisânul 'Arab [Cairo: Darul Ma'arif, tt], vol 3, p.1537). So if they (Arabian) ask "what do you think?", they will say "mâ ra'yuka?" Not "mâ ru'yatuka?". Why ? Because opinion is "seeing" with science or thought, does not see with an opened eye directly, then used "ra'yu" not "ru'yah".

To understand it, let us take the simple parable. For example on the first day you always buy thirty pounds of rice and your wife cooks a pound every day. It's the twentieth and you want to know how much rice left in your house. Must you go home to see and weigh the remaining rice? Certainly not. You just count the initial amount minus the amount of rice that has been cooked to know how much it on the twentieth. Done.

That is to see with ra'yun, with knowledge, with mind. But if you have to go home first to see and weigh, it means ‘see ‘with ru'yatun or ru'yah, seeing with opened eyes.

Well, in the hadith above Muhammad PBUH used the word ru'yah, meaning fast upon seeing (an opened eye) the new crescent. Doesn't use ra'yun, with science, with mind, with the calculations. No ! If the Messenger PBUH called shûmû li ra'yihi, it can be interpreted to see new moon with science enough, doesn't by looking with the eyes.
So, the word ru'yah in hadith above has pointed to the specific meaning that does not need other interpreted.

It will be different if Allah Messenger PBUH said by using the word ru'yah in the fi'il madly form. If he said shûmû idzâ ra'aitumûhu there will be ihtimâl, the possibility in interpreting. It could be seen with eyes, could be seen with knowledge or thought, or could be the combination of both. Ihtimal can occur because the verb ra'â has two possible meanings in its original form as described above.

the word Li

According to Ibn Hisham al-Ansari in the book of Mughnil Labîb, a book of languages-not a juristic book of fiqh-, the word li in Arabic has twenty-two meanings of which there are istihqâq, ikhtishâsh, tamlîk, ta'lîl, ba'da, and so forth. He continued, the word li in the hadith above has meaning ba'da which means "after" (See Ibn Hisham al-Ansari, Mughnil Labîb [Beirut: Darul Fikr, 2012], pp. 205 - 210).

Thus, the words of Prophet PBUH shûmû li ru'yatihi can be interpreted "fast upon seeing the crescent moon using an opened eyes".

according to the explanation above we can understood that most of fuqaha agreed that possibility to see moon directly as a sign to start and end the fast in Ramadan. Although they technically differed in the ordinance of hilal determination (Andurrahman al-Jaziri, Al-Fiqh 'alal Madzahibil Arba'ah [Beirut: Darul Fikr, 2011], juz 1, pp. 462 - 466).

by : Yazid Muttaqin
Editor : Rendi Septian

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