Sheikh Hussein Halawa, Secretary General of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) urged UK Muslims to adhere to their major central mosques’ when it comes to the beginning of the blessed month of Ramadan, even if it differs from the official statement issued by the ECFR.
Earlier in February, the European Council for Fatwa announced that Saturday, April 2nd, 2022, will be the first day of Ramadan 1443 AH. But Sheikh Halawa said individual central mosques’ decisions take precedence, affirming principles of unity and harmony between Muslims.
Q&A with Hussein Halawa
His statements came during the first live interactive broadcast organized by the Al-Arab in UK (AUK), which aired on its various social media platforms on Thursday evening, March 31st, with hundreds of Arabs and Muslims in virtual attendance.
Nonetheless, Sheikh Hussein Halawa called on UK mosques to consider adhering to ECFR’s statement, as it is based on scientific research, and had been agreed upon in a major Saudi-Arabia-led Islamic conference that took place in Istanbul with representatives from 80 different countries.
“The decision to begin the month of Ramadan is a legal, scientific decision that is not subject to political accounts, and it should not be neglected,” said Halawa. “Just as we rely on our clocks throughout the year to set prayer times, we also adopt scientific astronomical calculations – not astrology – to set the beginning of Ramadan.”
The theologian also expressed bafflement over the insistence of some to delay announcing the specific dates of fasting and Eid according to science and technology, even though we live in a modern world that relies on precise dates for travel, work, vacation…etc, and official authorities need to organize our affairs according to that.
The Q&A meeting with Sheikh Hussein Halawa was the first live show organized by AUK on its social media platforms, moderated by its editor-in-chief Adnan Hmidan, who saw in this a greater opportunity to get closer to the Arab community in the UK, and serve them more effectively.
“AUK’s first live show since its official launch in the beginning of 2022 happened to coincide with welcoming a very important yearly guest: the blessed month of Ramadan,” said Hmidan.
He also expressed the platform’s honor to receive a prominent figure such as Sheikh Halawa as its first live guest, saying: “We hope that it would be a promising and fruitful beginning for this platform and its message.”
Al-Arab in UK platform has prepared a special schedule for the holy month of Ramadan 2022, in hopes of serving the UK Arab community more effectively.