Article written by Irshad Sait, Chief Editor,
Hijri Committee of India
Great Research by Ali Manikfan
The Islamic calendar (Hijri calendar) is a purely lunar calendar. It contains 12 months that are based on the visible new moon of every month, and because 12 synodic months is only 12 x 29.53059=354.3671 days. The Islamic calendar is consistently shorter than a tropical year, and therefore it shifts with respect to the Christian calendar. The calendar is based on the Qur'an (Sura IX, 36-37) and its proper observance is a sacred duty for Muslims.
Some Muslim astronomers have suggested that lunar date lines should be marked on the world map for the Muslims to begin their fasting and celebrating their Eid. According to them this would depend on the visibility curve of the crescent and the date would begin from then. The so-called curved lunar date lines always keep on changing and they pass through cities, towns and even houses.
According to Ali Manikfan's criterion "If the new moon i.e. the geocentric conjunction of the sun and moon occurs before 00:00 UT, the following calendrical day is the first day of lunar month". For e.g. New moon of February 2015 occurred on 18th at 23:47UT. So the month of Jumada I of 1436 started from the next calendrical day 19 February, which was 13mins passed new moon. Likewise, New moon of the month of October in the same year happened on 13th at 00:05, So the month of Muharram of the year 1437 started on the next calendrical day 14 October, which was 23hrs 55mins passed new moon. As per Islamic law, the month should be begun after the sighting of Hilal. It will take 20 to 24hrs for Hilal to form. But in his lunar calendar some months start after a few minutes of conjunction and some other months after 23.9hrs of conjunction, which is almost a day. There is no relevance to Hilal in his calendar.
Ali Manikfan further claims "There is a day called universal day and conjunction always happens on that day". There is no day called universal day on the planet. No astronomer ever mentioned such a day. And he teaches that last day of the month should be the universal day of conjunction. He considers the 24hrs of UT in which conjunction happens as a universal day, which is the local day at Greenwich. The universal day what he claims is nothing but the local day of Greenwich. His criterion has no logic of except Greenwich midnight. It simply follows the day convention of the Christian calendar and the new moon time referred in Greenwich Mean Time.
Since there is no Hilal involved in Ali Manikfan's criterion it is widely criticized by the Muslim scholars and astronomers in India.
His calendar is followed by a minority in the State of Tamil Nadu in India, Where He is the Chairman of the Hijra Committee of India
The criterion of the calendar proposed by Ali is not his own. It was an old criterion used in Saudi Arabia for its Ummul Qura calendar. Saudi dropped the criterion in 1999 and developed a new criterion. Nine years later when the world forgot about the old Ummul qura criterion, Ali took the scrapped calendar and claimed that he invented a new calendar for the mankind. He preached this in Kerala and later moved to the state of Tamil Nadu to preach the same.
2. P. K. Abdul Ghafour (23 November 2005). "OIC Summit Urged to Adopt Unified Islamic Calendar". Arab News. Archived from the original on 16 June 2012
3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 November 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
4. "The Umm al-Qura Calendar of Saudi Arabia