Website for Lunar Calculator Software

Lines of Faith
Modern Islamic Instruments

Finding the Qibla and determining daily prayer times is also essential for the modern Muslim.

Electronic instruments can calculate the solutions to both these problems for any location on the planet, and computer programs can accomplish similar tasks. The Internet is also a useful tool, providing a convenient source for software packages and astronomical information of use for predicting crescent sightings, for example.

But while modern technology has provided Muslims with solutions to familiar questions, the global expansion of Islam has presented today's worshippers with fresh difficulties. Islam follows the Lunar Calendar, where the start of each month is based on the first sighting of the Crescent Moon - an event which occurs at different times around the world. Under Islamic Law, this problem can be addressed in two ways. Either the sighting of a new crescent in any part of the world can be used as the basis for the start of the month world-wide; or different regions can declare different starts to the month, depending on local sightings. The latter opinion, known as Iktelaf-ul-Matale (Different Crescents) has been assumed by Muslim groups in North America, demonstrating the continuing importance of astronomy and its instruments in Islam.

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