Discussion:
The original Ramadan?
(too old to reply)
Yusuf B Gursey
2013-07-29 14:22:55 UTC
Permalink
In the April 1843 issue of Journal Asiatique Caussin de Perceval published =
"Memoire Sur Le Calendrier Arab Avant L'Islamisme" in an attempt to reconst=
ruct the original Arabian calendar before Islam and the Qur'anic ban on int=
ercalation. As is well known, the Arabic names of the lunar months are base=
d on weather conditions or seasonal activities. Ramadan in particular comes=
from the Arabic word for "scorching heat" and at least where I live this n=
ame was well deserved this year. Caussin de Perceval calculates that this c=
alendar was instituted with the first lunar month Muharram beginning on 21 =
November 412 CE, making Ramadan beginning on 15 July and ending 14 August. =
This is quite close to this year's Ramadan that began on 9-10 July. But acc=
ording to Caussin de Perceval the intercalation was poorly done and by the =
time of the Prophet Muhammad it had already drifted considerably. Caussin d=
e Perceval's article was translated into English and reprinted in Islamic Q=
uarterly vol. 21 No. 2 April 1947 p. 135 - 153.
DKleinecke
2013-07-29 16:47:36 UTC
Permalink
On Monday, July 29, 2013 6:30:02 AM UTC-7, Yusuf B Gursey w
In the April 1843 issue of Journal Asiatique Caussin de Perceval publishe=
d =3D
"Memoire Sur Le Calendrier Arab Avant L'Islamisme" in an attempt to recon=
st=3D
ruct the original Arabian calendar before Islam and the Qur'anic ban on i=
nt=3D
ercalation. As is well known, the Arabic names of the lunar months are ba=
se=3D
d on weather conditions or seasonal activities. Ramadan in particular com=
es=3D
from the Arabic word for "scorching heat" and at least where I live this=
n=3D
ame was well deserved this year. Caussin de Perceval calculates that this=
c=3D
alendar was instituted with the first lunar month Muharram beginning on 2=
1 =3D
November 412 CE, making Ramadan beginning on 15 July and ending 14 August=
. =3D
This is quite close to this year's Ramadan that began on 9-10 July. But a=
cc=3D
ording to Caussin de Perceval the intercalation was poorly done and by th=
e =3D
time of the Prophet Muhammad it had already drifted considerably. Caussin=
d=3D
e Perceval's article was translated into English and reprinted in Islamic=
Q=3D
uarterly vol. 21 No. 2 April 1947 p. 135 - 153.
Surely this is not the most recent work on this subject. Has everybody sinc=
e 1843 simply paraphrased Caussin de Perceval ?

I find it odd that he starts the calendar on November 21 (it doesn't matter=
what year). I would expect it a month later on the winter solstice. Is Jul=
y-August in Arabia enough hotter than August-September that the original Ra=
madan must have started in July and not August?
Yusuf B Gursey
2013-07-30 21:33:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by DKleinecke
On Monday, July 29, 2013 6:30:02 AM UTC-7, Yusuf B Gursey w
In the April 1843 issue of Journal Asiatique Caussin de Perceval publishe=
d =3D
"Memoire Sur Le Calendrier Arab Avant L'Islamisme" in an attempt to recon=
st=3D
ruct the original Arabian calendar before Islam and the Qur'anic ban on i=
nt=3D
ercalation. As is well known, the Arabic names of the lunar months are ba=
se=3D
d on weather conditions or seasonal activities. Ramadan in particular com=
es=3D
from the Arabic word for "scorching heat" and at least where I live this=
n=3D
ame was well deserved this year. Caussin de Perceval calculates that this=
c=3D
alendar was instituted with the first lunar month Muharram beginning on 2=
1 =3D
November 412 CE, making Ramadan beginning on 15 July and ending 14 August=
. =3D
This is quite close to this year's Ramadan that began on 9-10 July. But a=
cc=3D
ording to Caussin de Perceval the intercalation was poorly done and by th=
e =3D
time of the Prophet Muhammad it had already drifted considerably. Caussin=
d=3D
e Perceval's article was translated into English and reprinted in Islamic=
Q=3D
uarterly vol. 21 No. 2 April 1947 p. 135 - 153.
Surely this is not the most recent work on this subject. Has everybody sinc=
e 1843 simply paraphrased Caussin de Perceval ?
Egyptian astronomer Mahmud Effendi (later Pasha) 1858 denies there ever was intercalation and works on the Sirah as proof. however, the chroniclers may have been working backwards assuming a non-intercalated calendar.

H. Amir Ali (India / Pakistan) 1948 says there was a shift of pilgrimage from Autumn to Spring, and some of the pilgrimages were in fact the `Umra in Rajab, otherwise the intercalation was accurate.

Fazal Ahmad Shamsi (Pakistan)1984 approaches the chronology by assuming a non-intercalated calendar in Medina by the Prophet and an accurately intercalated calendar by the Meccans.

I find these two unlikely and I tend to dismiss Mahmud Effendi.
Post by DKleinecke
I find it odd that he starts the calendar on November 21 (it doesn't matter=
what year). I would expect it a month later on the winter solstice. Is Jul=
y-August in Arabia enough hotter than August-September that the original Ra=
madan must have started in July and not August?
Jarkasi states that the calendar was adjusted so that the pilgrimage season falls in autumn when grains and fruits are most available. so the choice of the New Year was one of convenience rather than an astronomical event.
DKleinecke
2013-07-31 16:34:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by DKleinecke
On Monday, July 29, 2013 6:30:02 AM UTC-7, Yusuf B Gursey w
=20
In the April 1843 issue of Journal Asiatique Caussin de Perceval published =
"Memoire Sur Le Calendrier Arab Avant L'Islamisme" in an attempt to reconst=
ruct the original Arabian calendar before Islam and the Qur'anic ban on int=
ercalation. As is well known, the Arabic names of the lunar months are base=
d=20
on weather conditions or seasonal activities. Ramadan in particular comes
from the Arabic word for "scorching heat" and at least where I live this na=
me
was well deserved this year. Caussin de Perceval calculates that this=20
calendar was instituted with the first lunar month Muharram beginning on 21
November 412 CE, making Ramadan beginning on 15 July and ending 14 August
This is quite close to this year's Ramadan that began on 9-10 July. But=20
according to Caussin de Perceval the intercalation was poorly done and by t=
he
time of the Prophet Muhammad it had already drifted considerably. Caussin d=
e
Perceval's article was translated into English and reprinted in Islamic
Quarterly vol. 21 No. 2 April 1947 p. 135 - 153.
Post by DKleinecke
Surely this is not the most recent work on this subject. Has everybody =
since 1843 simply paraphrased Caussin de Perceval ?
Egyptian astronomer Mahmud Effendi (later Pasha) 1858 denies there ever w=
as intercalation and works on the Sirah as proof. however, the chroniclers =
may have been working backwards assuming a non-intercalated calendar.
=20
H. Amir Ali (India / Pakistan) 1948 says there was a shift of pilgrimage =
from Autumn to Spring, and some of the pilgrimages were in fact the `Umra i=
n Rajab, otherwise the intercalation was accurate.
=20
Fazal Ahmad Shamsi (Pakistan)1984 approaches the chronology by assuming a=
non-intercalated calendar in Medina by the Prophet and an accurately inter=
calated calendar by the Meccans.=20
=20
I find these two unlikely and I tend to dismiss Mahmud Effendi.
=20
Post by DKleinecke
I find it odd that he starts the calendar on November 21 (it doesn't ma=
tter what year). I would expect it a month later on the winter solstice. Is=
July
-August in Arabia enough hotter than August-September that the original Ra=
=3D
madan must have started in July and not August?
Jarkasi states that the calendar was adjusted so that the pilgrimage seas=
on falls in autumn when grains and fruits are most available. so the choice=
of the New Year was one of convenience rather than an astronomical event.

Another possibility is that Muharram was originally the last month and the =
new year began with Safar. If one wants to get ethnographic about it the ch=
ange in behavior from a sacred month (according to its name) to a raiding m=
onth is a major switch and should, one imagines, coincide with an easily re=
cognizable event - the winter solstice meets that condition.
Yusuf B Gursey
2013-08-01 02:42:54 UTC
Permalink
On Monday, July 29, 2013 9:30:02 AM UTC-4, Yusuf B Gursey wrote:

Muharram was the first month if one accepts the identification of Ashura wi=
th Yom Kippur. this is likely given the Hebrew - Aramaic etymology of 3a:*s=
h*u:ra:' . there is the problematic mention of Moses in the origin of Ashur=
a, so there might be confusion with Passover in the report.
In the April 1843 issue of Journal Asiatique Caussin de Perceval publishe=
d =3D
=20
"Memoire Sur Le Calendrier Arab Avant L'Islamisme" in an attempt to recon=
st=3D
=20
ruct the original Arabian calendar before Islam and the Qur'anic ban on i=
nt=3D
=20
ercalation. As is well known, the Arabic names of the lunar months are ba=
se=3D
=20
d on weather conditions or seasonal activities. Ramadan in particular com=
es=3D
=20
from the Arabic word for "scorching heat" and at least where I live this=
n=3D
=20
ame was well deserved this year. Caussin de Perceval calculates that this=
c=3D
=20
alendar was instituted with the first lunar month Muharram beginning on 2=
1 =3D
=20
November 412 CE, making Ramadan beginning on 15 July and ending 14 August=
. =3D
=20
This is quite close to this year's Ramadan that began on 9-10 July. But a=
cc=3D
=20
ording to Caussin de Perceval the intercalation was poorly done and by th=
e =3D
=20
time of the Prophet Muhammad it had already drifted considerably. Caussin=
d=3D
=20
e Perceval's article was translated into English and reprinted in Islamic=
Q=3D
=20
uarterly vol. 21 No. 2 April 1947 p. 135 - 153.
DKleinecke
2013-08-01 16:29:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Yusuf B Gursey
Muharram was the first month if one accepts the identification of Ashura wi=
th Yom Kippur. this is likely given the Hebrew - Aramaic etymology of 3a:*s=
h*u:ra:' . there is the problematic mention of Moses in the origin of Ashur=
a, so there might be confusion with Passover in the report.
Why would we assume Ashura mattered to the pre-Islamic non-Jewish Arabs?
Yusuf B Gursey
2013-08-01 18:42:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by DKleinecke
=20
=20
=20
=20
Muharram was the first month if one accepts the identification of Ashur=
a wi=3D
Post by DKleinecke
=20
th Yom Kippur. this is likely given the Hebrew - Aramaic etymology of 3=
a:*s=3D
Post by DKleinecke
=20
h*u:ra:' . there is the problematic mention of Moses in the origin of A=
shur=3D
Post by DKleinecke
=20
a, so there might be confusion with Passover in the report.
=20
=20
=20
Why would we assume Ashura mattered to the pre-Islamic non-Jewish Arabs?
although some traditions do reflect Ashura observance among pre-Islamic Ara=
bs, I would agree with you that one may discount them, though the reason g=
iven is that Jews were involved in regulating the calendar. but that was no=
t my point. Muhammad identified the 10th of the first month of the Jewish c=
alendar with the 10th of the first month of the Arabian calendar.
DKleinecke
2013-08-02 17:35:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Yusuf B Gursey
Muhammad identified the 10th of the first month of the Jewish c=
alendar with the 10th of the first month of the Arabian calendar.
Might I please have a reference for that statement?
Yusuf B Gursey
2013-08-03 01:27:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by DKleinecke
=20
=20
=20
Muhammad identified the 10th of the first month of the Jewish c=3D
=20
alendar with the 10th of the first month of the Arabian calendar.
=20
=20
=20
Might I please have a reference for that statement?
here is what Enc. of Islam II "Ashura" says:

<<

On which day of the Arabian year the fast was originally observed cannot no=
w be ascertained owing to our defective knowledge of the calendar of the pe=
riod; naturally its observance coincided with the Jewish on the 10th Tishhr=
i, and so fell in the autumn. The 10th Muharram finds early mention as the =
`Ashura'; probably the tenth day of the first Muslim month was selected to =
harmonise with the tenth day of the first Jewish month. From the calculatio=
ns which have already been made, it does not seem possible that it could ha=
ve been originally celebrated on the 10th Muharram (see Caetani, Annali, i,=
431 f.).

Presumably for the sake of distinguishing themselves from the Jews some fix=
ed the 9th Mu=E1=B8=A5arram either along with or in place of the tenth as a=
fast day with the name Tasu`a'.=20

The Jewish origin of the day is obvious; the well-known tendency of traditi=
on to trace all Islamic customs back to the ancient Arabs, and particularly=
to Abraham, states that the Meccans of olden time fasted on the `Ashura'. =
It is not impossible that the tenth, as also the first nine days of Muharra=
m, did possess a certain holiness among the ancient Arabs; but this has not=
hing to do with the `Ashura'.=20
DKleinecke
2013-08-03 18:59:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Yusuf B Gursey
Post by DKleinecke
Post by Yusuf B Gursey
Muhammad identified the 10th of the first month of the Jewish
calendar with the 10th of the first month of the Arabian calendar.
Might I please have a reference for that statement?
On which day of the Arabian year the fast was originally observed cannot no=
w be ascertained owing to our defective knowledge of the calendar of the pe=
riod; naturally its observance coincided with the Jewish on the 10th Tishhr=
i, and so fell in the autumn. The 10th Muharram finds early mention as the =
`Ashura'; probably the tenth day of the first Muslim month was selected to =
harmonise with the tenth day of the first Jewish month. From the calculatio=
ns which have already been made, it does not seem possible that it could ha=
ve been originally celebrated on the 10th Muharram (see Caetani, Annali, i,=
431 f.).
Presumably for the sake of distinguishing themselves from the Jews some fix=
ed the 9th Mu=E1=B8=A5arram either along with or in place of the tenth as a=
fast day with the name Tasu`a'.
The Jewish origin of the day is obvious; the well-known tendency of traditi=
on to trace all Islamic customs back to the ancient Arabs, and particularly=
to Abraham, states that the Meccans of olden time fasted on the `Ashura'. =
It is not impossible that the tenth, as also the first nine days of Muharra=
m, did possess a certain holiness among the ancient Arabs; but this has not=
hing to do with the `Ashura'.
Since you said "Muhammad identified .. " I was expecting at least a hadith. I think casually ascribing this or that to Muhammad is a dangerous thing to do.
Yusuf B Gursey
2013-08-05 12:37:27 UTC
Permalink
=20
=20
=20
=20
=20
=20
=20
Post by DKleinecke
Muhammad identified the 10th of the first month of the Jewish=20
=20
Post by DKleinecke
calendar with the 10th of the first month of the Arabian calendar.
=20
=20
=20
Post by DKleinecke
Might I please have a reference for that statement?
=20
=20
=20
=20
=20
=20
On which day of the Arabian year the fast was originally observed canno=
t no=3D
=20
w be ascertained owing to our defective knowledge of the calendar of th=
e pe=3D
=20
riod; naturally its observance coincided with the Jewish on the 10th Ti=
shhr=3D
=20
i, and so fell in the autumn. The 10th Muharram finds early mention as =
the =3D
=20
`Ashura'; probably the tenth day of the first Muslim month was selected=
to =3D
=20
harmonise with the tenth day of the first Jewish month. From the calcul=
atio=3D
=20
ns which have already been made, it does not seem possible that it coul=
d ha=3D
=20
ve been originally celebrated on the 10th Muharram (see Caetani, Annali=
, i,=3D
=20
431 f.).
=20
=20
=20
Presumably for the sake of distinguishing themselves from the Jews some=
fix=3D
=20
ed the 9th Mu=3DE1=3DB8=3DA5arram either along with or in place of the =
tenth as a=3D
=20
fast day with the name Tasu`a'.
=20
=20
=20
The Jewish origin of the day is obvious; the well-known tendency of tra=
diti=3D
=20
on to trace all Islamic customs back to the ancient Arabs, and particul=
arly=3D
=20
to Abraham, states that the Meccans of olden time fasted on the `Ashur=
a'. =3D
=20
It is not impossible that the tenth, as also the first nine days of Muh=
arra=3D
=20
m, did possess a certain holiness among the ancient Arabs; but this has=
not=3D
=20
hing to do with the `Ashura'.
=20
=20
=20
Since you said "Muhammad identified .. " I was expecting at least a hadit=
h. I > think casually ascribing this or that to Muhammad is a dangerous thi=
ng to do.

it is a logical conclusion.

here are the Hadiths concerning Ashura:

ukhari:


Volume 3, Book 31, Number 222:=20


Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:=20

The Prophet came to Medina and saw the Jews fasting on the day of Ashura. H=
e asked them about that. They replied, "This is a good day, the day on whic=
h Allah rescued Bani Israel from their enemy. So, Moses fasted this day." T=
he Prophet said, "We have more claim over Moses than you." So, the Prophet =
fasted on that day and ordered (the Muslims) to fast (on that day).=20



Muslim:

Book 006, Number 2602:=20

Abu Qatada reported that a person came to the Apostle of Allah (may peace b=
e upon him) and said: How do you observe fast? ... and I seek from Allah th=
at fasting on the day of Ashura may atone for the sins of the preceding yea=
r.




The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Fasting the day of `As=
hura' (is of great merits), I hope that Allah will accept it as an expiatio=
n for (the sins committed in) the previous year" (Muslim). =20
DKleinecke
2013-08-05 18:55:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Yusuf B Gursey
=20
=20
=20
=20
=20
=20
=20
Post by DKleinecke
Muhammad identified the 10th of the first month of the Jewish=20
=20
Post by DKleinecke
calendar with the 10th of the first month of the Arabian calendar.
=20
=20
=20
Post by DKleinecke
Might I please have a reference for that statement?
=20
=20
=20
=20
=20
=20
On which day of the Arabian year the fast was originally observed canno=
t no=3D
=20
w be ascertained owing to our defective knowledge of the calendar of th=
e pe=3D
=20
riod; naturally its observance coincided with the Jewish on the 10th Ti=
shhr=3D
=20
i, and so fell in the autumn. The 10th Muharram finds early mention as =
the =3D
=20
`Ashura'; probably the tenth day of the first Muslim month was selected=
to =3D
=20
harmonise with the tenth day of the first Jewish month. From the calcul=
atio=3D
=20
ns which have already been made, it does not seem possible that it coul=
d ha=3D
=20
ve been originally celebrated on the 10th Muharram (see Caetani, Annali=
, i,=3D
=20
431 f.).
=20
=20
=20
Presumably for the sake of distinguishing themselves from the Jews some=
fix=3D
=20
ed the 9th Mu=3DE1=3DB8=3DA5arram either along with or in place of the =
tenth as a=3D
=20
fast day with the name Tasu`a'.
=20
=20
=20
The Jewish origin of the day is obvious; the well-known tendency of tra=
diti=3D
=20
on to trace all Islamic customs back to the ancient Arabs, and particul=
arly=3D
=20
to Abraham, states that the Meccans of olden time fasted on the `Ashur=
a'. =3D
=20
It is not impossible that the tenth, as also the first nine days of Muh=
arra=3D
=20
m, did possess a certain holiness among the ancient Arabs; but this has=
not=3D
=20
hing to do with the `Ashura'.
=20
=20
=20
Since you said "Muhammad identified .. " I was expecting at least a hadit=
h. I > think casually ascribing this or that to Muhammad is a dangerous thi=
ng to do.
it is a logical conclusion.
Volume 3, Book 31, Number 222:=20
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:=20
The Prophet came to Medina and saw the Jews fasting on the day of Ashura. H=
e asked them about that. They replied, "This is a good day, the day on whic=
h Allah rescued Bani Israel from their enemy. So, Moses fasted this day." T=
he Prophet said, "We have more claim over Moses than you." So, the Prophet =
fasted on that day and ordered (the Muslims) to fast (on that day).=20
Book 006, Number 2602:=20
Abu Qatada reported that a person came to the Apostle of Allah (may peace b=
e upon him) and said: How do you observe fast? ... and I seek from Allah th=
at fasting on the day of Ashura may atone for the sins of the preceding yea=
r.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "Fasting the day of `As=
hura' (is of great merits), I hope that Allah will accept it as an expiatio=
n for (the sins committed in) the previous year" (Muslim). =20
Thank You - that's what I was looking for.

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