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Shaykh Aḥmad Shākir and the Adoption of a Scientifically-Based Lunar Calendar

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image of Islamic Law and Society

The computation of the Muslim lunar calendar has been a subject of controversy for centuries. In the twentieth century, the debate surfaced again in different parts of the Muslim world. In Egypt, the distinguished jurist Aḥmad Shākir added his voice to the debate by writing a short treatise or risāla in which he argued that a calendar based on crescent sighting should be abandoned in favour of one based on scientific and astronomical computation. After providing some background information on Shākir and the lunar debate in Egypt and elsewhere in the Muslim world, I present an annotated translation of Shākir's treatise.

Affiliations: 1: University of Cape Town


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