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International Astronomical Center

Under The Patronage of His Highness
Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs

Emirates Astronomical SocietyandIslamic Crescents Observation Project

In cooperation with

National Center for Documentation and Research


The Second Emirates Astronomical Conference
Role of Astronomy in the Islamic Society:
Applications in Islam, Education and Environment

National Center for Documentation and Research
Abu-Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
16-18 Jumadal A’akhera 1431 AH, 30 May - 01 June 2010 CE

Last Update 21 June 2010

Scientific Committee
Organizing Committee
Conference Themes and Topics
Conference Location and Language
Video Recording and Satellite Broadcast
Name of Participants
Conference Program
Conference Photos
Watch The Conference Talks
Conference Resolutions
Memorandum of Understanding Between Islamic Scholars and Astronomers.
ICOP Brief Video
The First Emirates/ICOP Astronomical Conference

Scientific Committee
(Names after the chairman are sorted alphabetically)

Organizing Committee
(Names after the chairman are sorted alphabetically)

Conference Themes and Topics

  1. Applications of Astronomy in Shari`a
    • Determination of Prayer Times (general case and special locations).
    • Determination and Implementation of Qibla (direction to Mecca/Kaaba).
    • Crescent observations and calculations: methods, criteria and instruments.
    • Islamic calendar: current status and problems and perspectives.

  2. Applications of Astronomy in Science and Education
    • History of Islamic Astronomy: contributions, scholars, methods and institutions.
    • Astronomy in today’s Muslim societies: basic education, higher education, research and accomplishments.
    • Astronomical culture in today’s Muslim societies: general status, associations, museums and perspectives of revitalization.
    • Translation of (contemporary) Astronomical literature, website content and software.

  3. Applications of Astronomy in Environment
    • Astronomy and Space Science serving the environment and monitoring potential or current problems.
    • Astronomy and Space Science serving agricultural and water projects and problems.

  4. ICOP
    • Presentation and discussion of the report on activities during the previous period (2007-2009).
    • Presentation and discussion of the financial report during the previous period (2007-2009).
    • Election of the members of the Administrative Board and of the main committees.
    • Setting up a program for the next period (3 years).

Conference Location and Language

Video Recording and Satellite Broadcast


Name of Participants

Mr. Abdallah MokhtariAlgeriaState League for Scientific Activities and Technology for Youth
Mr. Abdel Malek RabahiAlgeriaState League for Scientific Activities and Technology for Youth
Mr. Abdelmalek BoukhezzarAlgeriaState League for Scientific Activities and Technology for Youth
Mr. Amrane TolbaAlgeriaUmmel Bawaqi University
Eng. Ibrahim DarouiAlgeriaIbn al Haytham Society for Science and Astronomy
Dr. Mohammad Khader LoucifAlgeriaResearch Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics - Algiers Observatory
Mr. Wali BalkhearAlgeriaIbn al Haytham Society for Science and Astronomy
Mr. Yassin FodilAlgeriaAl-Shurooq Newspaper
Mr. Zinuldeen ZirwalAlgeriaIbn al Haytham Society for Science and Astronomy
Mr. Taher TujganiBelgiumPresident of Scientific Council
Mr. Awang Salim BesarBruneiState Judiciary Department
Mr Hj Alibakar bin Hj KassimBruneiSurvey Department, Ministry of Development
Mr. Hj Murni bin Hj Abd. RahimBruneiSurvey Department, Ministry of Development
Mr. Shahrin KadihBruneiState Judiciary Department
Dr. Ahmed Yehia el-RaffieEgyptNational Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences
Mr. Ayman IbrahimEgyptThe Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Dr. Mohammad Wisam KhadrEgyptFatwa Secretary in Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah
Prof. Mosalam ShaltoutEgyptNational Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics
Ms. Fadia SalmiFrance
Eng. Martin ElsaesserGermanyMunich Public Observatory
Prof. Mohammad HawariGermanyEuropean Council for Fatwa and Research and Islamic Center in Achen
Prof. Susiknan AzhariIndonesiaIslamic University Sunan Kalijaga
Mr. Aliakbar NayyeriIranUniversity of Tehran
Mr. Alireza MehraniIran
Mr. Kambiz KhaleghiIranUniversity of Tehran
Eng. Mohsen Ghazi MirsaeedIran
Mr. Sayyed Rida AsfahaniIranAstronomical Researches and Studies Center
Eng. Seyyed Ghasem RostamiIranIslamic Azad University
Mr. Seyyed Hadi TabatabaeiIranInstitute for Astronomy and Astrophysics of Maragha (RIAAM)
Prof. Abed-Alqader AabedJordanUniversity of Jordan
Dr. Awni KhasawnehJordanAUASS
Ms. Basma DhiabJordanICOP
Mr. Hassan HaidarJordanQuds Press International - Amman Office Director
Ms. Hind GhanemJordanICOP
Eng. Khalil KonsulJordanAUASS
Mr. Muhannad Aulama AlhuseiniJordan
Ms. Sanaa AbdoJordanAUASS
Mr. Bashir JarrahLebanonImam Awza'i College
Dr. Ibrahim Abu ShakraLebanonAl Daa`wa College
Shaikh Khaldoun AremedLebanonDar Al-Fatwa
Mr. Khaldoun QawwasLebanonDar Al-Fatwa
Mr. Mohammad Ali AbdelrahmanLebanonDar Al-Fatwa - Biqaa'
Shaikh Mohammad QabbaniLebanonLebanon Mufti
Eng. Mordi GhadbanLebanonAzhar al Bekaa University
Mr. Abdalla BuzgaiaLibyaManara for Islamic Teaching
Eng. Mansour AshgefaLibyaLibyan Center for Remote Sensing and Space Science
Dr. Azhari MohamedMalaysiaDepartment of Survey and Mapping
Mr. Kassim BahaliMalaysiaAl-Khawarizmy Astronomy Complex
Prof. Mohd Zambri ZainuddinMalaysiaUniversity of Malaya
Dr. Saadan ManMalaysiaUniversity of Malaya
Dr. Abdul Hamid El HaramaMoroccoIslamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Prof. Driss BensariMoroccoPresident of Moroccan Astronomical Society
Eng. Jamal Eddine AbderrazikMoroccoMoroccan Astronomical Society
Mr. Abdelilah ElamraniNetherlandsImams Society
Shaikh Abdulaziz Al-BaqqaliNetherlandsPresident of Imams Society
Mr. Galal AliNetherlandsImams Society
Mr. Mohammad OuakkiNetherlandsImams Society
Mr. Abdul-Azeez Abdul-Rasaq IsholaNigeria
Mr. Qamardeen MuhammadNigeria
Mr. Simwal JibrilNigeria
Dr. Usman JibrilNigeriaNigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affair
Mr. Aalih Al-ShuaibiOmanOman Astronomical Society
Miss Abeer Al-MozainiOmanOman Astronomical Society
Mr. Ahmed Al RuqashiOmanRoyal Sultanate Court - Astronomical Observatory
Mr. Ali Al-Hana'iOmanMinistry of Education
Mr. Ali Al-ShibaniOmanOman Astronomical Society
Mr. Ammar Al-RawahyOmanMinistry of Awaqaf and Islamic Affairs
Miss Asela Al-FzariOmanMinistry of Education
Miss Fatma Al-MaamariOmanMinistry of Education
Mrs. Hanan Al-SiabiaOmanOman Astronomical Society
Mr. Harib Al SulaimaniOmanRoyal Sultanate Court - Astronomical Observatory
Dr. Kahlan Al-KharousiOmanOman General Mufti Assistant
Mr. Khalid Al JabriOmanRoyal Sultanate Court - Astronomical Observatory
Mr. Malek Al-DohaniOmanOman Astronomical Society
Mr. Marwan ShwaikiOmanPDO Planetarium Director
Eng. Mohammed Al-HajriOman
Mrs. Moza AlberakiOmanMinistry of Education
Dr. Saleh Al-ShidhaniOmanSultan Qaboos University
Mr. Saud Al KharusiOmanRoyal Sultanate Court - Astronomical Observatory
Mr. Suleiman Hilal Al BusaidiOmanRoyal Sultanate Court - Astronomical Observatory
Mr. Farahat LaabarQatarAljazeera Satellite Channel
Shaikh Abdulaziz Bin Saleh Al-HmeadSaudiSupreme Court
Dr. Abdullah AlmisnidSaudiQassim University
Eng. Abdullah BashirSaudiQatif Astronomy Society (QAS)
Dr. Abdullah Mnea'SaudiRoyal Court Consultant and member of Council of Senior Scholars
Mr. Adel BukhamsinSaudi
Mr. Ahmad Aal-RidwanSaudiQatif Astronomy Society (QAS)
Dr. Ali Al-ShukriSaudiKing Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM)
Mr. Faisal Al-SultanSaudi
Prof. Hassan BasurahSaudiKing Abdulaziz University
Mr. Hassan Matooq Al-QudaihiSaudiQatif Astronomy Society (QAS)
Mr. Kahled Mnea'Saudi
Dr. Khaled Al-ZaagSaudiPrince Sultan Complex for Excellent Students
Prof. Maher NofalSaudiTaibah University
Mr. Mohammad OmairSaudiIslamic Sighting Council in Qateef and Dammam
Mr. Muhammad Aal-RidwanSaudiQatif Astronomy Society (QAS)
Prof. Muhammad Al-HabboubiSaudiKing Fahad University for Petroleum and Minerals
Mr. Naser Aal-RidwanSaudiQatif Astronomy Society (QAS)
Mrs. Rabab Al-QudaihySaudiQatif Astronomy Society (QAS)
Dr. Saad Al-KhathlanSaudiVice President of Saudi Juristic Society
Prof. Saleh Al-Marzouqi Al-BaqmiSaudiGeneral Secretary of Fiqh Council - Muslim World League
Mr. Saleh Al-SaabSaudiHead of National Center for Astronomy - King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology
Mr. Sharaf Al-SufianiSaudiJeddah Astronomy Society
Mr. Tawfiq Al-JassasSaudiQatif Astronomy Society (QAS)
Mr. Waleed Al-HashimSaudiKing Faisal University
Mr. Younis Al-OmraniSaudiMinistry of Education
Dr. Yaseen AlmleakySaudiKing Abdulaziz University
Shaikh Othman MbowSenegalPresident of Dar Al Ummah
Eng. Mohamed Rasheed Mohamed FarookSri Lanka
Shaikh Mohsen AsengerSwedenChairman of the Islamic Cultural Center of Stockholm
Eng. Ahmad ZaitounSyriaSyrian Amateur Astronomers Association (SAAA)
Dr. Firas MuradSyriaSyrian Amateur Astronomers Association (SAAA)
Prof. Jalal Uddin KhanjiSyriaEbla University
Eng. Yahia SattoofSyriaSyrian Amateur Astronomers Association (SAAA)
Dr. Ekrem Kelesh TurkeyThe Presidency of Religious Affairs The Republic of Turkey
Mrs. Humeyra Nur AzlekTurkeyThe Presidency of Religious Affairs The Republic of Turkey
Mr. Abdelaziz KhalidiUKIqra Satellite Channel
Mr. Ahmad RamadanUKDirector of Quds Press International
Mr. Aziz RajeUKWifaqul Ulama
Eng. Qamar UddinUKICOP - UK
Mrs. Mezabin GaniUK
Shaikh Mohmed Shoyaib NurgatUKWifaqul Ulama
Shaikh Suliman GaniUK
Mr. Tamkin RiazUKIqra Satellite Channel
Shaikh Yakub MunshiUK
Mr. James StammUSA
Dr. Mohibullah DurraniUSAColumbia University
Eng. Syed Khalid ShaukatUSA
Dr. Zulfiqar Ali ShahUSAExecutive Director of Fiqh Council of North America (ISNA)
Mr. Abdel Rehman Mohd YousifUAEBhuth
Mr. Abdul Hameed JaffarUAEOmar Bin Al-Khattab School
Mr. Eisa AlmazamUAE
Mr. Hassan HaririUAEDubai Astronomy Group
Dr. Ibrahim KursanyUAEBhuth
Mr. Johan Bekker MareeUAEBhuth
Eng. Khalfan Al-NoaimiUAEPresident of Emirates Astronomical Society
Eng. Mohammad OdehUAEICOP
Eng. Moustafa ShaatUAE
Mr. Naser AwawdehUAEOmar Bin Al-Khattab School
Prof. Nidhal GuessoumUAEAmerican University of Sharjah
Eng. Sakher AbdullahUAE
Mr. Samer Al-HakawatiUAEEmirates Astronomical Society
Mr. Yasir M. Al MuqbelUAEBhuth

Conference Program

Kindly Click Here to download the conference program.

Conference Photos

Kindly Click Here to see the conference photos.

Watch The Conference Talks

Kindly visit our videos page or the conference video album to watch the conference talks

Conference Resolutions

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, the Emirates Astronomical Society (EAS), the Islamic Crescents' Observation Project (ICOP), and the National Center for Documentation and Research (NCDR) organized the second Emirates Astronomy Conference titled “The Role of Astronomy in the Islamic Society: Applications in Islam, Education, and Environment” in Abu Dhabi from 30 May to 01 June 2010 CE (16-18 Jumadal Al-Akhera 1431 AH). The conference was attended by dozens of scholars and experts and over 150 participants from 26 countries (Algeria, Belgium, Brunei, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Syria, Turkey, UAE, and USA).

The participants hailed the high level of the conference and applauded the participation of the scholars (of Astronomy Fiqh, and Jurisprudence) from the Muslim world and from the West. The conference participants discussed and adopted the following recommendations:

  1. Organize the third conference on the same theme in two years, and workshops between astronomers and jurists/fuqaha to continue the progress that has been made on the issues under consideration.

  2. Continue the discussions on the Islamic calendar with the aim of achieving greater agreement and reaching a formulation that is both acceptable to all and applicable as widely as possible, and submit to the relevant institutions and authorities what has been produced.

  3. Request the relevant authorities not to call for attempting to observe the crescent on the 29th of the Islamic month if astronomical calculations show that the moon has not reached conjunction or has set before the sun.

  4. Reject the testimonies of crescent which the established astronomical institutions reject definitively, even if they are claimed after conjunction and with the moon setting after the sun.

  5. Include astronomers who have expertise in crescent visibility in the official committees that determine the beginning of Hejric months.

  6. Continue and strengthen the studies of prayer times at high latitudes and publicize these studies for the benefit of Muslims of those areas in particular.

  7. Collaborate with educational institutions in the aim of introducing chapters and modules on astronomy applied to Islamic issues in the curricula.

  8. Conduct a wide survey to assess the level of astronomical knowledge in Muslim societies at large (schools, clubs, etc.) and work on remedying any deficiencies that will be uncovered.

  9. Encourage and collaborate with the media in introducing regular newspaper and magazine columns and TV programs on Astronomy in place of Astrology, especially what relates directly to Islamic needs.

  10. Strengthen the relations between the organizing parties of the conference and the astronomical, scientific, and official institutions of the Arab and Muslim world(s).

  11. Publish the proceedings book with high scientific standards at the earliest and distribute to libraries so as to make it a prime reference on the subject for all researchers.

  12. Publish a summary article about the conference in newspapers and magazines.

  13. Post the main recommendations and results of this first conference on ICOP’s website and on partner websites.

  14. Send a letter of grateful thanks and regards to His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, for his kind sponsoring of this conference and related activities.

Memorandum of Understanding Between Islamic Scholars and Astronomers

Glory to Allah, who stated beautifully in His Holy Book: “It is He Who made the sun to be a shining glory and the moon to be a light (of beauty), and measured out stages for her, that ye might know the number of years and the count (of time) (Yunus/10:5) and stated: “They ask you about the crescents, say: they are timings for people and the pilgrimage" (The Cow/2:189) ; And prayer and peace on the best human, God's mercy envoy of the worlds, Mohammed ibn Abdullah, seal of the prophets and messengers, and on his companions and those who followed him until the day of judgment.

A group of Islamic scholars/jurists and Muslim astronomers and scientists held side meetings at the 2nd Emirates/ICOP Astronomical Conference held between 15 and 17 Jumada II, 1431 H, i.e. May 30 to June 1, 2010, to discuss a number of important issues in the field of Islamic Astronomy . The two sessions of consultation consisted of meaningful dialogues aimed at clearing up a number of misunderstandings, as well as discussions aimed at reaching agreements and finding mechanisms for collaborative action on issues such as how to establish the start of crescent-based months, how to construct an acceptable Islamic calendar, and what reasonable solutions can be proposed on the prayer times for Muslims living in regions of high latitudes.

The scholars and the scientists reviewed the current situation of the nation with regard to the above topics, discussed the specific problems and the difficulties raised by people and authorities in various places, and considered the recommendations of the previous conferences and symposia. The first stressed the importance of implementing the previous sound recommendations and solutions proposed by the past and present councils, conferences and symposia, and encouraged experts to exert their efforts to address any current issues that need further research and study. With Allah’s help and guidance, these consultative meetings culminated in reaching important points of agreement, which the two groups vowed to publicize and implement, namely:

  1. The insistence to consider today’s astronomy as a systematic and rigorous science, one which has nothing to do with astrology or any other speculative ways.
  2. The field of Islamic Astronomy deals with applications in the life of Muslims, such as prayer times, new crescents, and calendar. On these issues, the following points of agreement were established:
    • Regarding prayer times: based on the up-to-date papers presented at the conference and what has been reached in previous astronomical conferences and Fiqh councils, the bulk of the topic has been studied and scrutinized, but some issues have remained in need for further research and study, such as the prayer times at the high-latitude regions and some fine-tuning of the altitude of the Sun at Fajr.
    • One the visibility of the new crescent:
      • The determination of the times of conjunction, sunset and moonset are very accurately obtained by astronomers.
      • The models and criteria of crescent visibility have been substantially developed in recent years, with some Muslim astronomers having made important contributions (e.g. the Odeh criterion), and these have been adopted by the specialists, so that we now can rely on these calculations in scrutinizing the testimonies of witnesses (when the crescent is above the horizon).
    • Regarding of the construction of an Islamic calendar, the research has settled on two proposals: the unified calendar (Abdurrazik and Shaukat) and the bizonal calendar (Universal Hejric Calendar (UHC), Guessoum’s proposal and others), and the discussion is ongoing among specialists around these. It is hoped that the Um al-Qura calendar will be further developed so as to become close to one of these two proposals.

  3. The importance of striving for the construction of a valid and accepted Islamic calendar, one which can be implemented in organizing Muslim life in its various avenues.
  4. The insistence on the fact that astronomical information be sought and received from the established astronomical references, institutions which the Islamic Crescents Observation Project will be one of the main parties. Once these institutions have been identified and recognized, their recommendations and results will be adopted by the various bodies of Islamic jurisprudence and the authorities supervising Muslims in Islamic countries and in the West, particularly the Organization of Islamic Conference (through Organization of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and the Islamic World League.

Scholars and Astronomers/Scientists who took part in these meeting and agreed to this Memorandum of Understanding:

  1. Dr. Akram Kelesh / Turkey / Presidency of Religious Affairs of Turkey.
  2. Dr. Zulfiqar Shah / USA / Executive Director of the Fiqh Council of North America.
  3. Dr. Saad bin Turki Al-Khathlan / Saudi Arabia / Vice President of the Fiqh Association of Saudi Arabia.
  4. Prof. Saleh bin Zaben Marzouki Baqmi / Saudi Arabia / General Secretary of the Fiqh Council of the Islamic World League.
  5. Shaykh Tahir Altujgani / Belgium / Chairman of the Scientific Council of Moroccans living in Europe and Vice-President of the Association of Imams in Belgium.
  6. Dr. Abdul Hamid Al Haramah / Morocco / Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO).
  7. Shaykh Abdul Aziz Al-Baqali / Netherlands / Chairman of the Imams Society in the Netherlands.
  8. Shaykh Abdul Aziz bin Saleh Al-Hamid / Saudi Arabia / Member of the Supreme Court.
  9. Dr. Abdullah Bin Sulaiman Al Manea / Saudi Arabia / Advisor of the Royal Court and member of the Council of Senior Islamic Scholars.
  10. Sheikh Osman Mbao / Senegal / Director of the Islamic Center “Dar al-Ummah al-Islamiyya”.
  11. Shaykh Dr. Kahlan Al-Kharousi / Oman / Assistant to the General Mufti of the Sultanate of Oman.
  12. Prof. Mohammad Al-Hawwari / Germany / Member of the Islamic Center in Aachen and member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research.
  13. Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Wesam Khadr / Egypt / Secretary of Dar Al- Fatwa”.
  14. Sheikh Mohsen Asinger / Sweden / President of the Islamic Cultural Centre in Stockholm.
  15. Prof. Jalal al-Din Khanji / Syria / Member of the Administrative Board of the Islamic Crescents Observation Project (ICOP).
  16. Mr. Hassan Al-Hariri / UAE / Member of the Administrative Board of the Islamic Crescents Observation Project (ICOP) and Chairman of the Dubai Astronomy Group.
  17. Prof. Hassan Basurrah / Saudi Arabia / Head of the Department of Astronomy at the King Abdul-Aziz University.
  18. Dr. Khaled Al-Zaag / Saudi Arabia / Director of the Buraida Observatory.
  19. Eng. Khalfan Al Nuaimi / UAE / Consultant of the Islamic Crescents observation Project (ICOP) and President of the Emirates Astronomical Society (EAS).
  20. Dr. Saleh Shidhani / Oman / Secretary of the Islamic Crescents Observation Project (ICOP) and professor of astronomy at the Sultan Qaboos University.
  21. Mr. Saleh Al-Saab / Saudi Arabia / Chairman of the Center of Astronomy at the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology.
  22. Eng. Mohammad Odeh / UAE / President of the Islamic Crescents Observation Project (ICOP).
  23. Prof. Mosallam Shaltout / Egypt / National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics (Helwan Observatory).
  24. Prof. Nidhal Guessoum/ UAE / Vice President of the Islamic Crescents Observation Project (ICOP) and professor of physics and astronomy at the American University of Sharjah

ICOP Brief Video

ICOP Members; Basma Dhiab, Basher Saleh and Hind Ghanem had prepared the below video about ICOP. This video was shown in the opening session of the 2nd ICOP/Emirates conference.

ICOP Brief from ICOP on Vimeo.

The First Emirates/ICOP Astronomical Conference

Kindly visit the page of The First Emirates/ICOP Astronomical Conference to have an idea of the high scientific level of the conference, in that page you can watch some of the talks presented in the conference, also if you are interested you can get the conference proceedings book.

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