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...is sort of a confusing concept - at least to me.
The Night of Power commemorates the night Allah revealed the Koran to Mohammed. No one knows the actual night during Ramadan this occurred. It's narrowed down to one of the odd-numbered nights in the last ten days of Ramadan.
But that ain't all. Various groups disagree on what day is the first of any given month - there is no universally accepted standard within Islam, and therefore one group's odd day can be another group's even. I'm not going to bother with all the permutations.
Anyhow, if this was al Qaeda (or associated) action, this is what they could do on their "best night":
Mortars hit US military HQ at Baghdad airportAnd if it wasn't al Qaeda, then it was the best some other group could do, and AQ couldn't even accomplish that much.
BAGHDAD, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Militants fired mortar rounds at Camp Victory, the U.S. military's sprawling headquarters near Baghdad airport, after dusk on Wednesday but there were no immediate reports of injuries, a U.S. military official said.
A Western security contractor at the base said he heard nine mortar rounds being fired and four explosions inside the perimeter. He was not aware of any casualties.
Such attacks on the base are relatively rare. Last month, an Iranian-made rocket killed one person in an attack blamed on militants loyal to anti-American Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.
As it turns out, 2 were killed and 38 wounded. I don't want to dismiss the numbers as insignificant, but bear in mind the "wounded" figure means injured enough to see a doctor - not (as John-Jack Murtha and others would have you believe) maimed for life. For additional perspective - I was on Victory Base Complex when this attack occurred and didn't know about it until I read it in the news today.
By the way, did you notice this quote from the Reuters story...
Such attacks on the base are relatively rare....and this one from CNN:
Such attacks on the base are not unusual, officials have said in the past.I guess both could be accurate. The last one happened on September 11, when al Qaeda tried to kill Bill Roggio.*
*(Kidding, folks, just kidding...)
Sky and Telescope had an article that discussed when the beginning of the Islamic month is. The subject of the article was how early one could see the new moon by the naked eye. The Islamic month begins when someone in the particular locale the date is being kept in can see the new moon. Astronomically the new moon occurs when the moon is in conjunction with the sun; i.e., appears to be closest to it in the sky. Of course, at that point to see the moon you'd have to be looking almost directly at the sun and the moon would have it's darkest side to you, so that's impossible.
So what you do is to get up early in the morning and watch the sun rise. Right after the new moon, the moon rises first before the sun. The general consensus is that the moon has to be about 7 hours past conjunction before it is possible to see it. If you can't (say, it's only 3 hours past new moon at sunrise), then you have to wait to the next day, and it'll be that next day when the next month starts.
O.K.? So let's say that you live in country "x" under Sharia law and the moon rises 3 hours after new moon. You, Mr. Imam, get up at sunrise to do your duty, but you can't see the moon. So you let people know that today is the last day of month "A". Six hours later, the earth has made a quarter turn, and it's 9 hours after new moon. A sharp-eyed imam gets up before sunrise and sees the now-9-hour-old new moon. Voila (or however you say that in Arabic)! It's now the first day of month "B" for that country. Kind of makes reconciling calendars between two Islamic countries complex.
And no, I have no idea what they do if it's raining at sunrise.Posted by RonF at October 11, 2007 03:00 PM
I didn't know you were here at Victory. How about Breakfast?Posted by Francis Marion at October 11, 2007 06:23 PM
Email me!Posted by greyhawk at October 12, 2007 11:15 AM