Salafy Ink

Conflicting Reports Regarding the Sighting of the New Moon

Date
June 19, 2015
Author
Imām Bin Bāz
Source
www.binbaz.org.sa
Translator
Abu 'Abdis Salaam Al Juyaanee

What is the proper stance (that should be taken by) some of the brothers with regards to fasting the month of Ramadaan when there are conflicting reports from various countries, both Muslim and non-Muslim with regards to the sighting of the moon. May Allah reward you O noble Shaikh.


What is correct is that the people of every country (can fast according) to their own sighting; every country can have a sighting. Thus, if the people in Egypt fast according to their sighting, and the people in Shaam fast according to their sighting, and the people in Iraq fast according to their sighting, there is no problem with this. However, if it is feasible to fast according to one sighting, then this is better based on the statement of the Prophet ﷺ

“Fast according to the sighting of the new moon (of the month of Ramadaan) and cease fasting according to the sighting of the new moon (for the month of Shawwaal).” [Collected by Muslim and Nisaa’ee]

This is general for the whole Islaamic Nation. So if it is feasible to fast according to the sighting of Saudi Arabia, for example; or by the sighting of an Islaamic country that rules by Allah’s legislated law and carries out Allah’s commands (then you should do so). This is because there is no problem in fasting due to the acceptance of the testimony of witnesses (who have witnessed the new moon) and not according to calculations, this is better. So if it is feasible to fast according to one sighting, then this is better based on the generality of the evidences.

However, if this is not feasible because of the far distance between regions and countries, then there is no problem for the people of a country to fast according to their own sighting. This is the strongest opinion with all of the people of knowledge. The council of Major Scholars have researched this issue and concluded that there is no problem if the people of each country fast according to their own sighting, if it is not feasible to fast accord to one sighting. However, it is not permissible to fast according to calculations, it is Waajib to fast according to the sighting of the new moon; this is because the Prophet ﷺ said,

Fast according to the sighting of the new moon (of the month of Ramadaan) and cease fasting according to the sighting of the new moon (for the month of Shawwaal). However, if due to heavy cloud cover (you cannot see the new moon on the 29th night) then complete the term (i.e. complete the month with) 30 days. [Collected by Muslim and Nisaa’ee]

Therefore, it is not permissible to depend on, (or go by) calculations; neither for the (determination of the) beginning or completion of Ramadaan, nor for the (determination of the) month of Thul Hijjah. It is Waajib to act according to the sighting of the new moon. If the new moon is not seen to mark the beginning of Ramadaan then Sha’baan is completed as 30 days. Likewise, if the new moon is not seen to mark the conclusion of Ramadaan, then Ramadaan is completed as 30 days. This is that which is incumbent upon the Muslims wherever they may be.

Categories
Fiqh and Fataawa