The Eid & Ramadhan Moon-Sighting Fitnah

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RELEVANT MATERIAL

Some Rules Related to Sighting of the Moon
(Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanwi)

Fatwas Related to Eid
(Maulana A S Desai)

Moon-Sighting – Another Issue that Exposes the Fraudulent Shafi’is
(Maulana A S Desai)

FATWAS

Q. It is most shocking, but also revealing, how lightly the so-called 'Ulama-e-Haqq' of the UK are taking the issue of moon-sighting, often giving permission to celebrate Eid on the wrong day and eating with a clear conscience even when Ramadhan clearly has not ended. This appears to be just another issue which exposes the state of the Ulama in these times in which most of the minor signs of the Hour have already taken place, including Rasulullah's (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) predictions that the true Deen will have become Ghareeb (lone, strange, forlorn) and that the Ulama in general, the so-called 'Jama'ah', will be Dhwaal (Misguided) and Mudhil (Misguiding and leading the masses to Jahannum). Please could you publish some Naseehat to the Ulama in the UK, and comment in particular on the moon-sighting travesty that took place in the UK this year (2013), which, in fact, appears to take place every year. (Question continued...)
On Wednesday, 7th August, Wifaqul Ulama made the following unambiguous announcement on their website:

“Despite efforts locally by many Muslims throughout the UK the Hilal of Shawwal has not been sighted. Hilal was also not sighted in South Africa despite being the only place to the east of UK where sighting was a possibility. Morocco has reported negative sighting. In light of this the Wifaq ul Ulama hereby announces that Thursday the 8th of August is the 30th of Ramadhan and Friday the 9th of August will be Eid al-Fitr.”

On the other hand, Hizbul Ulama, which appears to have the official affiliation of the major madaris in the UK, gave the following notice on their website, giving no indication whatsoever as to who exactly saw the moon:

“BREAKING NEWS – OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT
Eid-ul-Fitr is on Thursday 8th August 2013
Ramadhan 1434H to complete 29 days – Alhamdulillah
EID MUBARAK TO ALL”

The most concerning thing was that it seemed that almost ALL the Deobandi mosques and Madaris in the UK followed the announcement of Hizbul Ulama. Most of my local community, including friends, family, relatives, etc. other than the Barelwis, declared Eid on Wednesday evening. On the following day, when I went to the Hizbul Ulama website to check if they had put up any justification for their stance, I found they had put up a notice, attached with a horrendous document, titled:

“EID CELEBRATION IN MANY COLOURFUL PHOTOS IN THE WORLD”

Shockingly hammering further the point that they had deviated drastically from the Haqq (truth), the document contained photos of Eidgahs all over the world, many of which are close-ups of women with no niqab and wearing tight-fitting clothes, intermingled with a few men here and there. Hizbul Ulama has had the official endorsement on their website from Darul Uloom Bury (the most famous and prestigious Madrasah) and Jamiatul Ulama Britiain, for as far back as I can remember. And all the Madrasahs in the UK appears to blindly follow the Saudi announcement without any questioning.

Having had to face an onslaught of accusations of causing ‘fitnah’ and ‘disunity’ from my family, relatives, etc. I decided to contact a trustworthy Aalim residing in Madinah to determine whether or not the moon was actually seen in Saudi by anybody reliable. My question and the Aalim’s reply is as below:

“Maulana, I would like to ask you whether or not you were able to personally see the new moon on Wednesday or you heard directly from someone else who did see it and whose adaalat you can personally vouch for?

The Saudi government consisting of fussaqs, fujjars, zaalims, who are all complicit in horrendous crimes against innocent Muslims have long ago forfeited all claims to adaalat. Thus, even more unreliable is their testimony regarding the adaalat of anonymous people with telescopic eyesights (and kashfi foresights) whom they seem to conjure up unfailingly every single year.

The fact that 40,000 brothers are languishing in Saudi’s torture chambers, many of whom are innocent Ulama guilty of not towing the line to the precise nanometer, is sufficient proof alone that the government are Zaalims of the highest order and that the Saudi scholars who have escaped incarceration thus far are uniquely adept at not ruffling any royal feathers, and thus completely subservient to their handlers.

Despite this and innumerable other crimes against the Deen, it appears more and more of our mosques and madaris in the UK seem to be following this Saudi government on the issue of moon-sighting. Amongst my friends, family, relatives, and local community, it seemed like I was the only one to cause ‘fitnah’ by doing Eid on Friday in-sync with the Barelwis. So I would be grateful if you could provide any satisfactory answers to my question above. Jazakumullahu Khairan,” (End of my Question)

The Reply by the Aalim was as follows:

“Wassalaam, Can u see a moon which wasn’t even there? No one saw it, don’t know anyone who saw it. Brothers/friends in riyadh. No one! I saw it on thursday/Friday I think.  Everyone knew eid would be on thurday in saudi. You know a lot of saudi brothers sit in itekaaf. They always leave one day before last night. This year they left on Tuesday night. That’s the khulasa.”

ANSWER AND COMMENT

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) commanded:

“Search for the  moon  (at the end of )the 29th day. If it is overcast over you, then complete the month with thirty days.”

This command of the Shariah stated by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is so mash-hoor (well-known) to even  ignorant Muslims, that presenting evidence in substantiation  is superfluous. This immutable law of the Shariah is the only criterion for determining the Islamic months. There is absolutely no other way permitted by the Shariah. All other man-invented methods are mardood (rejected by the Shariah).

The announcement made  this year by  Wifaaqul Ulama of U.K. is 100% in accord with the Shariah. Every Muslim in the United Kingdom was required by the Shariah to  have accepted this announcement and to have fasted on Thursday 8 August 2013, for it was   truly the 30th day of Ramadhaan. It was haraam to have celebrated Eid on Thursday 8 August 2013  in subservience to the Saudi pronouncement adopted by Hizbul Ulama of UK. All those who had celebrated Eid on the 30th Ramadhaan (Thursday 8th August), should make one Qadha fast, and in addition  make Taubah for having omitted the Fast and  having celebrated a mock ‘eid’ on the last day of Ramadhaan.

The brief, cryptic announcement made by Hizbul Ulama was unacceptable.  It makes absolutely no mention of any hilaal-sighting in  the UK nor of any sighting of any other country which had reached it by Tareeq-e-Moojib – absolutely reliable  way of transmission to  compel acceptance. The so-called ‘official’ announcement of Hizbul Ulama is devoid of official Shar’i sanction, hence it was supposed to have  been rejected  in favour of acceptance of the correct, Shar’i announcement made by Wifaaqul Ulama of UK.

The brief, wholly deficient announcement of Hizbul Ulama is a lamentably clear deviation from the more than 14 century Law of the Shariah pertaining to the hilaal and the determination of the Islamic month. In having  consciously and intentionally  rejected  the immutable Law of the Shariah, Hizbul Ulama  is playing with the Fire of Jahannum and hovering on the brink of Kufr. Side-stepping, in fact rejecting, any Hukm of the Shariah is not a trifling issue. The consequences and repercussions of  such a satanic move are exceptionally grave.

It appears that Hizbul Ulama has made itself subservient to the pronouncements of the brutal Saudi regime which has degenerated from its level of fisq and fujoor to the level of Kufr. Also, Hizbul Ulama appears to have thrown in its lot with the ISNA modernist fussaaq of North America who had announced more than a month before Ramadhaan, the dates of  Ramadhaan and Eidul Fitr.  Such announcement was a blatant act of Kufr, for it brazenly  rejected the immutable command of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the  Ijmaa-ee Law of the Shariah of all Four Math-habs to search for the hilaal.

There was no sighting of the hilaal  confirmed by any aadil entity in Saudi Arabia. In fact  the need to sight the moon was dispensed by the Kufr regime of Saudi Arabia when it had already announced on the 28th of Ramadhaan that  Eidul Fitr would be celebrated on Thursday 8 August which was actually the 30th Day of Ramadhaan even in Saudi Arabia.

The only motivation  for the rash and haraam move by Hizbul Ulama appears to be nafsaaniyat. It has absolutely no Shar’i grounds nor any justification for having  announced that Eid would be on  a day which in reality was the 30th of Ramadhaan. When fear of Allah Ta’ala is lacking, then  despicable nafsaani motives overshadow the intelligence, preventing it from understanding the  disastrous consequences of  trifling with the Deen.

Since Hizbul Ulama had embarked on a blatantly baatil move, thereby perpetrating  the heinous evil and rebellious act of  ignoring the sacred criterion of the Shariah for  determining the commencement of  the  Islamic month, it devolves on  the Ulama of that organization to  present their basis for their  cryptic announcement: 

Did Hizbul Ulama base its announcement on a physical sighting of the hilaal?  

If yes, what are the details?

Who are the persons/entities who had sighted the moon?

Where was it  sighted?  

Why did Hizbul Ulama opt for  secrecy in this regard?

On what Shar’i basis  did Hizbul Ulama announce that Ramadhaan this year had only 29 days?

In desperation  to vindicate its baatil  announcement, Hizbul Ulama resorted to the blatantly haraam act of displaying on its website haraam pictures of men and women participating in Eid Salaat  in some places. One haraam spawns another haraam. Since Hizbul Ulama  had no Shar’i basis for its  baseless and haraam announcement, it  felt itself constrained to adopt methods to present a façade of  veracity for the mock ‘eid’ it had  imposed on its flock.

The Muslim community in the UK should become alert to the vile trend of departing from the Shariah increasingly being adopted by modernists and deviate ulama of our times. Intelligent people should demand from Hizbul Ulama its Shar’i grounds, which in fact it lacks,  for having departed from the 14 century Command of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

Remember, that it is haraam to follow baatil regardless of the source from which it emanates, be it a body of Ulama. Certain issues are self-evident realities of the Shariah known to all and sundry. When people of intelligence accept and submit to views and baseless rulings of ulama simply because of some  relationship or allegiance, then they  come within the scope of the Qur’aanic stricture:

“They (Bani Israaeel) took their ulama and their Mashaaikh as gods besides Allah….”
Close Answer

 

Q. Is it permissible to end ramadhan on the basis of pronouncements of Saudi Arabia?
A. It is haram to end Ramadhan on the basis of the pronouncements of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has abandoned the Shariah’s method of beginning and ending the Islamic months. It no longer goes by the physical sighting (ROOYAH) of the moon. It has forged its own calendar and decides Ramadhaan, Eid and the Islamic months in accordance therewith, not according to the command of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). TODAY IS THE 18TH RAMADHAAN. BUT SAUDI ARABIA HAS ALREADY DECIDED THAT EID WILL BE ON TUESDAY 30TH AUGUST [2012]. The following facts are truly disturbing:

• Ramadhaan time-tables which are distributed in Makkah Mukarramah and Madinah Munawwara this year records Ramadhaan with 29 days.

• In previous years, the cleaners at Musjidun Nabawi in Madinah, before Maghrib informed those who were in I’tikaaf that they had to ‘pack up’ and leave because it was already decided that ‘tomorrow’ would be Eid.

The following is an article written by Mufti Muhammad Yusuf Danka, Imaam of Croydon Musjid, England:

“EID IN RAMADHAAN?
The Saudi government has created a calendar (Umm ul Qura) for establishing the start of every new Islamic month, be it Ramadhan, Hajj or Eid. The basis of this calendar is upon the ‘birth of the new moon’ and not viewing the crescent moon with the naked eye (Ruyat Hilal) as is required by the Shariah and Sunnah. Due to this, the Saudi announcement for the new Islamic month occurs 1 day before the actual sighting of the new crescent moon. This has been witnessed for many years now.

This year (2011), the Umm ul Qura calendar has been published and they have already written that Monday, 29th August 2011 will be the last fast of Ramadhan. Tuesday, 30th August 2011 will be Eid ul Fitr even if there is no sighting of the moon according to the requirements of Shariah (Ruyat Hilal) in the Entire World.

Many masajids in the UK will ignore this fact and follow the Saudi announcement on the ‘birth of the new moon’. They will perform Eid in Ramadhan and jeopardise a fast of Ramadhan due to blindly following the Saudi announcement. Sayidina Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) relates: The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) stated:

‘The person who leaves a fast of Ramadhan without a valid Shariah excuse (being ill or on a journey), if he was to fast for his entire life, he cannot fulfil the loss of that single day of Ramadhan he missed.’ (Jami Tirmidhi/ Masnad Ahmad/ Sahih Bukhari)

The fast of Ramadhan is considered so great in Islam that if a person purposefully breaks a fast, he has to perform 60 fasts continuously as a retribution for this act. There is no other act of worship in which the retribution is so severe. For example, if one Salah is made Kadha, only that single Salah is to be performed.

We should be mindful of our Hereafter, of standing before Allah and answering for our actions, of the loss in reward and Mercy that we are gathering by following Saudi Arabia’s announcements blindly. Of course we should be concerned about uniting the Ummah, but it should be for the Quran and Sunnah and not be for political gains. This is a matter of worship and safeguarding a basic and fundamental principle of Islam. May Allah (swt) grant us the ability to unite upon the Truth and the straight path and keep us firm on it, Ameen!”

‘Birth of the moon’ is not the principle of the Shariah for the determination of the beginning and ending of the Islamic months. The Waajib principle is actual physical sighting. Those who follow the pronouncements of Saudi Arabia will be indulging in the heinous major sin of abstaining from a Fardh Saum (Fast) of Ramadhaan, and of observing ‘Eid’ in Ramadhaan. Organizations which act in accordance with Saudi pronouncements should be rejected. For the sake of some fictitious ‘unity’, the Law of Allah Ta’ala is being rejected. Close Answer

 

Q. Is it permissible for Muslims in the UK to accept Ramadhaan and Eid announcements from Saudi Arabia for the sake of unity?
A. It is not permissible for Muslims of UK nor for Muslims anywhere in the world to follow the hilaal announcements of the current Saudi authorities. The Saudi authorities are extremely unreliable. It is haraam to discard the Shariah for the sake of ‘unity’, even if it would be a true unity. It is quite obvious that the present fussaaq authorities of Saudi Arabia are not adhering to the Shariah. Despite clear skies, the hilaal was not sighted in Saudi Arabia, neither by the hilaal committees nor the masses. Furthermore, even if the moon is sighted in Saudi Arabia, the present rulers are fussaaq and fujjaar. Their announcements should not be accepted.

 

Q. This year as well as last year there was difference among the Ulama regarding Eid. One group of Ulama follow Saudi announcements. What is the responsibility of the Ulama?
A. The responsibility of the Ulama in the UK is to follow the command of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and that is to physically sight the moon at the end of the 29th day, and if there is no sighting, then the month will be 30 days. It is highly irresponsible to terminate Ramadhaan and commence Eid on the basis of the extremely dubious rulings of Saudi Arabia. The simple and clear-cut method for avoiding these perennial moon controversies is to ignore the announcements of other countries and to go by local sightings. Those who had ended Ramadhaan on the basis of the Saudi announcement should keep one day Qadha fast. Once the Ulama decide to adhere to only local sightings, all controversies will cease. There is no need to encumber the community with the announcements of other countries. As long as the simple Sunnah method is not implemented, you will be plagued with these moon controversies.

 

Q. What is the solution for the moon controversy? Almost every year the same problem develops.
A. The only way to terminate the moon controversy is to revert to the simple Sunnah method commanded by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). That method is: Search for the hilaal at the end of the 29th day. If it is not visible, then the month will be 30 days. Confound all the other arrangements and methods which are made to force the issue of Eid. All methods should be discarded, and only the simple Sunnah adopted. This is the simple and pure method devoid of problems and it will not give rise to conflict if all parties submit to this Sunnah. But, the problem is that in these days people are not contented with the simple practices of the Sunnah. They seek to supersede the Shariah. Some who lack confidence in the simple Sunnah method feel more comfortable relying on the ‘sunnah’ of Saudi Arabia. Others again who equally have no fervour for the Sunnah, desire the ‘sunnah’ of the astronomers. The logical conclusion is the perennial conflict.

 

Q. If we in England do not accept hilaal announcement from other countries, every Islamic month will be 30 days due to overcast skies.
A. It matters not if in England every month is a 30 day month if the moon is not sighted. It will be a 30 day month in terms of the Shariah, according to the command of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
Q. (1) Should the people of UK continue the blindfollowing of Saudi for unity’s sake, as this is the excuse many people, even Ulama are using till today, despite the fact that according to many estimates, majority of the Muslims in UK are NOT following Saudi Arabia? (2) Many people are aware that they are doing wrong, yet cite ‘unity’ as an excuse to celebrate Eid on the 30th of Ramadhan, can this ever be correct? (3) What is the responsibility of the UK Ulama/committee members and Trustees on this issue to end the Fiasco? (4) Those who claimed to follow Chile, and announced well before the sunset of Chile, what is the condition of their fast? (5) In the event of no testimonies coming in accordance with the principles of our Holy Shariah, can such important dates like Ramadhan and Eidain be declared based on a claim advertised on moonsighting.com? (6) News from Saudi Arabia reaches the UK well before Asar time, and is relayed by the Media straightaway, this results in the abandonment of the Sunnah to sight the Hilal locally and ending of the Holy month of Ramadhan at ‘Asar time’ as people start preparing for Eid straightaway. This deprives people of benefitting from those last valuable minutes of the great month, what is Hadhrat’s opinion on this.

ANSWERS

(1) It is not permissible for Muslims of UK nor for Muslims anywhere in the world to follow the hilaal announcements of the current Saudi authorities. Our attached pamphlet explains the reasons for this. It is haraam to discard the Shariah for the sake of ‘unity’, even if it would be a true unity. It is quite obvious that the present fussaaq authorities of Saudi Arabia are not adhering to the Shariah. Despite clear skies, the hilaal was not sighted in Saudi Arabia, neither by the hilaal committees nor the masses. Furthermore, even if the moon is sighted in Saudi Arabia, the present rulers are fussaaq and fujjaar. Their announcements should not be accepted.

(2) Those who violate the Shariah on the pretext of their imagined ‘unity’, are close to kufr because they are intentionally abandoning the Shariah for the sake of a hallucinated ‘unity’.

(3) The responsibility of the Ulama in the UK is to follow the command of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and that is to physically sight the moon at the end of the 29th day, and if there is no sighting, then the month will be 30 days. It is highly irresponsible to terminate Ramadhaan and commence Eid on the basis of the extremely dubious rulings of Saudi Arabia. The simple and clear-cut method for avoiding these perennial moon controversies is to ignore the announcements of other countries and to go by local sightings.

(4) Those who now claim to follow Chile are in a worse condition than those who followed the baseless announcement of Saudi Arabia. Ulama whom we have spoken to in North America informed us that after making investigations with people in Chile by telephone, it was established that there was no sighting in Chile. Furthermore, those in UK who had suddenly decided to follow the misinformation from Chile, had no prior arrangement whereby a structure for accepting Shahaadat had been established. Chile had simply mushroomed in the aftermath of the Saudi debacle. The Chile misinformation should be dismissed with contempt.

(5) Since there were no testimonies based on Shar’i principles, it was not permissible for UK Muslims to have terminated Ramadhaan on the basis of Saudi announcements and the rumours from Chile. Information which in terms of the Shariah is reliable was not received from Chile, hence U.K. Muslims who had terminated Ramadhan on the basis of the Chile rumour are guilty of the heinous sin of not fasting on the last day of Ramadhaan. At the same time, they are gulty of the heinous sin of celebrating Eidul Fitr on the last day of Ramadhaan.They should make Taubah and keep qadha of one day.

(6) It is Waajib to search for the hilaal at the end of the 29th day of every Islamic month. This has greater importance and significance for the month of Ramadhaan. To start making preparations for Eidul Fitr on the basis of the Saudi announcement which reaches U.K.Muslims at the time of Asr, which results in the abandonment of the Sunnah of searching for the hilaal is another unacceptable evil. Any practice which leads to the abandonment of the Sunnah is mardood. Regarding the importance of searching for the hilaal, see attachment. Once the Ulama have decided to adhere to only local sightings, all controversies will cease. There is no need to encumber the community with the announcements of other countries. As long as the simple Sunnah method is not implemented, you will be plagued with these moon controversies.
Close Answer

 

Q. Why is there always such confusion over the moon-sighting issue?
A. More than 14 centuries after the advent of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and after presenting the Ummah with a simple, clear system of establishing the beginnings and endings of the Islamic months, confusion reigns supreme in almost all countries on the issue of the Ramadhaan and Eid moons. It is surprising and lamentable that this simple issue has been made almost intractable by even Ulama. The current controversy on the hilaal issue in the United Kingdom is just one example of this ever-recurring problem.

The root cause for the perennial controversies and disputes regarding the Ramadhaan and Eid hilaals (crescent moons) is the adoption of methods which transgress the prescribed limits of the Shariah. When people are not satisfied with the simple methods and systems of Islam, they impose on themselves unnecessary difficulties which lead to these disputes. With regard to the Ramadhaan hilaal, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) demonstrated an extremely simple way to determine the commencement of the month of Ramadhaan. If this simple and mubaarak (blessed) system is adhered to, there will be no ensuing controversy. Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated:

“An A’raabi (a simple rustic/ village-dweller) came to the Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and said: “Verily, I saw the hilaal.’ He (Rasulullah –sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Do you testify that there is no deity but Allah?’ The A’raabi said: ‘Yes!’ Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Do you testify that Muhammad is the Rasool of Allah?’ The A’raabi said: ‘Yes!’ Rasulullah – sallallahu alayhi wasallam- (turning to Hadhrat Bilaal) said: “O Bilaal! Announce to the people that they should fast tomorrow.” (Abu Dawood, Tirmizi, etc.) Tirmizi added: “The amal (practice) according to the majority of the Ulama is on this Hadith. They say: The testimony of a single man will be accepted for Fasting (i.e. for the commencement of Ramadhaan). In fact, if the horizon is overcast, the testimony of even one woman will be accepted for the Ramadhaan hilaal.

Reflect on this simplicity! Two simple questions and just two simple words in response, and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) proclaimed the beginning of Ramadhaan. The many questions which different groups have invented for establishing the hilaal sighting are uncalled for and in conflict with the Sunnah. The size of the hilaal, its angle, its position, etc., are all wasteful, divisive and unwarranted. Others again have introduced astronomical calculations, and base their conclusions on possibility or impossibility of sighting as dictated by these calculations. Valid Shar’i Shahaadat (testimony) is negated on the basis of astronomical data. Edicts of the Shariah may not be superseded by mundane methods and systems. If the sighting of the hilaal is confirmed by way of valid Shar’i testimony, it will be haraam to negate it with astronomical data.

Even if astronomy says that it is impossible to sight the moon, the sighting confirmed by Shar’i Shahaadat will override astronomy. Furthermore, some consider it necessary to make elaborate arrangements with other countries on the basis of the spurious concept of ‘unity’. Therefore some groups insist on having Ramadhaan and Eid with Saudi Arabia. Others again very justifiably reject Saudi sightings as unreliable. If every city/town adheres to the simple system of the Sunnah, there will be no dispute and no controversy. The baseless ideas of ‘unity’ should not be presented to mar the harmony in the community thereby creating greater disunity.

All the slogans of unity on the moon issue have failed to bring about unity. On the contrary, the more people strive for ‘unity’ on this issue, the more disunity they create. All the extra Sunnah arrangements and hilaal committees instituted for forging an imaginary unity are the root cause for fitnah. Every city should simply go by its own sighting. There is absolutely no need to institute elaborate measures for receiving information of sightings from other centres. The attempt to have Ramadhaan and Eid on the same day in all places is a bid’ah which has no basis in Islam. As long as people refuse to adhere to the simple Sunnah systems and methods, the controversies will continue. Close Answer

 

Q. Why is it not permissible to accept news of moon-sightings from Saudi Arabia?
A. The reason why news from Saudi Arabia is not acceptable, is because the Shariah has been made subservient to the rulers in that country. The authorities determine the months with astronomical calculations. They do not adhere strictly to Shar’i methods. The Shariah has become a pawn for the Saudi rulers who are increasingly walking the path of kufr. They have no regard and no respect for the Deen. The word of such fussaaq stands condemned in the Shariah.

 

Q. Why do the Ulama of South Africa refuse to unite with Saudi Arabia on the issue of Ramadhaan and Eid? What prevents us here in South Africa from uniting with Saudi Arabia? Having Eid on the same day all over the world is a beautiful spectre of Muslim unity? According to the Hanafi Math-hab, differences in horizons (Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali') is not valid, hence there should be nothing to debar unity with Saudi Arabia.

A. It will also be a “beautiful spectre of Muslim unity” if the whole Ummah of the world could have the same times for Salaat. Unity on the basis of baatil is Satanism which culminates in greater disunity and whose consequence is Allah’s punishment. A valid and lawful unity is one based on the Shariah, not a superficial facade of unity forged in conflict with the Shariah. Further, why do you highlight Saudi Arabia? Why not Pakistan or Egypt or Indonesia or any of the myriad of Kufristans deceptively dubbed Muslim states?

Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’ is valid with regard to far away places and cannot be discounted in entirety. Although this factor does not prevent acceptance of hilaal information from Saudi Arabia and our neighbouring countries, there are other valid reasons for our rejection of hilaal news emanating from Saudi Arabia in particular.

If ARABIA had been a truly Islamic State under the governance of a pious Khalifah, then all the Muslims of the world would have proudly and happily submitted to every decree emanating from the Khalifah. Obedience to the Khalifah would have been deemed Waajib. A pious Khalifah is Allah’s Shadow on earth. No Muslim may oppose or disobey him. However, as far as the FAASIQ-FAAJIR, British-installed, American lackey Saudi regime is concerned, it is the shadow of Iblees on earth. Islamically and morally the Saudi regime is absolutely corrupt. Muslims all over the world have no respect for the announcements and decrees made by a faasiq-faajir regime whose policies and efforts are currently designed to eradicate Islam.

The palace scholars being the serfs of the Saudi fussaaq, fujjaar rulers, dance to the tune of their masters. It is their primary obligation to fabricate corrupt ‘fatwas’ to comply with the whimsical fancies and evil commands of the Saudi rulers. These palace ulama belong to the fraternity known as Ulama-e-Soo’ (Evil Ulama). They too are Islamically person’a non grata. This is the reason why the announcements of the Saudi regime are unacceptable.
Close Answer

 

Q. Is it permissible to use astronomical calculations to determine the beginning of the Islamic months? These calculations will eliminate all the confusion and disputes which generally occur on the occasions of Ramadhaan and Eid.
A. Astronomical calculations may not be utilized to negate an immutable principle of the Shariah. We are under obligation to abide by the commands of Allah Ta’ala. If there is a clash between a Shar’i command and a mundane issue, the Shariah has precedence. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had commanded the commencement of the Islamic month with the sighting of the hilaal (crescent moon), and such sighting has to be established by the reports of reliable, uprighteous Muslims. When these Shar’i requisites have been complied with, then all other conflicting evidence will be set aside. It should be well understood that Deen is obedience to the commands of Allah Ta’ala. Deen is not the product of rationalism or the effects of our logic and understanding. We may not submit Mansoos Ahkaam to our reasoning and abrogate such laws when we believe that the product of Wahi is in conflict with reason.

Regarding the Islamic months, there exists a Mansoos principle, and that is the actual sighting of the hilaal. The birth of the hilaal and the presence of the moon in its orbit are of no consequence in determining the months. Consider the times of Salaat. Maghrib begins with sunset. The Shariah does not go beyond this simple rule. It only prescribes Maghrib after sunset. The Shariah does not prescribe how we should determine sunset. It does not order Maghrib to begin with the physical sighting of the phenomenon of sunset. Hence, it is permissible to determine sunset by any means in order to commence Maghrib. But since there exists a revealed principle for the determination of the months, it (this revealed principle) may not be abrogated by the use of astronomical instruments to reject the testimony of uprighteous Muslim witnesses to the sighting. Thus such testimony may not be rejected, for such rejection will be the abrogation of a Shar’i principle. Close Answer

 

Q. (1) Would the Qurbani’s done here in the UK according to the Saudi date be valid? (2) Is this stance of following Saudi, despite the open and clear mistake correct? (3) Is the silence of the influential Ulama on this matter acceptable? Many Masjid committees here in the UK normally are decision makers on this issue. In matters of Dunya, they seem very intelligent and up to date, not accepting a penny’s loss. Here due to this following of the Riyadh authorities, many a times the month of Ramadhan is being commenced on the 30th of Sha’baan, the Fardh fast of Ramadhan is being missed as Eid ul Fitr is being celebrated on the 30th of Ramadhan, and Qurbani’s are being performed on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah. (4) Are the Masjid committees absolved of their duties by saying ‘we follow the Ulama’? (5) Despite knowing the truth, is it permissible for the sake of unity (this is the argument that the many people give) to follow Saudi/ Riyadh announcements and fast on the 30th of Shabaan, or celebrate Eid on the 30th of Ramadhan? (6) Some Ulama claim that the majority Deobandi’s follow the Saudi Hilal announcement, hence acting upon the Hadith ‘follow the Al Siwaad Al Aazam’ everyone should follow suit, is this claim correct, even though it means we are compromising on Fardh Ibaadaat? (7) An Ulama body here went to the extent of announcing that as the majority of the countries in the World were celebrating their Eid Ul Adha according to the Saudi date (although this information is also wrong), the people of UK should follow suit and follow the Al Siwad Al Aazam, is this argument justified? (8) Some Ulama attach the Haramain Shareefain to this issue emotionally blackmailing people that the Imams of the Haramain Shareefain cannot be wrong, and all this opposition to the Saudi Sighting is a Yahood Conspiracy.

ANSWERS

It is imperative for the Ulama at your end to resist the attempts to hoist Saudi hegemony on the Muslim community. It is better and safer for Muslims to rather have Eid on different days. They should not buckle under pressure to become the serfs of Saudi Arabia. It is incumbent to follow the directives of the Shariah, not the nafsaani desires of the Saudis who have their own political agenda to which they submit the Shariah.

Unity with baatil is never the teaching of Islam. The call to commence Ramadhaan on a day which is not Ramadhaan, and to celebrate Eid when it is not Eid according to the Shariah for the sake of ‘unity’ is baatil and haraam. Unity with falsehood is haraam. Unity on the basis of the Haqq is the only unity we understand and accept. Our advice is that if Ramadhaan and Eid are not established on the basis of Shar’i dalaa-il, never should you follow the Saudi pronouncements. The Muslims in the U.K. are not in the wilaayat of Saudi Arabia. There is absolutely no Shar’i imperative to compel the Muslims of your country to submit to Saudi dictates and hegemony, more so, when such dictates are flagrantly in violation of the Shariah.

It is necessary to be firm and ignore the criticism of the detractors. Focus the gaze on the Pleasure of Allah Ta’ala regardless  of the criticism and insults which will necessarily be heaped on you when you stand firm on the Haqq. Remember, that this dunya is the arena for the conflict between Haqq and baatil. Our obligation is to guard the Shariah regardless of the consequences. The disunity which flow in the wake of firmness on the Haqq is to be expected and to be ignored. For the sake of a baatil and temporary unity never bend the rules and principles of the Shariah. If there is a group of Ulama who are adamant in blindly following the Saudi pronouncements, then the Ulama-e-Haqq should be adamant in blindly following the Shariah. Those who deviate from the Shariah for the sake of subservience to Saudi hegemony are the cause of the disunity, not those who are firm on the Deen. The answers to your questions are as follows:

(1) Since Eid in the U.K. was wrongfully and intentionally celebrated on 9th Zil Hajj, the Qur’baani on that day was not valid.

(2) Despite the conspicuous error of the Saudi pronouncement, it was a grievous error of the U.K. Muslims to submit to this gross error and celebrate Eid on the fallacious basis of ‘unity’.

(3) The silence of the Ulama and their acceptance of the Saudi pronouncement despite being aware of the serious error and misdirection is despicable. When the Ulama were aware that it was the 9th Zil Hajj, then their silence is evil. In this Regard, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “He who maintains silence regarding the Haqq is a dumb shaitaan.”

(4) Intentionally beginning Ramadhaan and keeping Eid on the wrong days are haraam and grave sins. The contention that Qadha will be kept after Ramadhaan is despicable and haraam. Such qadha will never compensate for the fast which was knowingly and deliberately abandoned in order to celebrate ‘eid’ on 30 Ramadhaan. In fact, this calculated act of deviating from the Shariah is close to kufr. The element of Istikhfaaf with a Shar’i hukm is kufr. It is tantamount to saying: ‘I shall commit fornication and repent afterwards.’ Or, ‘I shall perform two raka’ts Fardh for Isha’, and make qadha afterwards’.The Musjid committees subscribing to this haraam concept of sinning are clearly in open conflict with the Shariah.

(5) The Musjid committees are not absolved of their Shar’i duties when they are aware that the Ulama are in error. It is haraam to follow the erroneous views and fatwas of the Ulama. Castigating the Ummah of Bani Israaeel for the very same crime of blindly following even the errors of their scholars, the Qur’aan Majeed states: “They take their Ulama and their Mashaaikh as gods besides Allah…” It is haraam to follow anyone in baatil. It is haraam to follow the Ulama when it is known that the Ulama are in error.

(6) It is not permissible to follow the erroneous pronouncement of the Saudi regime for the sake of ‘unity’. The same argument should be thrown into the face of the Saudi lackeys. It should be said to them: For the sake of unity abandon the Saudi pronouncements and follow the announcement of the Ulama who adhere to the original tenets of the Shariah. While the dissenters are prepared to create disunity with their subservience to the Saudis, they take umbrage when the disunity is the consequence of Ulama who refuse to accept the Saudi directives. Those who are so keen for unity, should not embark on something which will bring disunity in its wake, and that something is to follow the Saudi errors or political stunts.

(7) The ‘majority’ is not a principle of law in the Shariah. If the majority of present day Deobandi Ulama follow the Saudi pronouncements, it still remains haraam when we are convinced that the month of Ramadhaan has not commenced or ended. Nowadays the majority is plodding the path of baatil. The majority of the Ummah in this era indulges in riba, haraam and baatil. It never becomes permissible to follow this errant majority. Haqq may not be compromised to strike up an accord with baatil for the sake of a unity which in itself is baatil.

(8) The argument that the Muslims in U.K. should follow other Muslim countries even though the sighting of the hilaal has not been established on the basis of the Shariah, is utterly baseless. The criterion is the Shariah, not the majority of Muslim countries, especially in our day when the governments of all Muslim countries are irreligious and even anti-Islam. There is no Shar’i validity in this fallacious argument.

(9) The Imaams of the Haramain Shareefain do not constitute Shar’i Daleel. Our criterion is the Shariah, not the life style or pronouncements of the Imaams of the Haramain of today. These Imaams condone all the haraam fisq and fujoor of the evil Saudi regime. Thousands of Ulama are today languishing in Saudi jails, dungeons and torture facilities. These are true Ulama who spoke the Haqq. The present Imaams of the Haramain Shareefain have been effectively gagged. They are obliged to toe the line of their Saudi paymasters. In fact, the effort of the Saudis to establish their hegemony is part of the Yahood conspiracy to neutralize Islam for the sake of ensuring American dictatorship of the world. Saudi Arabia is a U.S. lackey and puppet.Close Answer

 

Q. This year there was a sharp conflict between two groups of Ulama in the U.K. regarding the moon issue. Both groups have written to The Majlis. Which group was right?
A. We are in disagreement with both groups of the UK Ulama. While the one group correctly refuses to consider astronomical calculations for determining the beginning of the month, they nevertheless err in accepting the unreliable announcement of Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, the other group while not accepting the Saudi announcement, does introduce the astronomical dimension. Both groups are therefore in error.

 

Q. Please comment on the difference between Hizbul Ulama and Wifaqul Ulama with regards to the moon-sighting issue.
A. Currently there prevails a controversy in the United Kingdom regarding the moon issue of last Ramadhaan. The controversy is between two Ulama groups, viz. Hizbul Ulama and Wifaaqul Ulama. Both Ulama organizations have written to the Mujlisul Ulama of S.A. presenting their respective sides of the episode. According to Hizbul Ulama, the hilaal (the crescent moon) for Ramadhaan was sighted by at least three persons at the end of the 29t h day of Sha’baan, hence they declared the following day to be the 1st of Ramadhaan. According to Wifaaqul Ulama, there was no reliable sighting of the hilaal as reported by Hizbul Ulama, hence they (Wifaaqul Ulama) rejected the announcement, and Sha’baan was kept 30 days. Wifaaqul Ulama found the witnesses to be unreliable. We have responded to both Ulama Organizations on the basis of the facts they have furnished in their respective letters. We did not and do not enter the fray in the capacity of a Hakam (Arbitrator). Our responses should, therefore not be construed as adjudication in the dispute of two parties. We have merely apprized the groups of the Shariah’s stance as we understand and believe it to be without deciding and resolving the dispute.

OUR RESPONSE TO HIZBUL ULAMA
The principle governing the commencement of the Islamic months is Rooyat-e-Hilaal i.e. the physical sighting of the moon. This principle is Mansoos Alayh. It is the hukm stemming from Nass-e-Qat’i, and may not be set aside or abrogated by rational reasoning or by astronomical calculations or any other theory of astronomy, etc. The answers to your questions in the light of the above principle and the Sunnah are as follows:

(1) The Shar ‘i Imkaan (Possibility) of sighting the hilaal is at the end of the 29th day of the Islamic month. This Possibility is established by Sareeh Nass of the Hadith. It is such a well-established Shar’i injunction which does not need elaboration. Only those ignorant of the Shariah will refute this injunction. What the observatories and astronomers say in conflict with this Shar’i principle is mardood (rejected and baseless). The Mansoos Ahkaam of the Shariah will remain inviolable until the Day of Qiyaamah, and the fate which had overtaken the Shariah of Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) and Nabi Isaa (alayhis salaam) at the hands of their followers, the Yahood and Nasaara, will, Insha’Allah, not overtake the Final Shariah of Islam. Allah Ta’ala will in every age put in the arena Ulama- e-Haqq to defend the Deen against the predations of the Ahl-e-Baatil.

(2) There is no ‘exhaustive list’ of questions for the Shaahid (Witness) to answer in terms of the Shariah. The only requirement is that he must be aadil (just/pious), and if it happens to be the hilaal for Eid, and the horizon is clear and cloudless, then the sighting must be reported by jamm-e-ghafeer (a sufficiently large number of people). All other questions are nonsensical and devoid of Shar’i substance and basis. (3) According to the Shariah, the many questions pertaining to the position, shape, etc. of the hilaal are abath and laghw (futile and nonsensical). They have no Shar’i significance. Furthermore, if these questions are used to abrogate the Mansoos Alayh principle of Rooyat, then they (the nonsensical questions) will be haraam.

OUR RESPONSE TO WIFAAQUL ULAMA
We had commented on the issue on the basis of the information provided by Hizbul Ulama.. Your explanation presents a different angle to the dispute. Our ruling was based on the adaalat of the witnesses. However, it appears that Wifaqul Ulama refutes the adaalat of the witnesses. We are not in position to adjudicate in the dispute. Our rulings should therefore not be construed as the effect of Tahkeem (Arbitration). We answer on the basis of the information furnished. Whose information is correct, incorrect, true or false is known to Allah Azza Wa Jal. In this response we shall content ourselves with only stating the view and the stance we have adopted on the issue of commencing and ending the Islamic months.

(1) We follow only the principle of Rooyat – the physical sighting.

(2) In the absence of local physical sighting, if news of a sighting of another place in South Africa reaches us by reliable and authentic transmission in which there is no doubt, we accept and Ramadhaan/Eid will be confirmed by us.

(3) To date we do not accept news of sightings from any country. News of Sightings from only within South Africa is accepted. This stance is not because of any belief that the sightings of other countries are not permissible. According to the Ahnaaf the sighting of the East is valid for the West and vice versa. The reason for us not accepting information from outside the country is the lack of a proper arrangement with reliable Shar’i sources. We lack confidence in outside information, hence we limit information of sightings to within the boundaries of South Africa.

(4) We never accept Saudi reports on the hilaal issue. We believe that Saudi Arabia is most unreliable in this regard. Although there have been attempts in South Africa to establish Saudi hegemony here via the moon issue, we are resisting such attempts. There have also been attempts to establish Saudi hegemony by forming a Hilaal Committee of Southern African States. But we have resisted this move too and we are not prepared to compromise our rigid stand for the sake of overtures which are tainted with political and nafsaani agendas. Due to Saudi funding for certain Islamic institutions in Southern African countries, the plan for a united Hilaal Committee here appears unholy to us.

(5) We reject in entirety the slightest intrusion into the hilaal domain by astronomy. We come within the scope of the Hadith in which Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “We are an Ummi nation. We neither count nor calculate…..” We are ‘illiterates’ of this calibre, hence we do not have the slightest inclination towards astronomical calculation and even astronomical guidelines regarding feasibility and possibility or impossibility of sighting the hilaal.

(6) Our only criterion for Imkaan-e-Rooyat is the ending of the 29th day of the Islamic month. Possibility of sighting the hilaal at the expiry of the 29th day of the Islamic month is a Shar’i possibility even if in terms of astronomy it may be impossible. The Nass in this regard overrides astronomy.

(7) If the hilaal is not sighted after 29 days have passed, the month will obviously be 30 days in terms of the Shariah.

(8) Confirmation of the sighting must be on the basis of the reporting by aadil witnesses. The number will vary from one such witness, male or female, for confirmation of the Ramadhaan hilaal, if the horizon is overcast, to Jamm-e-Ghafeer if the sky is clear. Regarding the number of witnesses, the various factors such as clear or overcast sky, the moon for Ramadhaan and the moon for Eid, are taken into consideration.

(9) If all Shar’i factors are fulfilled and the witnesses are aadil, we shall confirm the sighting regardless of the view of the astronomers. Even if a sighting is ‘impossible’ in terms of astronomical calculations, but if criteria of the Shariah – the Mansoos Ahkaam – have been satisfied, we accept the sighting and confirm the commencement of the Islamic month. The Shariah overrides all other considerations. Never, is it permissible to cite astronomical calculations for overriding the Shariah or for casting doubt.

(10) We do not take into account the size, position, shape, etc. of the hilaal for accepting news of a sighting. The only criterion for accepting a sighting is the adaalat of the witnesses. Rasulullah’s personal practice in this regard is sufficient and categorical direction for the procedure of accepting reports of sightings. We are averse to the astronomical paraphernalia which appear in questionnaires to which Aadil witnesses are subjected to. It is quite possible for a person to sight the hilaal without applying his mind to the various aspects of the moon such as shape, position, etc. A person who has genuinely sighted the hilaal may forget within minutes the actual physical attributes which had accompanied the hilaal.

Furthermore, the Ahaadith testify that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahaabah had not ventured into such details pertaining to the hilaal. The procedure adopted by Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was extremely simple. The sole criterion was the adaalat of the Shaahid. If there is valid doubt in the adaalat of the witnesses, the correctness of his answering the variety of questions will be in vain. Even if he answers all the questions correctly, his testimony will be rejected if he is not aadil. On the other hand, if his adaalat is confirmed in Shar’i terms, then his report of sighting will be accepted regardless of his inability to answer the questionnaire. This is our stance.

(11) We shall reject the report if the person appears on the scene a few days after the reported sighting such as in your case where the ‘sighters’ testified 8 days after their alleged sighting.

(12) If Hizbul Ulama had declared Ramadhaan on the basis of Saudi Arabia’s announcement, then we are of the opinion that this was incorrect as the Saudis are unreliable in this regard. The Brother who had asked his question on behalf of Hizbul Ulama did not mention that the three persons had testified only 8 days after their sighting. We had under- stood from the question that the three ‘aadil’ witnesses had testified the very same night soon after having sighted the hilaal, that is during Maghrib time of the very first night. In our opinion the report made 8 days after the event should have been dismissed without the need to listen to their testimony and without bothering to establish the integrity of the witnesses.

(13) Our advice is that witnesses should not come forward to ‘prove the correctness of Saudi announcements’ as you have mentioned. Saudi Arabia should be expunged from the hilaal equation. The Zaalim government of Saudi Arabia has a direct hand in hilaal announcements, and for them political or other expediencies are adequate for tampering with the masaa-il of the Shariah.

(14) We note that Wifaaqul Ulama does use astronomical calculations as a guideline, not for confirming the commencement of the month. As long as the actual confirmation of the hilaal is based on actual Rooyat, you are entitled to your methodology and guide lines. The absolute principle of Rooyat should never be compromised. We need to clarify the meaning of not compromising this Mansoos Alayh principle. If aadil witnesses testify to their personal sighting and all Shar’i conditions regarding numbers of sighters for different occasions are fulfilled, then it will be Waajib to accept their testimony even if astronomy says that the sighting is impossible and even if the sighters are unable to answer the astronomical paraphernalia related to the hilaal.

(15) From the explanation furnished by Batley Moon Sighting Committee, it appears that the basis for having rejected the CMC’s announcement was the ‘integrity’ factor. According to BMSC the witnesses were not aadil. Their adaalat was rejected. We are not in position to adjudicate between CMC and BMSC on this issue. We can only say that if they were confident that the witnesses were not aadil, then they were within their right for having rejected the testimony especially in view of it coming 8 days later.

(16) We are in disagreement with BMSC regarding their criteria for establishing adaalat. The duration of visibility of the hilaal, visibility conditions, position/shape of the hilaal, location of the hilaal, moonset, ‘logical’ impossibility of sighting, astronomical impossibility of sighting, etc. are irrelevant for establishing adaalat of the witnesses. These factors have no basis in the Qur’aan and Sunnah. At most they are products of opinion and could act as guidelines. Never could these factors be utilized to negate adaalat. The uprighteousness of a person is not reliant on these factors. The adaalat of a Buzrug of known and confirmed Taqwa may not be negated on the basis of these factors which are all extraneous to the Shar’i concept of adaalat. Factors such as donning un-Islamic dress, strutting around with a bare-head, deficiency in performing Salaat with Jamaa’t, indulgence in futility, sport, and many other factors related to the moral domain are relevant for establishing or negating adaalat.

(17) Paragraph No.7 of BMSC’s explanation reads as follows: “Hazrat Mufti Taqi Usmani Sahib states: ‘for when according to calculation it is impossible to sight the moon then according to the majority of the Ulama of today when logically it’s impossible to sight the moon such a testimony will be ‘muttahum’ discredited and due to being discredited the testimony will be void, and you must not decide on such a testimony.” We respectfully differ with this view which is devoid of Shar’i substance. It is a view based on opinion and unsubstantiated by Shar’i facts. Logic and astronomy may not be used to refute, negate or discredit the testimony of an aadil man on the issue of Rooyat-e-Hilaal. Since this is a Mansoos rule, there is no scope for its abrogation nor for rejection on the basis of opinion, logic and astronomy. This is especially so when the simplicity of the procedure to confirm a sighting by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is borne in mind. The opinion expressed by Hadhrat Mufti Taqi Sahib is incorrect since it lacks Shar’i daleel.

(18) We also disagree with the fatwa of Jamiatur Rashid for the same reasons stated above in No.17.

(19) In paragraph No.9 of its explanation, BMSC states: “On the night of 1st of Thul Hijjah, in Manchester, at Moulana Hashim Bharuchas house, in the presence of Moulana Shoiab Desai of Sheffield, and most of the imams and senior Ulama of Manchester, one of the most senior Muftis of UK when asked about these issues, very strongly said ‘if you do not accept moonset and moonrise times then throw away your namaz timetables as they are sourced from the same place and as accurate as each other. If anyone is in any doubt of this they may observe the moonset and rise time for a month and they will find them to be accurate.’

We respectfully differ with the most senior Mufti of UK. The honourable Mufti Sahib did not apply his mind to the issue – the mas’alah pertaining to the commencement of the Islamic month. The fundamental principle of the Rooyat being established in terms of the Shariah by the testimony of aadil witnesses had escaped his mind. Moonset and moonrise timetables are irrelevant in this regard. These timetables cannot override the Nass of the Shariah which unequivocally confirms the Rooyat of aadil witnesses.

The analogy of Salaat timetables is baseless in the context of hilaal confirmation. The Mansoos Alayh principle for establishing the hilaal is actual Rooyat. The confirmation of the natural phenomena for establishing the times of Namaaz is not reliant on Rooyat. To commence Maghrib Salaat, physical sighting of sunset is not conditional, nor is physical sighting of the length of the shadow necessary for Zuhr and Asr Salaat. Even the information of a non-Muslim regarding sunset, the direction of East, West, etc, is valid and may be utilized for initiating acts of ibaadat. Maghrib Salaat time commences immediately after sunset.

If sunset is confirmed by any means whatsoever, Maghrib Salaat will be valid. It is not necessary to confirm sunset only by means of Rooyat. There is no such principle in the Shariah. The Shariah simply states that Maghrib is after sunset. As far as the commencement of the Islamic month is concerned, the Shariah categor ical ly ordains Rooyat of the Hilaal. There is no other phenomenon commanded by the Shariah for commencing the Islamic month. Birth of the moon, moonrise, moonset or presence of the moon in its orbit or any other phenomenon have not been fixed by the Shariah for beginning the Islamic months. The only valid act for this purpose is Rooyat of the Hilaal. Thus the analogy presented by the venerable Mufti Sahib is not valid.

(20) The method for confirming Roooyat is as old as Islam. It is not a new development. It is therefore surprising and lamentable to observe the failure of the Ulama to resolve this perennial controversy by adoption of the simple method of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The hilaal issue has been made unnecessarily intractable. When the simple methods of the Shariah are ignored, we become saddled with the punishment of discord and dispute. In conclusion, we reiterate that we are not adjudicating in the dispute between Hizbul Ulama and Wifaaqul Ulama. Close Answer

 

Q. According to some Muftis it is permissible to use the determinations of astronomy to negate false sightings. It is maintained that in this age of fitnah and mischief and questionable testimonies of sighting, it is permissible to use astronomy to refute testimonies of moon sightings. Is this view correct?
A. There is no scope for re-interpretation of the Ahkaam in Islam. The Yahood and Nasaara had mangled beyond recognition the Shariats of Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) and Nabi Isa (alayhis salaam) with their processes of re-interpretation, distortion and personal opinion. Thus, there does not remain a semblance of the original Shariats of the Ambiya (alayhimus salaam). In this regard Islam is unique. The Deen has been finalized at the termination of Nubuwwat. The ahkaam are immutable and will remain in their pure form until the Day of Qiyaamah.

The view of negating Shar’i evidence/testimony on the basis of the determinations of astronomy is incorrect and abhorrent in the extreme because it in effect abrogates a Mansoos Alayh usool (principle) of the Shariah. The principle is that the testimony of Aadil (just and uprighteous) witnesses is Shar’i daleel. Such shahaadat is binding. It is haraam to set aside a Shar’i daleel – a Mansoos Hukm – on the basis of astronomical determinations. How can it ever be Islamically possible and permissible to cancel a Shar’i principle on the basis of a man-made determination?

Whilst the same Muftis maintain that astronomical determinations are not valid for commencing the Islamic month, they illogically aver that such determinations are valid for negating Shar’i Shahaadat. Both principles are Shar’i, and of equal weight and importance. The argument that this is an age of fitnah and mischief, hence false testimony is made, is baseless. In terms of the Shariah a sighting is not false. The testimony can be false. The Shar’i command is to reject testimony which does not conform to the requisites of the Shariah. Eid, Ramadhaan and the Islamic months in general are never determined on the basis of such testimony which does not conform to Shar’i standards. The Shariah stipulates the requisite of adaalat for those who testify.

Aadil persons are generally known in a community. A total stranger who testifies will be majhoolul halaal. His testimony shall not be accepted. However, when Aadil persons testify that they have sighted the hilaal, then confound what the astronomers say. Irrespective of the determinations of astronomy, it is haraam to reject the shahaadat of Aadil persons. Astronomy cannever override the Shariah. On the contrary, the Shariah overrides and rejects man-made determinations when these are in conflict with the Law of Allah Azza Wa Jal.

Let us momentarily assume that the Aadil persons who are testifying had made a genuine error in sighting. There was no hilaal, but according to their sightings, the hilaal was seen. Now it matters not whether the hilaal had been sighted or not. Of vital importance is that Aadil persons had testified to having seen the hilaal. On the basis of their shahaadat Ramadhaan and Eid shall be declared.

The issue is not the hilaal. The issue is the Hukm of the Shariah. The Shariah commands that Ramadhaan will commence on the basis of the testimony of even one Aadil person, male or female, if the sky is overcast, for example. It matters not what the astronomers say. The fitnah of dishonest people have no role in the determination of the Islamic months, because everyone knows them to be ghair-aadil (not uprighteous).

The Shariah prohibits acceptance of the shahaadat of fussaaq. Thus, the argument of ‘mischief’ due to the testimony of fussaaq is a figment of the imagination. The requisite of aadalat precludes false testimony. The Shariah nips in the bud such mischief by simply not entertaining the testimony of fussaaq. Valid Shahaadat is only by pious and aadil persons.

It should be remembered that Rajm (Stoning the death), cutting off the hand for theft, flogging and numerous other ahkaam of the Shariah are fully reliant of the testimony of Aadil witnesses. The devices of technology cannever override these ahkaam of the immutable Shariah. It should be clear that the honourable Muftis who have averred the permissibility of overriding the Shariah with astronomy have grievously erred. And Allah knows best. Close Answer

 

Q. The hilaal was not sighted anywhere in South Africa for Rabiuth Thaani, due it being overcast. However, the age of the moon was about 34 hours. In neighbouring countries the moon was sighted and today is the 2nd Rabiuth Thaani in Zimbabwe, etc. whereas it is the 1st for us in South Africa. At the end of the 30th day, the 34 hour hilaal was quite big. Does this not indicate that today is the 2nd of the new month. Should we not accept the news from neighbouring countries to have uniformity in our Islamic calendar?
A. The Shariah’s principle for determining the new month is the actual/physical sighting of the hilaal. The principle is not the birth of the moon or the number of hours lapsing since its birth or of the size of the hilaal. This principle is inviolable and was established by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) himself, and on which there exists Ijma’ (Consensus) of the Ummah – of all Four Math-habs. This has been the Shariah’s way since the time of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).

The factors mentioned in the above question are irrelevant, having no Shar’i significance whatsoever. The following Hadith recorded in Muslim Shareef refutes these irrelevant factors:

“Abul Bakhtari narrates: ‘We set off for Umrah. When we reached the Valley of Nakhlah, we saw the hilaal. (Due to its large size) some people said: ‘It is the moon of the third night.’ Some said: ‘’It is the moon of the second night.’ Then we met Ibn Abbaas, and we said: ‘We saw the hilaal, then some said it is of the third night whilst others said it is the second night. He (Ibn Abbaas) asked: ‘On which night did you see it?’ We said: ‘On a certain night.’ He said: ‘Verily, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Allah deferred it (the hilaal) for sighting. It is the (1st) the night you have seen it.”

In another Hadith in Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, it is mentioned:

“Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Of the signs of the nearness of the Hour (of Qiyaamah) is the hilaal will be seen immediately (on its appearance without the need to search for it). It will then be said (by people): ‘It is the second night.”

Due to the large size of the hilaal, there will be no need to search for it as is the case at the end of the 29th night. People will then comment, as they do nowadays when they see a large hilaal, that it is the 2nd. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahaabah rejected such conclusions, and affirmed that it is the first moon. Thus, if at the end of the 30th day the moon appears large and bright, it will be in conflict with the Shariah to create a controversy based on the large size of the hilaal.

The issue of unity or uniformity is drivel. Just as Muslims perform Salaat at different times all over the world, without this constituting an interference in unity and uniformity, so too is it with the sighting of the hilaal. If it is the 1st in Zimbabwe, there is no Shar’i adversity or problem if it is still the 30th here in South Africa. The problems develop when people attempt to supersede the Shariah by endeavouring to transform a non-Shar’i issue into a Shar’i issue. The Deen is simple. Rasulullah’s command was: “If you see the hilaal (at the end of the 29th) then begin the fast. If the hilaal is not visible due to it being overcast, then complete the month 30 days.” The problem is that people are not satisfied with this simple Ruling of the Shariah. They seek to override Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) with their whimsical ideas such as ‘unity’ which has no relationship with sighting the hilaal and commencing the new month.

Whilst according to the Hanafi Math-hab, news of the hilaal sighting from other countries is acceptable, there are two factors which inhibits the Muslim community from accepting such news:

(1) There is no absolutely reliable connection in Shar’i terms between us and those in neighbouring countries or countries further abroad. Most of the Muslim organizations elsewhere, especially in our neighbouring countries are Salafi dominated. They rely on Saudi funding, and the Saudi regime utilizes its funding to assert its hegemony globally over Muslims.

(2) Half or perhaps more than 50% of the Muslim community consists of followers of the Shaafi’ Math-hab. Far-off sightings are not valid according to the Shaafi’ Math-hab. It is unreasonable and not permissible to capitalize on the ignorance of the local Shaafi’ sheikhs by imposing on the Shaafi’ community the Hanafi Fatwa which is not valid in terms of their Math-hab. The acquiescence of outfits such as the MJC is of no significance. The MJC is not a valid spokesman or voice of the Shaafi’ Math-hab. In fact, due to the acute dearth of Knowledge in the ranks of the MJC sheikhs, the Hanafi Ulama are better poised to advise the Shaafi’ community in terms of their Math-hab. In this age of anti-Taqleedi’ism, it is imperative that all Muqallideen adhere with tenacity to their respective Math-habs.

Another very important consideration is that the desired superficial ‘unity’ which is sought by forging unification of Ramadhaan and Eid with neighbouring countries, will never be achieved. On the contrary, it will culminate in greater disunity in South Africa for the simple reason that there is no single group of Ulama who can claim to represent the entire Muslim community of South Africa.

Different segments of the Muslim community have their own allegiances. Thus, the Mujlisul Ulama of South Africa, Jamiatul Ulama Gauteng, The Original Jamiatul Ulama Transvaal (Waterval Islamic Institute), Jamiatul Ulama Eastern Cape, Jamiatul Ulama Western Cape and many other organizations will not accept any decision by any Ulama outfit who enters into any hilaal agreement with neighbouring countries.

In view of this scenario, what does intelligence dictate? Eid on two different days in South Africa, with one segment of the community celebrating with Zimbabwe, etc., and another segment on a different day. Thus, whilst there will be a farcical ‘unity’ of a segment of the South African community with Zimbabwe for example, there will be real disunity and friction in the Muslim community of South Africa. Hence, the coveted ‘unity’ is a pipedream.

In addition, the Shariah does not demand this type of phantom unity. It is not part of the Ta’leem of the Shariah to forge Eid with other countries. Eid in all Muslim countries on the same day would be a valid demand if the Islamic World was governed by an Ameerul Mu’mineen whose decree would be valid and enforceable in all the lands under his jurisdiction. In the absence of Khilaafat, it is every man for himself. We are all swirling rudderless in a cesspool of iniquity which has effaced even the Imaan of innumerable so-called scholars and learned men, leave alone the masses.

For ensuring peace on hilaal issues, forget about forging ‘calendar unity’ with other countries. Adopt the simple principle which Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had formulated and which the Ummah had adhered to for the past fourteen centuries. There is much barakat in the simplicity if Islam. When people introduce complexity into Islamic simplicity, shaitaan becomes snugly juxtaposed for spreading his mischief in the community.

So when you see the hilaal big, fat and bright after 30 days and 35 hours, don’t become a Sign of Qiyaamah by commenting that it appears to be the 2nd. It is sufficient for the hilaal to be a sign of Qiyaamah. You don’t need to complement it by making yourself also a sign of Qiyaamah with your baseless comments which the Hadith refutes. Close Answer

Q. I am from Cape Town currently living in Durban. The rest of my family is still living in Cape Town. According to my family, the moon was not sighted anywhere in Cape Town, but the MJC accepted the sighting of Johannesburg. We follow the Shaafi’ Math-hab, and according to what I have learnt is that Shaafis are not allowed to accept moon-news from further than 48 miles. Kindly inform us on this issue. My family is concerned about the Fast. Jazaakallah, Was-salaam.

A. The MJC is a redundant, flotsam group whose primary profession is halaalization of carrion. They have no Deeni pedestal. They have no genuine relationship with the Deen. They hypocritically pose as Shaafis, but  in reality are juhala dwelling in jahl muraqqab (compound ignorance). Their Shaafi’ism is restricted to Raf’ul Yadain (lifting the hands in Salaat). They are bereft of Deeni bearings. They are unable to distinguish between right and left, darkness and light, truth and falsehood for the simple reason that they are a conglomerate of Baatil. The Shariah has no meaning for them. Their  jaahil counterpart in Johannesburg is  the NNB Jamiat (No Name Brand Jamiat of Fordsburg) whose  miserable chief is the Reverend Bham. These two entities are in an unholy alliance. By degrees they are nibbling at the framework of the Shariah. They are decidedly evil in the extreme.

MONDAY 28TH JULY, 2014 WAS NOT EID FOR SHAAFIS IN CAPETOWN OR ANYWHERE IN THE CAPE.

Your understanding of 48 miles is correct. According to the Shaafi’ Math-hab, the sighting of Johannesburg, even if reliably confirmed, is not valid for Cape Town. It was haraam for Shaafi’s in Cape Town to abandon Ramadhaan, and celebrate Eid on what was the 30th Ramadhaan in terms of the Shaafi’ Math-hab.

But for these vile ulama-e-soo’ who betray the Deen, of primary importance is the fulfilment of their nafsaani and ulterior motives. They are not concerned with the Shariah. If they had any respect for the Deen and if they had possessed genuine Knowledge, they would not have committed the haraam blunder of accepting the announcement of the stupid NNB Jamiat’s Reverend who is crazy about hubb-e-jah (love for cheap name and fame).

SHAAFIS IN CAPE TOWN SHOULD MAKE QADHA OF ONE FAST – THE FAST OF 30th RAMADHAAN WHICH THEY HAD MISSED DUE TO THE SHAITAANIYAT OF THE MJC.

The Shaafi’ community in the Cape should not betray the Deen and act flagrantly in conflict with the Shaafi’ Math-hab which does NOT permit acceptance of moon-sighting from Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth, etc. The Shariah is not up for mockery and for meddling and peddling to satisfy whim, desire and ulterior motive. There is absolutely no need for the Shaafi’ community to abandon the Shaafi’ Math-hab for the sake of a satanically inspired false ‘unity’. Islam does not advocate unity with baatil (falsehood). The MJC must be given the boot for all the baatil and haraam they are hoisting on to the Shaafi’ community in the Cape.

ADDENDUM – SUMMARY OF THE SHAAFI VIEW

(Extracted from the book on Moon-sighting by Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai)

In regard to the acceptance of hilaal-sightings from other centres, the following three conditions are stipulated by the Shaafi’ Fuqaha:

(1) Ikhtilaaful Mataali’ or difference in the risings and settings of the sun and stars should not exist. In other words, the horizons of the places should be the same. This means that the places must be located on the same lines of longitude.

(2) Masaafatul Qasr should not apply. In other words, the place from where the news of the sighting emanates should not be at a distance which according to the Shaafi’ Madh-hab permits Qasr Salaat. There exists difference of opinion on this condition among the Shaafi’ Fuqaha.

(3) East-West sightings, i.e. the news of a reliable sighting is acceptable to places lying west of the place where the hilaal was sighted.

On the basis of these essential conditions stipulated by the Shaafi’ Madh-hab it will not be permissible for Shaafis west of Cape Town beyond the Masaafatul Qasr limit to accept the sighting of Cape Town. Thus, Worcester, for example, cannot commence Ramadhaan nor celebrate Eid on the strength of a Cape Town sighting if the hilaal was not sighted in Worcester itself. On the other hand, Worcester can accept sightings of Port Elizabeth, Durban and Johannesburg, if the news is transmitted reliably (due to the close distance).

Hanafis on the other hand, are permitted to accept reliable news of sightings from anywhere, whether east, west, north or south. However, the news must be conveyed by Tareeq-e-Moojib (in a way which the Shariah considers reliable). In this matter, every centre is within its rights to decide the reliability and authenticity of the information of sightings which are reported. Once centre cannot compel its decision on another centre. Every Ulama body is free to accept or reject news of sightings which reaches them. It is, however, obvious that only Shar’i factors should influence either acceptance or rejection of the news.

There is absolutely no need for controversy or ill-feeling if Cape Town has Eid on one day and Johannesburg on another or Cape Town on one day and Worcester on another day. Such occurrences in the Muslim world have never been rare and did not give rise to the type of silly and stupid controversies which modernists, anti-Sunnah elements, and those clearly influenced by them, create in our time…

THE VIEW OF IMAMUL HARAMAIN, IMAM GHAZALI, SAHIBUT TAHZEEB

The view of Sahibut Tahzeeb, Imaam Ghazali, and Imaamul Haramain (al-Juwayni) who claimed unanimity on this view:

“At-Tabaa-ud (i.e. the distance at which the sighting of one place will not be valid for another) is Masaafatul Qasr. This is the view categorically adopted by Imaamul Haramain, Ghazaali and Saahibut Tahzeeb. And, the Imaam has claimed unanimity on this view.” (Raudhatut Talibeen)

THE VIEW OF IMAM NAWAWI

In Sharhul Muslim, Imaam Nawawi under the heading: “Verily, for every city is its sighting; verily, when they sight the hilaal in a city its ruling is not applicable to far off places”, states:

“In this regard is the Hadith of Kuraib… “The authentic version according to our Ashaab (the great Mujtahids of the Shaafi Madh-hab) is that a sighting (in one place) does not embrace all people, but is restricted to those nearby at the distance where Salaat is not made qasr.”

In Minhaajut Talibeen, Imaam Nawawi states:

“When the hilaal is sighted in a city, its ruling will be incumbent on a nearby city, not on a far off city according to the most authentic version. And, the distance of far-off (places) is masaafarul qasr. And, it has been said that (masaafatul ba-eed or distance of far-off places) is (determined) by means of Ikhtilaaful mataali’ (difference of horizons). I say: This (version of ikhtilaaful mataali’) is most authentic. Allah knows best.”

Imam Nawawi states in Raudhatut Taalibeen:

“When the hilaal of Ramadhaan is sighted in a city and it is not sighted in another (city), then if the two cities are close by, the ruling for both will be as if they are one city. And, if they are far apart, then there are two views. Of the two views the most authentic is that the fasting does not become incumbent on the people of the other city (where the hilaal was not sighted).”

In Fataawa Ramli it is stated:

“Shaykh Taajuddin Tabrezi (rahimahullah) has written that difference of horizons does not occur under 24 farsakh (a unit of distance). Thus, the view of Nawawi (rahimahullah) refers to this. And, it is the reliable (view).”

THE VIEW OF IMAAM RAAFI’

In Fataawa Ramli it is stated:

“Raafi’ has preferred the view of the adoption of Masaafatul Qasr since the shariah has hinged numerous laws on it. Nawawi too has preferred it (Masaafatul Qasr) in Sharhul Muslim.”

THE VIEW OF IBN HAJAR AL-HAYTAMI, AL-AZRAI, AL-ISNAWI

In Al-Fataawa al-Kubra it is stated:

“…Verily, for every city is its ruling regarding risings and settings, e.g. the rising and setting of the sun, as Mawaardi has said as well as others. This is categorically stated in Al-Kifaayah as well…. Thus, it is proper to relate the time fasting with the risings of Fajr.

Imam Azraee said: ‘The Hadith of Kuraib is narrated by Muslim, Abu Dawood and Tirmizi. Kuffaal mentions it as well as those after him and rely on him. And, the practice according to the majority of Ulama is on it (the Hadith of Kuraib). It is correct and the proof is with it. It is the statement of the Fuqaha among the Taabi-een.’

Imaam Isnawi states in Sharhul Minhaaj: ‘There is no doubt that the specific Nass, viz., the Hadith of Kuraib, pertains to Shaam and Hijaaz. In it are to be found the factors of masaafatul qasr (the distance when Qasr Salaat has to be performed), ikhtilaaful qaleem (difference in regional zones), ikhtilaaful mataali’ (difference of horizons), and the possibility of non-sighting (in regard to different places). Every group has adopted one of these (factors) and has taken its support from the Hadith of Kuraib.’

Imaam Azraee said: ‘It (this view) is well-known by us (Shaafis). The Jamhoor (i.e. the majority of the Shaafi Fuqaha) have authenticated that for every city is its (own) sighting. Raaf’I and Nawawi too have authenticated it. And, Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala knows best…”

Al-Qalyubi:

“When the hilaal is sighted in a city its hukm (i.e. the effect of the sighting) will be incumbent on a nearby city, not on a far-off city. This is according to the most authentic view.”

“The distance of ba-eed (far-off places) is Masaafatul Qasr.”

Close Answer

 

Q. Please comment on a group of astronomers who recently proclaimed that there are three valid ways of determining the start or end of an Islamic month.
A. Entering the hilaal fray caused by the Saudi announcement of Eid on 30 August 2011, a group of 18 astronomers while criticizing the attitude of Saudi Arabia, exceeded the bounds by elevating themselves to the status of authorities on matters of the Shariah despite disclaiming this. Thus, the group stated:

“Therefore, fuqahas had 3 options that were scientifically and religiously coherent.” (The term ‘fuqahas’ is grammatically incorrect. It is Fuqaha.)

While they are entitled to acquit themselves on the aspect of scientific coherence of their theories, they lack the right and the ability for proclaiming their scientific theories to be religiously, i.e. in terms of the Shariah, coherent. The three ‘scientific’ options mentioned by the group of astronomers are:

(1) “To base themselves on the presence (not sighting) of the moon in the sky at a given altitude in one location or another and decree the start of Shawwaal for Tuesday 30th; this is the principle/criterion used by countries such as Turkey and Malaysia.”

(2) “To accept the possibility of sighting (imkan-al-ruyah) of the crescent in Southern Africa or South America, whether one waits for that sighting to be confirmed or not, and decree Eid-ul-Fitr for Tuesday 30th; this is what the European Council for Fatwa and Research decided.

(3) To insist on local or regional sightings and testimonies (as countries such as Oman and Morocco do), and in this case Eid could only be on Wed.Aug.31; this is what Oman did with its highly civilized announcement a week before and what Morocco did after receiving testimonies on the 30th.

The Immutable Shariah of Allah Azza Wa Jal has laid down its principle for ending and commencing the Islamic month. No one has been invested with a licence to interfere in any way whatsoever with any principle of the Shariah. The principle ordained by Allah Azza Wa Jal is Ru’yatul Hilaal (the physical sighting of the crescent moon). Announcing this immutable principle, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Fast when the (hilaal) is sighted, and end the fast when sighting it (the hilaal).”

There is no need to cite the Hadith references for this narration which is of the Tawaatur category. There is consensus on the authenticity and meaning of this Hadith. The new principle, wujood (the presence of the moon in the sky), mentioned in the first option above, is in diametric conflict with the Shariah’s immutable principle of Ruyah (physical sighting), hence it (the principle of the moon’s presence in the sky) is mardood (rejected) and haraam.

Everyone is aware that the moon is always present in the sky at some place or the other. To relate the termination and commencement of the Islamic months to ‘presence’ is to follow in the footsteps of non-Muslim civilizations who also have their own principles for their lunar months. But such principles are at variance with the Islamic principle. The moon’s presence, movement and position in its orbit at any point are absolutely of no significance relative to the Islamic months.

The commencement of the Chinese lunar month was with the sunrise immediately before the new moon. Months of 29 or 30 days begin on the days the new moons are astronomically calculated, not by means of actual sighting. In the Hindu system, the month begins with the full moon. Islam has rejected all systems and has adopted only the principle of Ruyah. While the presence, position and movements of the moon could be accurately determined with the instruments of astronomy, there is absolutely no way to astronomically determine Ruyah, for this is the function of only the physical eyes. Possibility and impossibility of sighting is not Ruyah.

The eyes are wonderful bounties of Allah Azza Wa Jal. They are capable of competing with even telescopes. Confirming this fact, the group of astronomers avers: “….the all-time world record for a crescent seen by naked eyes is 29 minutes, and by telescopes 20 minutes.” The difference in the abilities of the two media (eyes and telescopes) is a mere 9 minutes. The astronomers have confirmed that a sighting with the eyes had taken place in just 29 minutes.

The other new principle stated in the second option above, is imkan al-ruyah or the possibility of sighting the hilaal. This principle too is in flagrant conflict with the immutable principle of the Shariah. Allah Ta’ala has ordained that the principle is Ruyatul Hilaal, not imkaanur ruyah (the possibility of sighting the hilaal). The fabrication of this new principle is a haraam interpolation and abrogation of the divine command. Such interference with the Shariah is tantamount to kufr. Since Allah Ta’ala has ordained Ruyah, no one is then entitled to arrogate to himself the right to scuttle this principle and substitute it with wujood (presence) or imkaan (possibility).

The astronomers have therefore transgressed the limits of the Shariah by pronouncing ‘religious coherence’ for these two haraam principles fabricated in this belated era, fourteen centuries down the line. Their attempt to supersede the Shariah is mardood (rejected). Neither is the theory of wujood nor imkaan denied in relation to astronomical calculations and predictions which are all zanniyaat (conjectural regardless of the high degree of accuracy) as opposed to the Qat’iyyat (Absolute Certitude) of the Ruyah principle of the Shariah.

Thus, it is haraam to plot the commencement of Ramadhaan or Eid or any of the Islamic months on the basis of the aforementioned two principles (wujood and imkaan). Turkey, Malaysia, the European Council for Fatwa and Research and whoever else may have adopted one of these two baatil and mardood principles, are miscreants and come within the scope of the strictures of the Qur’aanic verses: “These are the limits of Allah. Therefore do not transgress them.”, “Whoever transgresses the limits of Allah, verily he has committed injustice to himself.”

The third option, namely, Ruyah or actual physical sighting is the only valid Shar’i principle. Those countries – and they are the vast majority – which had celebrated Eid on the basis of this principle acted correctly within the bounds of the Shariah.

It is salubrious that in countries where the only principle employed was Ruyah such as South Africa, there was absolutely no controversy. This year, there was no moon controversy in South Africa since the principle of Ruyah was followed. However, where the Ruyah principle was abandoned, controversy prevailed. In all matters, whenever the limits of the Shariah are transgressed, the consequence is controversy and fitnah.

In rejection of the Saudi’s dubious system, the astronomers say: “But decreeing that whenever the moon sets after the sun by one minute or less it is potentially visible as a crescent is simply an attempt to trespass into the astronomers’ expertise and prerogatives and an unjustified rejection of the hundreds of papers and thousands of observations that are recorded in the scientific literature, a body of knowledge that we challenge anyone to discredit.”

At the outset let us make it quite clear that we hold no brief for Saudi announcements even if they adopt the principle of Ruyah. The rejection of Saudi pronouncements is based on other factors which are unrelated to this discussion. Shar’i facts may not be denied regardless of the source of their emanation. Therefore, we shall corroborate and support the Saudi system which they claim is the principle of Ruyah notwithstanding our rejection of Saudi pronouncements, not the refutation by the astronomers of the Saudi claim of the possibility of Ruyah even if moonset is one minute after sunset.

The Saudi ‘one minute’ claim is acceptable to the Shariah in view of the fact that it is linked to Rasulullah’s command to search for the hilaal at the end of the 29th day of the Islamic month. However, Saudi Arabia has weakened its Shar’i position with the stipulation of moonset after sunset. The Shariah’s principle is Mutlaq (unrestricted by any condition). Regardless of moonset being before or after sunset, the Shariah commands the search for the hilaal at the end of the 29th day. There would have been greater credibility and Shar’i force in the Saudi system if the moonset business had been discarded. It is imperative for the correct operation of the Shariah’s command to isolate astronomy in entirety for the purposes of determining the termination and commencement of the Islamic months. Regardless of the accuracy of astronomical calculations, and without contesting their validity, astronomy does not feature anywhere in the Islamic system for determining the months.

The Saudi state Ulama vehemently claim that they are following the Shariah’s command, viz., searching for the hilaal at the end of the 29th day. Whether this is factual or not, we do not know. Nevertheless, this claim is 100% correct. If the requisites of the Shariah pertaining to Shahaadat (testimony) are complied with, and on this basis if Eid, etc. are proclaimed, it will be valid and binding regardless of the noises made by the astronomers. Even if all the astronomers of the world unite to say that it is a total impossibility to sight the moon, the Shariah’s command to search for the hilaal at the end of the 29th day may not be abandoned. Regardless of astronomical impossibility, if a sighting satisfies the requisites of the Shariah, the new month will be incumbently declared.

If the hilaal can be sighted 29 minutes after sunset as is confirmed by the astronomers, there is nothing to prevent Allah Ta’ala to make the hilaal visible to the naked eye even one minute after sunset as the Saudi’s assert. The determinant is not moonset and minutes. The determinant is the Sunnah system of establishing the commencement of the months. However, since the Saudi regime is an oppressive, brutal appendage of the U.S.A., the announcements made by Saudi state agencies lack credibility. The announcers are bereft of the Shar’i requirement of adaalat.

The Saudi stance, if it is true that they physically sight the hilaal at the end of the 29th day, does not “trespass into astronomers’ expertise and prerogatives” as the group of astronomers claims. The claim of the Saudi Ulama regardless of it emanating from the state Ulama, merely confirms the position of the Shariah. It does not concern itself with astronomy.

If this stance refutes the expertise of the astronomers, it matters not. The astronomers simply have to digest it and understand that they have no right of intrusion into the domains of the Shariah. For the sake of respecting the theories, observations and findings of the astronomers, it is haraam to render the Shariah subservient to astronomy or any other science. When there is a clash between the Shariah and astronomy, the latter will be dumped in the waste, and the Shariah will prevail regardless of how irrational the Shar’i stance may appear.

Furthermore, the view of the astronomers that it is humanly impossible to sight the hilaal after a few minutes after sunset is not based on any scientific or rational evidence. At most, ‘thousands of observations’ are presented as the grounds for their averment. But ‘thousands of observations’ are not conclusive and absolute evidence for substantiating the claim that the hilaal cannot be visible after one minute. Despite all the thousands of observations, only one case of a 29 minute sighting has been recorded.

Let us assume that this one case was not recorded, or it was never reported, then the astronomers would have claimed that the hilaal cannever be sighted with the naked eyes after 29 minutes simply because the feat accomplished by powerful telescopes is 20 minutes. Such a claim would not be scientific regardless of the number of observations. If a fact lacks the absolute certitude with which an irrefutable logical, rational or scientific principle cloaks it, it cannot be termed scientific. According to the Shariah, the impossibility of Ruyah in terms of astronomy is a Zanni issue.

If Saudi Arabia basis its announcement genuinely on Ruyah, then its ruling will be valid for the inhabitants of that land. Beyond Saudi Arabia’s borders no one is under any obligation to accept the announcement made by the Saudi regime. Close Answer

 

Q. Please comment on the obligation to search for the new moon.
A. Waajib alal Kifaayah is an obligation of the Shariah which devolves on the entire Muslim community of a locality. If a few persons in a particular community fulfil the obligation, the duty is discharged on behalf of the entire community. The fulfilment by a few absolves the whole community of the Waajib duty. On the other hand, if no one in the community upholds the obligation, the entire community is guilty of the sin of abandoning the Waajib obligation. Everyone in that particular community is then deemed to be sinful. The search for the Hilaal (the Crescent moon of the first of the new Islamic month) is such a compulsory obligation which has to be discharged by the Muslim community.

Regarding this Search, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) commanded that Muslims should search for the new moon at the end of the 29th day of the Islamic month. If the Hilaal is not sighted at the end of the 29th day (i.e. after sunset), for whatever reason, the month will then automatically be a 30 day month. There is no other way whatsoever for determining the ending of the current Islamic month and the commencement of the next Islamic month. Resorting to any other method such as astronomical calculation and birth of the moon, etc. is absolutely not permissible. It is a haraam bid’ah (evil innovation).

On the 29th day of Ramadhaan. it is therefore Waajib on Muslims to search for the hilal immediately after Maghrib Salaat. Some brothers should in fact perform their Maghrib Salaat at the location from where they will be sighting the moon. Regardless of how ‘young’ the moon may be, and regardless of the calculations and predictions of the astronomers who claim that visibility will be impossible, it remains the Waajib obligation of Muslims to search for the hilaal.

Our concern should never be what the astronomers and the scientists say and predict. Our concern should be only the fulfilment of the injunctions of the Shariah. whether the moon is sighted or not, is totally irrelevant. Of relevance is only obedience to the command issued by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), and in this context it is to sight the hilaal at the end of the 29th day. May Allah Ta’ala guide us all and bestow to us all the taufeeq to submit to the commands of the Shariah. Close Answer

 

Q. What should one do in Saudi Arabia when it is certain that the day declared Eidul Fitr is still Ramadhaan? When it is known for a fact that the moon was not sighted anywhere in Saudi Arabia or any where in the world, should one celebrate Eid because the government has announced that it is Eid? It may also be unsafe to violate the order of the Saudi government.
A. When there is absolute certitude that the hilaal was not sighted anywhere and that it is still Ramadhaan, then you should fast, and not join the mock ‘eid’ salaat ordered by the Saudi government. You cannot be forced to abstain from fasting. Fasting is a private act which is known only to you and Allah Ta’ala. The tyrants of the Saudi ruling entity will not know that you are fasting. As for abstaining from their mock eid salaat, you will not be arrested for this. The tyrants will not know because the eid salaat is not restricted to the Haramain Musjids. You are therefore not exposing yourself to any danger by practically rejecting the haraam order of the Saudi government. The position will, however, differ on the occasion of Hajj. Even if it is not the Day of Arafaat, you have no choice. Your Hajj and Qur’baani will be valid even if the government orders erroneously. You cannot have your own day of Arafaat in Hajj. The Shariah therefore allows participation in this ‘error’. The oppressors will bear the burden of their sins.

 

Q. From my cell in which I have been secluded for 23 hours of the day, I am unable to see outside to establish whether Ramadhaan will be commencing. What do I do in this case? I was told that Ramadhaan will begin on 1st August.
A. If a person is unable to correctly establish the date when Ramadhaan begins, then he should accept the information he receives from the most reliable source. This year Ramadhaan did begin on 1st August. In all cases of ibaadat when it is impossible to establish accuracy, act according to the fatwa of your heart. The acquisition of the heart’s fatwa is termed Taharri. If you are not aware of the Qiblah, for example, and there is no one to show you, then employ the principle of Taharri.

 

Q. Some senior Muftis are of the view that global moon sighting is valid. Therefore, Eid could be on the same day all over the world. They quote Shaami in support of their view. Please comment.
A. They are quoting Shaami incorrectly. According to only the Hanafi Math-hab, the sighting of the halaal in the west is valid for regions in the east and vice versa. This mas’alah does not at all mean that it is incumbent on the people in the west to accept the information transmitted by the people in the east and vice versa nor does it mean that we should establish hilaal committees for ‘global sighting’. There never existed any such structure or even attempt in the 14 century history of Islam. Practically in our era in which there is no Ameerul Mu’mineen ruling all the lands of Islam, it is not possible to have a unified Eid based on global sighting. Hitherto there has been nothing but confusion and greater controversy stemming from these ‘global sighting’ endeavours. Reliance cannot be reposed on the corrupt, unjust, tyrannical regime of Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are hopelessly unfit to lead the Ummah in any matter of the Deen. No one and no country has the right to impose its sighting on the inhabitants of another country. Infact, the elders of one town cannot impose their sighting on the inhabitants of another town 10 miles away in the same country. Those harping and barking about ‘global sighting’ and a ‘unified Eid’, don’t have serious work, hence they employ their brains and squander their time in futility, dreaming and hallucinating unattainable goals.Don’t pay attention to their drivel.

 

Q. What is the validity of the use of astronomical calculations in determining moon-sightings in places such as North America?
A. A deviant body, dubbing itself FIQH COUNCIL OF NORTH AMERICA, has resolved to ‘abrogate’ the fourteen century Rooyah (Physical Sighting) principle of the Shariah. Since the time of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)—from the very inception of Islam—to the present day, the sacred principle on the basis of which the Islamic dates are determined was and shall perpetually be Rooyah (physical sighting) of the crescent moon. The miscreant so-called ‘fiqh council of North America’ is now attempting to abrogate the Shariah by claiming that the inviolable principle of the Shariah is outdated and that it applied to o¬nly illiterate people living in the desert, mountains, villages and the like. But for the ignoramus liberals who are bereft of Deeni insight and extremely deficient in Islamic knowledge, the deviant fiqh council, claim that the new principle of this belated 21st century is ‘astronomical calculations’.

Astronomical calculations have no validity in regard to the determination of the Islamic dates. The Fuqaha (Jurists of Islam) have abundantly and adequately ruled on the impermissibility of this method in so far as it concerns Ramadhaan, the Eids and the Islamic months in general. The errant fiqh council of North America has strayed from the Straight Path of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah in its conspiracy to abrogate the sacred principles of the Shariah. This Deen was perfected fourteen centuries ago. It is not in need of the mutations which the aberrant fiqh council seeks to hook onto the Shariah.

Muslim communities in America should reject the new plot of the fiqh council and continue to determine the Islamic dates in the method shown and commanded to the Ummah by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) more than fourteen hundred years ago. The determination of the Islamic months by the act of Rooyah is an ibaadat which cannot be compromised. The liberals of the fiqh council are attempting to scuttle this sacred principle with their bid’ah of astronomical calculations which the Muslim communities in America should incumbently reject.

Muslims have to incumbently reject the determination method of the misguided modernists and adhere to the fourteen century old commands of the Shariah. The Shariah may not be trifled with. These modernists and misguided liberals despoil the ibaadat of Muslims with the products of their nafsaani opinions. The ONLY valid method by which the commencement of the Islamic month is confirmed is by physical sighting of the crescent moon or by the confirmed sighting of another place—a sighting which is conveyed reliably in terms of the Shariah, Muslim communities should not allow themselves to be stampeded into baatil (falsehood) by bodies sporting high sounding designations. Close Answer

 

Q. In our Musjid we perform Taraaweeh even if the sighting of the moon has not yet been confirmed. The argument is that we should perform Taraaweeh just in case the moon is sighted for Ramadhaan. If the moon is not sighted, there is no harm in having performed the Salaat which would then become Nafl. Performing it early is convenient for the people. Sometimes the news of the sighting reaches us very late. Is our argument valid?
A. Your argument is utterly baseless. Your ‘taraaweeh’ is bid’ah. It is not permissible to commence an ibaadat before its time. The validity of Taraaweeh is dependent on the sighting of the Ramadhaan hilaal (crescent moon). Performance of 20 raka’ts in jamaat as your community is doing is a bid’ah. If the moon is sighted, then although your Taraaweeh will be valid, its commencement without having received confirmation of the sighting is bid’ah. People should exercise some Sabr.

 

Q. Does sighting of the moon apply to only Ramadhaan and the Eid occasions? Is sighting of the moon during the daytime of the 29th day valid?

A. Sighting of the moon pertains to sighting it only after sunset at the end of the 29th day of the Islamic month. Sighting during the daytime has no relevance in the determination of the Islamic months. Sighting of the moon applies to all the months. If at the end of the 29th day of the Islamic the moon is not sighted nor is there reliable information of a sighting from another place, then the month will have 30 days. After the 30th day, will begin the new month even if the moon is not seen at the end of the 30th day. An Islamic month never has 31 days.

 

Q. Does Eidul Adha have to be celebrated all over the world when it is the 10th Zil Hajj in Makkah?

A. No, there is no Shar’i incumbency to have Eid all over the world on the same day as in Makkah. Eid is on 10th Zil Hajj. Whenever it is the 10th in a country, it will be Eid for them regardless of what the date is in Saudi Arabia.

 

Q. In our community I am the only one who follows actual sighting of the moon for determining the Islamic months. The whole community follows the Saudi announcement. What should I do in such a scenario regarding Ramadhaan, Eid, and also 15th Sha'baan and Ashura in Muharram?

A. As far as Eid is concerned, one or two persons cannot celebrate it alone in isolation of the community. The Shariah has guidelines and rules for all situations.

(1) If you alone in the whole community see the hilaal of Ramadhaan, but your testimony is not accepted by the Jamaat of your place, hence officially for the community the next day will not be Ramadhaan. Nevertheless, you should fast the next day.

(2) In the scenario mentioned in No.1 above, there is the probability that you will have to fast 31 days because it is possible that at the end of the community’s 29th day (which is your 30th day of fasting) the moon is not sighted. Hence, the next day will be the community’s 30th day while it will be yours 31st Day. You are required by the Shariah to fast this 31st day. You cannot celebrate Eid alone.

(3) Assuming that you alone saw the hilaal of Shawwaal, but your testimony was rejected and the community regards the next day as the last day of Ramadhaan. Then too you have to fast and believe that there was an error in your sighting.

(4) As far as Muharram is concerned, fasting on the Day of Aashura is not a communal act of Ibaadat. If you saw the hilaal of Muharram, but not the others, then you may act according to your sighting, and fast when it is the 10th according to your calculation.

(5) The same explanation as No. 4 applies for Sha’baan.
Close Answer

 

Q. My friend who lives in another country started fasting a day earlier than us. Towards the end of Ramadhaan he came to our country. When it was our 29th day of Ramadhaan, it was his 30th fast. The next day when it was our 30th, he did not fast, saying that there is no 31 day month in Islam. Since he had fasted a full 30 days, he did not fast when it was the 30th of Ramadhaan for us. The next day which was Eid for us, he fasted for Shawwaal. Was he correct in his decision?

A. Your friend was supposed to have celebrated Eid together with the community in your country where he had arrived. Eid cannot be celebrated by one person. Since it was still Ramadhaan in your country, your friend was supposed to have fasted. The fast for him too was Fardh. The Islamic month does not have 31 days. Even if fasting on the 30th in your country would mean that your friend would have fasted 31 days, it does not matter. Of significance is the fact that he was present in a country when it was the 30th of Ramadhaan, hence he was supposed to have fasted on that day. It was not Eid for him despite it  having been Eid in his country. In matters of Eid and Ramdhaan, the individual has to follow the community. He had sinned for not fasting. He has to make qadha of one fast. He was not supposed to fast for Shawwaal when it was Eid in the country where he was.

 

Q. I would be grateful if you can advise me on what to do with regards to the fast of Yaumul Arafat this year whose real date is on Tuesday. All my family, relatives, and local community will be doing Eid on Tuesday (following Saudi), while I will be doing it on Wednesday inshaa-Allah. Should I abandon the fast on Tuesday just to make my family and relatives less upset with me, or is it better to stand firm on this important Sunnah?

A. If you will be joining a community who will be celebrating Eid on Wednesday when they will also be having Eid Salaat, then do fast on Tuesday. However, if you are the only one in your community who regard Wednesday as Eid, and there is no Musjid in your locality which will be having Eid Salaat on Wednesday, then you should follow the community and abstain from fasting on Tuesday. This you should do not to please your relatives, but because you have to follow a community in a matter of this nature. An individual may not celebrate Eid alone. But, as mentioned above, if you will be performing Eid Salaat at a place where Eid will be on Wednesday, then fast on Tuesday and make it known to your relatives regardless of their baatil feelings.

 

Q. My family has been celebrating Eid according to the local Salafi masjid which follows Saudi Arabia for about 10 years, even though we don't follow them in anything else, because almost everyone in our area follows Saudi Arabia for moonsightings unless we drive about 45 minutes away (where we used to live before 10 years ago). I have only recently found out that they are wrong. Should Qadaa fasts be made for the amount of Islamic years that have passed since 10 years ago while I was baaligh? Is it necessary to fast these Qadaa before the next coming Ramadaan? Also, what should I do in the future for Ramadaan and Eid if I currently don't have a car but may have one next time? It seems that I will be in Jamaat with my grandfather when Ramadaan begins.

A. Fast and celebrate Eid with the community. If the community as a whole follows the Saudi sightings, then follow the community. There is no need for Qadha of any past fasts.

 

Q. Where I am living the entire community will be having Eid on Tuesday 15 October 2013 although the hilaal was not sighted here. They follow the Saudi announcement. What should I do regarding Eid Salaat?

A. You should join the community for Eid Salaat on Tuesday since there is no other community at your end having Eid on Wednesday. However, if there is a community nearby who will be celebrating Eid on Wednesday, then join that community for Eid Salaat.

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