The Shafi’i Position on Moon- Sighting

←The Worldwide Moon-Sighting Fitnah


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.


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.


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).


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.

[By Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai]


(Extracted from the book on Moon-sighting by Hazrat 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 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)


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).”


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.”


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…”

Allamah 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.”

←The Worldwide Moon-Sighting Fitnah

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