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Search Central-Mosque

Islamic date in Europe

Saturday 15th of December 2018

06 Rabīʿ ath-Thānī 1440

 -moon-a

[2:189] They ask you about the new moons. Say: They are indicative of time for the people, and of the Hajj.


Marghoob on (British) Moon Sighting

Shaykh (Maulana) Marghoob Ahmed Lajpuri (HA) [Author]

Shaykh (Mufti) Yusuf Sacha (HA) [Research Contribution]

Shaykh (Mufti) Sajid Patel (HA) [Research Contribution]

Shaykh (Mufti) Zakariya Akudi (HA) [Research Contribution]

Shaykh (Mufti) Amjad Mohammed (HA) [Research Contribution]

Shaykh (Maulana) Sulaiman Ghani (HA) [Research Contribution]

Abu Salih Muadh Khan (PGDip, MSc) [Translator]

Translator's Introduction:

The issue of moon sighting in Britain is divisive and emotional. It raises passions and inflames emotions. There are two positions namely following Saudi Arabia or local (and adjacent) sighting to UK and there are Scholars on both sides. We have been reporting on Astronomical calculations (12 months of the year) and subsequent sightings from around the world for nearly a decade and will Insha’Allah continue to do so.

I was given 8 separate books on the subject where Shaykh (Maulana) Marghoob Ahmed Lajpuri (HA) and other Ulama comprehensively answered the questions and objections of those who object to the moon sighting criteria adopted by Wifaqul Ulama and the Islamic Scholars of Batley for United Kingdom. I was also provided with dozens of Fatawa from multiple Darul-ulooms. It should be noted that these two bodies of Ulama independently researched, consulted the Ulama and then agreed on a similar solution. The Islamic Scholars of Batley deliberated on the issue of moon sighting in considerable depth, visited Morocco and South Africa then unanimously agreed (a few years) to forego Saudi moon sighting. Their deliberations and conclusions were then put to Senior Scholars of India and Pakistan and only when the moon sighting criterion was affirmed was it put into practise for United Kingdom.

No such in-depth research and consultation has gone into following Saudi moon sighting; rather a switch was made in 1980’s (from Morocco) which is being dogmatically adhered to despite rejection from every Major Darul-uloom in the world including Darul-uloom Deoband and others.

Saudi Arabia is not followed by Darul-uloom Deoband or any other Darul-uloom in India/Pakistan nor have they ever approved following Saudi Arabia for their countries; in fact Fatawa and individual opinions of Ulama such as Shayukhul-Hadeeth (Maulana) Zakariyya Kandhalwi (RA) amongst many others have always cast doubt on Saudi moon sighting in official (Fatwaas) and private letters.

Today, no major Darul-uloom approves following of Saudi moon sighting for British Muslims at all.

To condense all of this information into a single article for our English readers was a daunting task. I have tried to keep the words of Shaykh (Maulana) Marghoob Ahmed Lajpuri (HA) while summarising the issues (provided as research material) separately.

Before proceeding I would like to point out that in earlier Islamic history, references about astronomy and astrology are often used interchangeably. The (Islamic) intent of seeking this knowledge was always to accurately determine timings of Salah and directions of Qiblah and not “Astrology”. We know and use it today to use the (hypothetical) movement of stars to determine luck and prophesise events. This is expressly forbidden in Islam. Since this distinction (between Astronomy and Astrology) is well understood by Scholars Shaykh (Maulana) Marghoob Ahmed Lajpuri (HA)  (in Urdu) doesn’t elaborate on this point. However, I deemed it necessary for the English speaking Muslims to understand the difference.

Translator's Summary:

 

1 Saudi Scholars don’t impose Saudi sighting on anyone outside of Saudi Arabia instead they prefer local sighting. They similarly don’t call for Eidul-Adha to be celebrated the day after Arafah (in Saudia) for the whole world, rather they prefer and suggest following local sighting.

 

2 Hanafi Madhab rejects the sighting of 1-2 people when the horizons are clear and this is an agreed upon position in the Madhab.

 

Since the Saudi moon sighting is unacceptable in the Hanafi Madhab because there is no large scale body of believers testifying and other Madhabs prefer local sighting, following of Saudi Sighting for United Kingdom is not the preferred opinion of any Madhab or any Imam.

 

3 Since Muhammad Ibn Qasim (RA) entered the Indian subcontinent with Islam around 713 until 2015 Saudi moon sighting has never been followed in the subcontinent. They follow local sighting and follow Saudi sighting when in Saudi (for Hajj & Umrah) there has never been a conflict or an issue and the question of “How do you perform Hajj?” has never been raised.

 

4 The Deobandi Ulama of Indian Subcontinent have overwhelmingly rejected following Saudi sighting for United Kingdom. The booklet by Shaykh Iqbal Rangooni (HA) is a few years old and doesn’t contain the latest Fatawaa such as the one given in Nida-e-Shahi in January 2015 by Indian (Deobandi) Ulama of total, absolute and comprehensive rejection of Saudi moon sighting for India.

 

5 Nobody in the History of Islam has equated love for Haramain to the following of (Makkah/Madinah moon sighting), this criteria of love for Haram put forth by certain British Muslims seems to have escaped the residents of Indian subcontinent since 713 (CE) and millions of Muslims around the world who don’t follow Saudi moon sighting (and never have).

 

6 The Sunnah in Islam is to sight the moon and then commence the Islamic month and not to sight the moon (the next day in UK) and speculate that previous day’s sighting in Saudia must have been valid because the moon is so big or has stayed on the horizon for so long therefore must be a day old moon!

 

7 July 2015 Interview with Maulana (Qari) Shuaib Nurgat (HA), a representative of WifaqulUlama

 

8 July 2015: The Islamic Calendar according to Muslims in UK

 

 

9 برطانیه میں رؤيت هلال  کا مسئله

 

 

10 الحساب الفلكي في رؤية الهلال

 

 

 

11 The issues pertaining to moon sighting have been discussed and deliberated by the Ulama many times and we recommend that the latest Iqra TV transmission from May 2015 should be viewed to gain a better and in-depth understanding of the issue.

 

 

12 Celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr should be tied up with the sighting of the moon in each relevant country and should not be linked with the celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr in Saudi Arabia.

 


Frequently Asked Questions & Objections [May 2015]

Shaykh (Maulana) Marghoob Ahmed Lajpuri (HA)


Action of Elders (Buzurgs) Sharia or Authority?


An objection is raised (against) us that the actions of such and such elder (Buzurg) is against you. The actions of Darul-ulooms and (Tableegh) Markaz is against you, therefore you are upon error.

Until now, we have only studied four (4) principles in books of Fiqh i.e. Qur’aan, Hadeeth, Ijmah and Qiyas where did this 5th principle come from?

Does Islamic Sharia place importance upon or even regard this 5th principle? If the actions of British (Islamic institutes) and personalities is against the sound evidence, established principles of Islamic Sharia according to a group (of Scholars) then should these group (of Scholars) abandon Sharia and follow the institutes and elders?

Shaykh (Maulana) Yusuf Ludhyanwi (RA) states: “…And the most important matter is that the actions of Mashaykh is not Sharia which would obligate (a person) to follow them…” Source: Aap Kay Masail Aur Unka Hal, Vol 10/Page 261

He (RA) further expounds in another place:

Understand it thoroughly and well! (Be him) a leader of Pakistan or Ruler of Saudi Arabia, political leader or Ulama or Mashaykh they are all part of the Ummah and none of their actions is “authority or proof” in the eyes of Sharia. We are guilty of an error of enormous proportions when we provide references of the actions of such and such contrasting Allah (SWT)’s law. Source: Aap Kay Masail Aur Unka Hal, Vol 10/Page 310

Thus the actions of an elder, Madrasah, Markaz are not authority but guiding (beacons) for us are Qur’aan, Hadeeth, Ijmah and Qiyas.

Lastly, understand that the importance and acceptance to Allah (SWT) is not due to personalities but due to adherence to and obedience to Allah (SWT) as it was instructed to Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam):

إِنَّ هُدَى ٱللَّهِ هُوَ ٱلۡهُدَىٰ‌ۗ وَلَٮِٕنِ ٱتَّبَعۡتَ أَهۡوَآءَهُم بَعۡدَ ٱلَّذِى جَآءَكَ مِنَ ٱلۡعِلۡمِ‌ۙ مَا لَكَ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ مِن وَلِىٍّ۬ وَلَا نَصِيرٍ

[2:120]... Were you to follow their desires despite the knowledge that has come to you, there shall be no friend for you against Allah, nor a helper.

Shaykh (Mufti) Taqi Usmani (HA) writes in the Tafseer of this verse: It is beyond thinking and unfathomable for Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) to follow the desires of the unbelievers but Allah (SWT) conveyed the (principle for teachings us) that personalities have no importance in the eyes of Allah (SWT) except for the obedience towards Allah (SWT). Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) is the most beloved and best of humanity because he is the most obedient to Allah (SWT).


Action of Haramain Sharia or Authority?


Is the action of Haramain authority (to you) or not? If the actions of Haramain is not authority then actions of which other place can possibly be authoritative?

It is strange that such a claim is (publically and categorically) being made when it comes to (Saudi) moon sighing! We are (reminded) that most sacred land is where Haram is situated, where (blessed) Raudah is situated where the House of Allah (SWT) is situated and if the sanctity of such blessed land is not authoritative then what else can be authoritative?

We have answered this (according to principle of Sharia) in the previous response that according to Qur’aan, Hadeeth, Ijmah and Qiyas actions of Haramain are not authority (upon us). But here we would like to remind you of many acts where you (directly) oppose the actions of Haramain, some examples as follows:

1 (Many) don’t pray Wit’r like Haram and also don’t join the congregational Wit’r Salah in Haram


2 You don’t pray Asar in the (earlier) time like Haram


3 You don’t organise  (or participate) in Tahajjud Jamaat like Haram during the blessed nights of Ramadhan


4 Your Imam don’t say Salam before ascending the pulpit for Jumu’ah Khutbah


5 You don’t combine Salah in Arafat during Hajj although there is evidence for this in many narrations


6 You offer collective dua after congregational Fardh prayers when Imams of Haram deem it to be incorrect, some even calling it Bid’aa. Shaykh Bin Baz (RA) stated, “To the best of our knowledge it is not proven that either Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) or his companions lifted their hands after (congregational) Salah and made dua therefore it is deemed an innovation”

7 You perform collective dua after Eid prayers while Imams of Haram don’t


8 You not only consider (loud, collective) Dhik’r as valid but proven from Hadeeth while Imams of Haram consider it incorrect


9 You travel to the graves of Auliya and even deem it permissible to benefit from them (spiritually) while Imams of Haram consider it Shirk


10 You consider it valid to travel to the (blessed) Raudah of Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) while they deem it incorrect

 

11 The Takbeer (of Tashreeq) on Eid days in Haram are said loudly and collectively while you consider it Bid’aa. Shaykh (Mufti) Kifayatullah (RA) said, “Tasbeeh and Takbeer is a virtous action but in the situation of being collective and loud, I consider It Bid’aa (Kifaytaul-Mufti, Vole 5, Page 315)

 

This should be sufficient although many more examples can be given.

Does Sharia have anything to do with Calculations?


An objection is raised that Sharia disregards calculations while (we) rely on calculations.

We would like to (humbly and respectfully) submit the idea that Sharia disregards calculations (entirely and conclusively) needs some reconsideration because:

1 After Zakat becomes an obligation, how does one ascertain the amount without using calculations?


2 Is the amount of Sadaqatul-Fit’r not calculations?


3 Calculations are employed while ascertaining the amount of Fidya for missed fasts, is it not?


4 How is the amount of Fidya for missed prayers determined?


5 The knowledge and calculation of inheritance is entirely based on calculations. If calculations are not permitted then how does one calculate shares for all the heirs?


6 The Iddah of a widow is 4 months and 10 days, what is this amount if not calculation?


7 The Iddah of (divorced) women who has past the stage of menopause is 3 months, is it also not calculation?


8 The Kaffara for (broken) fast if lunar calendar is not considered is 60 days (continuous), is it not calculation?


9 A Haji performing (Tamattu or Qiran) who doesn’t have the ability to make a sacrifice has to fast for 10 days which includes 3 days before the day of sacrifice and 7 after, how does he manage this without using calculations and keep track of days?


10 The distance which makes Qasar (shortening of Salah) permissible is 48 miles and this is Fatwa of many of major Deobandi Scholars. Is 48 miles calculated or is there a specific Naas (explicit evidence) for this distance?

These are some examples which readily come to mind otherwise if due thought process is employed there may be scope for (further) additions.

We believe that there is some benefit in pointing out that knowledge is of 2 kinds:

 

1 (Purely) Islamic Knowledge

 

2 (Purely) Secular Knowledge

 

It is an obligation on every Muslim to learn the 1st kind of knowledge according to his needs. To learn beyond it and to become (Master) of it is a Fardh-Kifaya (communal obligation).

To learn the second is permissible as long as there is no intention of harming others. If a person learns this branch with the intention of providing benefit to humanity and to serve Islam and there is no intention of selfishness (or self-gloating) then it is a virtuous action.

This is the reason why Imam Ghazali (RA) has declared medicine and mathematics as Fardh-Kifaya (communal obligation).

وأما ما ليس علماً شرعياً ويحتاج إليه في قوام أمر الدنيا كالطب والحساب ففرض كفاية

As for knowledge which is not (Sharia) but nations are in need for it (due to its necessity) such as medicine and mathematics then it is (also) Fardh-Kifaya (communal obligation)

Does Sharia consider Calculaions when it comes to moon sighting?


An objection is raised that Sharia disregards calculations while (we) rely on calculations.

Islamic Sharia has disregarded calculations when it comes to moon sighting so why do you then consider (Astronomical) calculations?

It is correct that Islamic Sharia has not based acts of worship on (Astronomical) calculations rather on the actual sighting, however it appears that some have misunderstood the statements of Ulama, they write:

ولا عبرة بقول المؤقتين ، ولو عدولا على المذهب

مطلب لا عبرة بقول المؤقتين في الصوم ( قوله : ولا عبرة بقول المؤقتين ) أي في وجوب الصوم على الناس

The words of timekeepers is not authentic i.e. it is not an obligation upon people to fast according to their calculations [Shami].

Shaykh (Mufti) Nizamuddin (RA) writes: It is incorrect to fast (in Ramadhan) or to pray Eid Salah (1st of Shawwal) by astronomical calculations or scientific determinations. (Muntakhibaat Nizamul-Fatawa Vol1/Page 131)

These statements mean that if the timekeepers (traditionally those responsible for Astronomical calculations) say that it is possible to sight the moon on the evening of the 3rd of April and if the moon is not sighted then it is incorrect to start fasting on the 4th of Ramadhan based on the calculations (alone).

Alternatively, if the calculations state that it is possible to sight the moon on the 4th of May and the moon was not sighted then it is incorrect to celebrate Eid the next day based (solely) on calculations.

However, the understanding which (others) are gleaning from these statements that calculation are (completely and absolutely) disregarded and when the testimony of moon sighting arrives when there is no chance (or impossibility) of moon sighting and the horizons are perfectly clear (with excellent sighting conditions) it is to be regarded and (Astronomical) calculations completely disregarded then I am disappointed to report that Islamic Sharia is neither blindly inflexible nor meekly submissive to scientific developments. This Deen (of Islam) is divinely ordained until the day of judgement it takes the challenges of (Astronomical) calculations or other scientific developments and makes them submit to Islamic Sharia and not the other way around!

Ulama have regarded the calculations of (timekeepers) when it comes to phases of the moon as Imam Ahmed Ibn Hanbal (RA) said:

 وقال أحمد بن حنبل : إن حساب محاسبي منازل القمر معتبر

That the calculations are to be regarded in the phases of the moon.

وفي مختارات النوازل لصاحب الهداية أن علم النجوم في نفسه حسن غير مذموم ، إذ هو قسمان : حسابي [ ص: 44 ] وإنه حق ، وقد نطق به الكتاب . قال الله تعالى - { الشمس والقمر بحسبان } - أي سيرهما بحساب . واستدلالي بسير النجوم وحركة الأفلاك على الحوادث بقضاء الله تعالى وقدره ، وهو جائز كاستدلال الطبيب بالنبض من الصحة والمرض ولو لم يعتقد بقضاء الله تعالى أو ادعى الغيب بنفسه يكفر ، ثم تعلم مقدار ما يعرف به مواقيت الصلاة والقبلة لا بأس به

It is in “Mukhtarun-Nawazil” (the) Author of Hidaya (says) that to seek the knowledge of Astronomy (in its own right) is not blameworthy. It has two branches and the first one is calculations which is correct and Allah (SWT) has also alluded to it in the Qur’aan. The second is deductive which involves predicting and prophesizing (events) according to the movement and orbits of the stars according to the Power of Allah (SWT) and Islamic belief of predestination then it is also correct and it is akin to a physician performing pulse diagnosis and making deductive analysis of the health of the patient according to the condition of the pulse. However, to deny the Power of Allah (SWT) and Islamic belief of predestination or to claim to have knowledge of the unseen is Kuf’r (disbelief). In summary, there is nothing wrong in acquiring enough knowledge of these (Astronomical) sciences which is necessary to determine Salah times and to (accurately) determine the direction of the Qiblah for prayers.

Is the science of Astronomy useless and waste of time?


The science of Astronomy is an approximation and it is the science of Non-Muslims. What connection does it have with Islamic Sharia?

Some have gone to the extremes in trying to prove their methodology (on moon sighting) and their fanaticism has manifested itself in rejecting the entire science of Astronomy and deeming it fit to be consigned to the trash can. We will (Insha’Allah) narrate some opinions of our pious predecessors on the topic which will explain if this science is a waste of time or worth pursuing.

Sayyidina Ali (RA) used to say that if the (holder) of the Qur’aan acquires the knowledge of (astronomy) it will result in an increase in his faith and he used to recite “[3:190]... and in the alternation of night and day...” in his support.

Sayyidina Abdullah Ibn Abbas (RA) used to say that the science of astronomy and (orbital movements) is from the knowledge of Prophethood and I wish that I would have acquired it! It is my desire to acquire the knowledge of the 7 stars and the 12 zodiacal constellations.

Maimoon Ibn Marwaan (RA) used to say, “Don’t deny the science of astronomy because it is from the knowledge of Prophet hood”

In the Manaqib of Imam Malik (RA) it is written that he also authored a book on Astronomy which had discussions on (calculations of time) and phases of the moon.

In the book “Taqreebul-Ba’eed” it is written that the foremost objective of the science of Astronomy is to calculate and track the orbits of the sun and the moon and the direction of Qiblah becomes manifest through it. Therefore it is necessary to acquire it. In the pristine Sharia (of Islam) just like it is an obligation to pray it is an (inferred) obligation to learn how to calculate the times of Salah and direction to pray and the Ulama have agreed upon it. [Islami Ma Wa Ruyat’e-Hilal Shariat Aur Falkiyaat ki Roshni Main, Page 39]

Allamah Syed Alusi Baghdadi (RA) writes, “I have look at many principles of (modern) astronomy and they are not against the text of Qur’aan and Sunnah” Maariful-Qur’aan Vol6, Page 480

Why did the Mufti of Baghdad Allamah Syed Alusi Baghdadi (RA) feel the need to research the principles of a field of science which is a waste of time?

Allamah Taqiud-deen Subki (RA) writes that in order for a Qadhi to decide about the evidence (or lack thereof) of a moon sighting testimony it is necessary for him to know the science of astronomy. If he is not versed with this field of knowledge then he should contact an expert (in this field of astronomy) so he can confirm or reject the testimony with (conviction). The Qadhi should be familiar with the orbits of the sun and the moon and the facts about the moon (reflecting sunlight)  and the angular separation between the two bodies etc. Al-Ilmul-Manshoor Page 62, Islami Ma Wa Ruyat’e-Hilal Shariat Aur Falkiyaat ki Roshni Main, Page 39

Allamah Jawhari Tantawi (RA) has written similarly [ibid]

Shaykh (Maulana) Yaqub Bhopali (RA) writes, “The assistance I gained in seeking Marifah of Allah (SWT) from the sciences of medicine and astronomy I didn’t gain from any other science” Monthly Millia (Faisalabad) Jumadal-Ukhra 1434, April/May 2013, Page 34

Isn’t it surprising that a Wali of Allah (SWT) regards this (wasted) science of Astronomy [and medicine] a way to gain Marifaah (closeness) of Allah (SWT)?

Would you like to know the value of this (science) Astronomy to a person of Khanqah & Tassawuff like Shaykh Abdul-Qadir Raipuri (RA)?

Shaykh (Maulana) Abdul hasan Ali Nadwi (RA) writes, “He had keen interest in emerging discoveries of science and news about new discoveries. He used to listen to the news about (launch of) artificial satellites and their movement and orbit around the Earth with great interest and concentration. He used to listen to each and every development in trying to reach the moon. News about rockets, missiles and new developments in this arena were always of interest to him. When he used to hear about new discoveries of science and atomic energy being used for the betterment of mankind, it used to please him greatly. He used to often enquire about the (latest and emerging) scientific discoveries about the moon and not only the moon but other planetary bodies. He never used to express any doubts about emerging developments in space exploration. In fact he used to say that these (Western Nations) are as mighty as Jinns when it comes to determination and (achieving dreams) and to further the frontiers of science and discover new fields they don’t shirk from extreme sacrifices and endangering their own lives. Sawanih Hazrat Maulana Abdul Qadir Raipuri (RA), pages 283-284

Sayyidina Umar (RA) permitted learning the science of Astronomy to the extent that the directions (of land and seas) can be determined and identified.

(حديث مرفوع) حَدَّثَنَا الْحَسَنُ بْنُ عَلِيٍّ ، ثنا الْحَسَنُ بْنُ شَوْكَرٍ ، ثنا إِسْمَاعِيلُ بْنُ جَعْفَرٍ ، ثنا مُبَارَكُ بْنُ فَضَالَةَ ، عَنْ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ ، عَنْ نَافِعٍ ، عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ ، أَنَّ عُمَرَ ، قَالَ : " تَعَلَّمُوا مِنَ النُّجُومِ مَا تَهْتَدُوا بِهِ فِي ظُلُمَاتِ الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ


Conditional rejection of moon sighting testimony based on Astronomical Calculations:

Where did you invent this conditional rejection of moon sighting testimony based on Astronomical Calculations?

The experts of Astronomy and calculations (of the past) have stated that when it is impossible to sight the moon the sighting testimony of 1-2 people should be rejected. In this day and age when lying has become widespread as per the (end time) predictions of Nabi (Salallaho Alaihe Wassallam) the experts at Astronomy should be consulted. If there is no chance of moon sighting then these testimonies should be rejected.

Now, we will produce text from some of our (Senior) Akabir Scholars which clearly state that the calculations cannot be entirely rejected.

Shaykh (Mufti) Syed Abdur-Raheem Lajpuri (RA) writes, “Moon sighting should be attempted in Britain with the help of geographical (calculated) sighting possibility”. He then further elucidates that the method stated in the (noble) Sunnah should be adopted. Source: Fatawa-e-Raheemiyah, Vol 9, Page 417

It should be noted that Shaykh (RA) has considered that the method of geographical (calculated) sighting possibility as Sunnah.

Shaykh (Mufti) Nizamuddin (RA) writes, “If a person testifies to seeing the crescent before the conjunction then such a testimony is rejected because it is against logic, science and all other criteria.”

Shaykh (Mufti) Nizamuddin (RA) is categorically calling such a testimony baseless and unreliable!

Shaykh HazratJee (Maulana) In’amul Hasan Kandhalwi (RA) writes in his letter, “As far as testimony the day before the (experts of Astronomy) predict the sighting possibility by their calculations then such testimony has no weight and it is also against the actions of the majority”

Shaykh (Mufti) Yusuf Ludhyanwi (RA) writes, “Starting of (Islamic) month is dependent upon the sighting of the moon. Consultation with the experts of Astronomy about the chances of the moon being sighted on a (particular) day is minimal help which can be accepted” Source: Aap Kay Masail Aur Unka Hal, Vol 3/Page 261

Shaykh (Mufti) Taqi Usmani (HA) writes, “With regards to the Saudi moon sighting contemporary Scholars are of the opinion that when sighting is deemed to be impossible but testimony is still being advanced then such a testimony is doubtful and due to (the testimony) being doubtful a decision shouldn’t be reached on its basis”

Shaykh (Mufti) Taqi Usmani (HA) has signed a Fatwa from the Daul-uloom which reads, “It is our opinion that not every testimony is absolute and it has the possibility of being wrong versus laws of Astronomical science are absolute with the possibility of error in their application. Therefore testimony when it opposes Astronomical calculations should be rejected unless the experts of Astronomy have discussed the possibilities and offered an explanation”

Shaykh (Mufti) Faisal (HA) writes, “When Astronomical calculations state that moonset is before sunset then it is just as believable as Maghrib time according to our prayer timetables. In the case of moonset before sunset there is scope for rejected (rejecting) the moon sighting testimony”.

Shaykh (Maulana) Burhanud-deen Sunbuli (HA) writes, “In addition it should be kept in mind that Islam is a natural religion and the laws of (Islamic) Sharia don’t defy established common sense as has been proven by Imam Shatibi Al-Maliki (RA) in his infamous treatise of Fiqh entitled Al-Muwafiqaat in which he writes: أن كل معنى لا يستقيم مع الأصول الشرعية والقواعد العقلية لا يعتمد عليه It implies that it would not be wrong to assert that if it is categorically proven that on a day the moon cannot be sighted then testimony (of sighting) by a reliable person for that day would be cast aside and not accepted because it will be against Islamic Sharia because such a sighting is impossible. Experts of Astronomy state that the velocity (and orbital positioning) of the sun and the moon is predictable and they are able to calculate it and Qur’aan affirms this (claim) in various verses. Therefore, if a person claims to have sighted the moon when there is no (logical or scientific) possibility of such a sighting then we have to say that such a person has made a mistake. Maujuda Mas’ail Kay Masail Ka Sha’ri Hall, Pages 76-78

When something is proven (intellectually) to be correct then testimony against it is rejected so if we are certain that it is impossible for moon to be sighted on a particular day then testimony for that day is not be to accepted.

Islamic Fiqh Academy (Jeddah) resolution states, “It is obligatory to use sighting (for commencement of Islamic months) but help should be taken from Astronomical calculations and Observatories so principles of Hadeeth and science can both be regarded and benefitted from” Shari Faislay Page 95

Shaykh (Maulana) Muhammad Umar Palunpuri (RA) writes, “The desire came in my heart that a booklet in easy to understand language should be published containing timings for conjunction and new moon for important locations throughout the world. This booklet should be made available to all those in authority so they can be cautious in accepting testimonies when it is impossible for the moon to be sighted at their location” Sawanih Maulana Muhammad Umar Palunpuri (RA), pages 212-214

Jamia Dabhel gives a Fatwa and writes, “When it comes to the question of arranging local sighting and seeking assistance from Astronomical Calculations then as long as these Calculations are not considered as the last word (meaning binding on their own) then there is room for (their usage)” Fatwa Jamia Islamia Dabhel, attested by Mufti Ahmed Khanpuri (HA)

Jamia Farooqia (Karachi) writes in a Fatwa, “It should be noted that Islamic Sharia has based commencement of Islamic months on (moon) sighting so this is the method which should be relied upon. However, to assist in this endeavour (experts of) Astronomy can be consulted on local sighting conditions and possibilities etc but these calculations are not be exclusively used (instead of sighting” Darul-Iftaa Jamia Farooqia (Karachi)

Shaykh (Mufti) Taqi Usmani (HA) responds in a lengthy Fatwa, “In an Islamic country whether an announcement is made by the (Muslim) Qadhi of that country in his own voice or news is transmitted on his behalf it is the same as long as sighting is possible in that country for that day” Fatwa Darul-uloom Karachi, 1419 AH

Shaykh (Mufti) Saeed Ahmed Palunpuri (HA) the Shaykhul-Hadeeth of Darul-uloom Deoband writes, “I would like to point something out here…Astronomical calculations are not be solely and exclusively relied upon (for commencement of Islamic months) but we have seen some (weak) Muslims who try to confirm Saudi sighting by giving (false) testimonies. In such circumstances if Astronomical Calculations are to be relied upon to reject such (impossible) sightings then in my humble opinion there is scope for this”

Shaykh (Mufti) Khalid Saifullah Rahmani (RA) writes, “Astronomical calculations can be utilised to the extent that if there is no chance of moon being present then testimonies on that day shouldn’t be accepted without thorough investigation and rigour and to the extent that testimonies become irrefutable. When chances of moon being (physically) present are ample then slightly (lesser) number of testimonies can be accepted” Jadeed Fiqhi Mas’ail Vol 2, Page 26

We are an illiterate community – we do not write or calculate?

Did Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) not explicitly prohibit Calculations saying that we are an illiterate Ummah? Why do you then disobey the Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam)?

Imam Bukhari in his Sahih has narrated on the authority of Ibn 'Umar (May Allah pleased with them both) from the Prophet (May Allah send benedictions and peace on him) that he said, "We are an illiterate community – we do not write or calculate. The month is like this and this", i.e. sometimes 29 [days], and sometimes 30."

في صحيح البخارى ( باب قول النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم -: لا نكتب ولا نحسب ) ، ( عن إبن عمر – رضي الله عنهما – عن النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – أنه قال : إنا أمّة أميّة لا نكتب ولا نحسب ، الشهر هكذا و هكذا : يعني مرة تسعة وعشرين ومرة ثلاثين ).

This hadith has been utilised as a foundation for excluding a role for astronomy and calculation in guiding the timings of the lunar months. Advocates of this view suggest, based on their interpretation of the meaning of the aforementioned Hadith, there being no role for calculation in confirming or ratifying lunar sightings. However when considering the explanation of our pious predecessors on the subject, it would seem that such an inference is inaccurate.

 1 Al-Subki (RA) writes on page 4 of his treatise [العلم المنشور]

"Chapter regarding the meaning of his statement (May Allah send benedictions and peace on him) "The Month is like this, this and this" rolling his thumb in the third [round], "and the month is like this, this and this" i.e. the full 30

It is an authentic narration reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim from the narration of 'Abd 'llah bin 'Umar (May Allah pleased with them both).

In its beginning is "We are an illiterate community – we do not write or calculate." Its meaning – and Allah knows better – that the month is sometimes 30 and sometimes 29 with no third option.

It is not like what the astronomers say, as for them, it is always 29 days and a fraction [of a day], as the lunar year is 354.37 days. The number of months is twelve as Allah (Most High) said. When these days are divided over twelve months, every month would be 29 days and a bit. The moon aligns with the sun once a month, and when it parts from [the sun], it would be the beginning of the [lunar] month according to them until it [returns] back to this state. That may happen in during the day or the night.

So the Prophet (may Allah send benedictions and peace on him) nullified the consideration of that [method], and assigned as part of the first month [the duration of] when [the moon] parts from the sun up to the full 29 days if [the moon] is seen, or up to the full 30 if it is not seen, regardless of whether we see it on the night of the 30th or we complete 30 [days]. And thus, sunset on either night would be the beginning of the month. This was gained from His (May Allah send benedictions and peace on him) indication and the statement of the one narrating from him "ten, ten and nine", as that requires the inclusion of [preceding] nights under the ruling of days, because the removal of Ta' is indicative of the consideration of nights, and [that] is the founding principle in [the annals of] dates.

His (May Allah send benedictions and peace on him) statement "We" means the Arabs, as that [illiteracy] was the predominant [state] for them despite some knowing how to write and count. The fact that they did not write or count was an honour for them, as had passed in the knowledge of Allah that they are community of the illiterate Prophet, which was a miracle for Him (may Allah send benedictions and peace on him) and honour for them, as they were ascribed with one of his attributes. He assigned that to be a sign for the month in the Shariah, so that it may be coherently aligned with an apparent matter that is known to everyone and cannot be mistaken in, as opposed to calculations as only a few people would know it and mistakes therein would occur frequently due to a lacking in its knowledge and its premises. Sometimes, some [premises of calculation] are tentative.

Divine Wisdom and the straight, easy Shariah wanted to lessen the burden from the servants and connect the laws to sight or the completion of 30 [days], which is easy for the people. The narration does not mean the prohibition of writing or calculation, not does it condemn or belittle them; rather they are a virtue for us. It is also not the meaning of the narration that the astronomer's [calculation for conjunction], [sun-moon] separation, or the possibility or impossibility of seeing [the moon] is nullified or to declare him a liar in that; rather what the narration only contains is not to connect the legal ruling or [starting off] the month based on [his statements]."

وقال السبكي في العلم المنشور صفحة 4 : فصل

في معنى قوله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – (( الشهر هـكذا و هـكذا و هـكذا – وعقد الإبهام في الثالثة – والشهر هـكذا و هـكذا و هـكذا ، يعني تمام الثلاثين )) وهو حديث صحيح رواه البخاري ومسلم من حديث عبد الله بن عمر– رضي الله عنهما – ، وفي أوله : (( إنا أمّة أميّة لا نكتب ولا نحسب )). ومعناه والله أعلم : أن الشهر تارة يكـون ثلاثين ، وتارة يكـون تسعة وعشرين ، لا يخرج عن هـذين الأمرين ، وليس كما يقوله أهل الحساب والنجوم ، فإن عندهم دائما تسعة و عشرون وكسر ، لأن السنة القمرية ثلاثمائة وأربعة وخمسون يوماً وخمس يوم وسدس يوم ، وعدة الشهور اثنا عشر شهرا ، كما قال الله تعالى . فإذا قسمت هـذه الأيام على اثنى عشر كان كل شهر تسعة وعشرين وشيأ . والقمر يجتمع مع الشمس في كل شهر مرة ، فإذا فارقها فهو أول الشهر عندهم إلى أن ينتهي إلى مثل تلك الحالة ، وقد يكـون ذالك في أثناء النهار ، وقد يكـون في أثناء الليل ، فأبطل النبي - صلى الله عليه وسلم – إعتبار ذالك وجعل ما بعد مفارقته الشمس إلى تمام تسعة وعشرين ، إن رئي ، أو إلى تمام ثلاثين إن لم ير من الشهر الأول ، وسواءٌ رأيناه ليلة الثلاثين أو أكملنا ثلاثين فأول الشهر غروب الشمس من إحدي الليلتين ، واستفيد ذالك من إشارته - صلى الله عليه وسلم – وقول الراوي عنه : عشرا عشرا وتسعاً . فإن ذالك يقتضي دخول الليالي في حكم الأيام ، لأن حذف التاء يدل على إعتبار الليالي وهي الأصل في التاريخ ،

( وقوله - صلى الله عليه وسلم – :- إنّا ) يعني العرب ، لأن الغالب عليها ذالك ، وإن كان قد يعلم بعضهم الكتابة والحساب ، وكـونهم لا يكتبون ولا يحسبون شرف لهم ، لما سبق في علم الله من أنهم أمّة النبي الأمّي ، فذالك معجزة له - صلى الله عليه وسلم – وشرف لهم ، لاتصافهم بصفة من صفاته ، وجعل ذالك علماً في الشريعة على الشهر ليكـون ضبطاً بأمر ظاهر يعرفه كل أحد ولا يغلط فيه بخلاف الحساب ، فإنه لا يعرفه إلا القليل من الناس ويقع الغلط فيه كثيراً للتقصير في علمه ومقدماته ، وربما كان بعضها ظنّياً ، فاقتضت الحكمة الإلهيّة والشريعة الحنيفية السمحة ، التخفيف على العباد وربط الأحكام بما هو متيسر على الناس من الرؤية ، أو كمال العدد ثلاثين . وليس معنى الحديث النهي عن الكتابة والحساب ولا ذمّهما وتنقيصهما ، بل هما فضيلة فينا وليس في الحديث أيضا إبطال قول الحاسب في قوله : إن القمر يجتمع مع الشمس أو يفارقها ، أو تمكن رؤيته أو لا تمكن رؤيته والحكم بكذبه في ذالك ، وإنما في الحديث عدم إناط الحكم الشرعي وتسمية الشهر به .

2 Shaykh Bakhit said in his treatise, p. 103:

"His statement (may Allah send benedictions and peace on him) "We are an illiterate community – we do not write or calculate" does not contain any indication that scribes or astronomers are wrong; rather it indicates they are correct and truthful. The coming of [this narration] was in the context of uncovering the miracle and explaining that his godly realisations were via revelation that was revealed to him from Allah (Most High). The basic meaning of it is we know that via the Allah (Most High) teaching us and making us aware, not anyone else, because we are an illiterate community that does not use calculation nor writing – that is only known by astronomers by their usage of their calculation, and by writers via writing about others. He (Most High) said, "You did not used to recite a book before it, nor did you write with your right hand; the people of falsehood would have then doubted. Rather, it is clear verses in the hearts of those who have been given knowledge. Only the unjust deny about our verses."

He also said, p. 101:

"It is known that the month based on calculations on definite rules is only 29 days and a bit. The legislator, out of mercy and compassion for the people, only obligated fast upon seeing the crescent of Ramadan or upon] the completion of 30 [days] of Sha'ban, as He (Most High) connected fasting to an apparent matter which the specialists and public [all] know. Likewise, He (Most High) connected the obligation of terminating the period of compulsory fasting to the seeing of the crescent of Shawwal or the completion of 30 [days] of Ramadan for the reasons we have mentioned and for safeguarding the fast. That is what logic and narration mutually agree on, and is proven from the angle of the Shariah and from the angle of wisdom. It is most definitely established via calculation – and there is no turning back from [this fact] – that the moon to the point it de-aligns itself from the sun is 27 days, 7 hours, 43 minutes and 4 seconds, and aligns itself another time in the period of 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 3 seconds. It aligns itself with [the sun] at another time in the period of 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 3 seconds. The period of the lunar year is 354.37 days. Calculations are all definitive matters – there is no way to rebuff them, as denying them is tantamount to being quarrelsome for no reason"

وقال الشيخ بخيت في رسالته صفحة 103 : وقوله - صلى الله عليه وسلم – (( إنا أمّة أميّة لا نكتب ولا نحسب )) ليس فيه ما يدل على تخطئة الكتّاب والحسّاب ، بل يدل على تصويبهما وتصديقهما ، فإن صدوره في معرض إظهار المعجزة وبيان أن معارفه الإلهيّة بوحي يوحى من عند الله تعالى ، فإن حاصل المراد منه أنّا نعرف ذالك بإعلام الله تعالى ، وتعريفه لنا لا بغيره لأنا أمّة أميّة لا نستعمل الحساب ولا نتداول الكتابة ، وإنما يعرفه الحسّاب بمزاولة حسابهم والكتّاب بالكتابة عن غيرهم ، قال تعالى : ( وما كنت تتلوا من قبله من كتاب ولا تخطّه بيمينك إذًا لارتاب المبطلون* بل هو آيات بيّنات في صدور الذين أوتوا العلم وما يجحد بآياتنا إلا الظّالمون ))

وقال أيضا صفحة 101 : وقد عرف بأن الشهر بالحساب المبني على القواعد القطعيّة لا يكـون إلا تسعة وعشرين يوماً وكسراً . وإنما الشارع أوجب الصوم عند رؤية هلال رمضان أو إكمال عدة شعبان ثلاثين ، رحمة بالناس وشفقة بهم ، حيث أناط الصوم بأمر ظاهر يعرفه الخاص والعام ، وكذالك قد أناط وجوب الفطر برؤية هلال شوال أو إكمال عدة رمضان ثلاثين يوما لما ذكرناه واحتياطاً للصوم ، وذالك مما توافق عليه العقل و النقل و ثبت من جهة الشريعة و من جهة الحكمة ، فإنه قد ثبت بطريق الحساب ثبوتاً لا مردّ له ، أن القمر إلى نقطة فارق فيها الشمس في مدة سبعة و عشرين يوماً وسبع ساعات وثلاث و أربعين دقيقة و أربع ثوان . ويجتمع معها مرّة أخرى في مدة تسعة و عشرين و نصف يوم وأربع وأربعين دقيقة وثلاث ثوان ، وأن مدة السنة القمرية ثلاثمائة يوم وأربعة وخمسون يوماً وخمس يوم واحد وسدسه وكسر. والحسابات كلها أمور قطعيّة برهانيّة لا سبيل إلى مجاحدتها فإنكارها مكابرة اه .

In conclusion, it would seem that the Hadith does not exclude or prohibit the use of calculation in matters of clarifying the timings of moon sightings. In essence, we learn that according to Shariah the lunar months are either 29 or 30 full days, rather than the 29 days plus a fraction thereof, as would be determined on the basis of Astronomy. The wisdom behind this was to some degree to ease the burden upon the believers, and provide a clear and universally identifiable symbol for the commencement of a new month, that being the sighting of the crescent (or the month reaching 30 days). Separating the laws of Shariah from Science and literacy was also a means of demonstrating the divinity of the religion to the observing Arabs at the time. It is accepted that the commencement of a new month is based upon the sighting of the crescent; crucially however, no inferences were made to prohibit the use of calculation and Astronomy in guiding this.

Ittihad-ul-Mataal'i is also known via calculations

Shaikh Mohammad bin Abd-ur-Razzaq Al-Marakishi writes:

"Do you not see what many jurists said, that when crescent-sighting is established in one city, it would encompass every city whose horizon is in accordance with the city of sighting? It is known that horizon is only known via [astronomical] calculation.

The statement of al-Subki in his treatise, p. 13, has passed previously: "There are [various] opinions in a city's sighting obligating another city[...] The sixth position is that it would be binding on every city whose horizon is in accordance with the city of sighting. This is the correct position according to our Iraqi disciples, and others. There is an inclination therein for [the legitimacy of astronomical] calculation, because the horizon can only be known via calculation. By horizon, the place where the crescent appears is meant. Knowledge of two cities being the same in terms of the crescent horizon requires a good portion of [awareness with] astronomy. The opinion of the mass majority does not consider calculation wrong [in ascertaining horizons] and disregarding it when the crescent is not sighted, because calculation by itself is alone [in the latter], whereas [calculation] comes in addition to sighting in the cities [in the former]. From this, we take that calculation is not rendered redundant, but sighting is a requisite as a general principle due to the prophetic narration." (Al-Azb-uz-Zulal fi Mabahithi Ruyat-il-Hilal, pg 466)

أولا ترا إلى ما يقوله كثير من الفقهاء من أنه إذا ثبتت رؤية الهلال في بلد ، فإنها تعم كل بلد يوافق بلد الرؤية في المطلع . ومن المعلوم أن المطلع لا يعرف إلا بالحساب . وتقدم قول السبكي في رسالته صفحة 13 : وفي لزوم رؤية بلد بلداً آخر أقوال ، إلى أن قال : السادس : يلزم كل بلد يوافق بلد الرؤية في المطلع ، وهـذا هو الصحيح عند العراقين من أصحابنا وغيرهم . وفيه جنوح إلى الحساب ، لأن المطلع إنما يعرف بالحساب . والمراد بالمطلع ، مطلع الهلال . ومعرفة توافق البلدين في مطلع الهلال يحتاج إلى حظ جيد من علم الهيئة . ولا يستنكر نظر الأكثرين إلى الحساب ها هنا وإعراضهم عنه إذا لم ير الهلال ، لأن هناك تجرد الحساب وحده ، وهنا انضاف إلى الرؤية في البلاد. فمن هنا نأخذ أن الحساب ليس ملغى لكن الرؤية شرط في الجملة للحديث . صفحة 466 العذب الزلال في مباحث رؤية الهلال

Is Moon sighting for other months also necessary?

Saudi Arabia doesn’t officially announce the moon sighting for other months but definitely perform moon sighting for Ramadhan and Eidain, isn’t that sufficient?

The common sense response is how do you know when the 29th of an (Islamic) month is to sight the moon for the next month if you are not sighting the moon regularly? Secondly, all injunctions of Islam which are time bound are connected to (Islamic) lunar Calendar such as (paying of) Zakah, Iddah of (divorced or widowed) women, injunctions related to menstruation etc. Thirdly, there are many optional acts of worship which are (Islamic) lunar Calendar such as fasting on the 13th, 14th and 15th of each month, fasting on Ashura etc.


How do you plan on fulfilling these obligatory or optional acts of worship without sighting the moon (and keeping track) for the entire 12 months? How do you reconcile these narrations?

 

حَدَّثَنَا مُوسَى بْنُ إِسْمَاعِيل ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبَانُ ، حَدَّثَنَا قَتَادَةُ ، أَنَّهُ بَلَغَهُ " أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ كَانَ إِذَا رَأَى الْهِلَالَ ، قَالَ : " هِلَالُ خَيْرٍ ، وَرُشْدٍ هِلَالُ خَيْرٍ ، وَرُشْدٍ هِلَالُ خَيْرٍ ، وَرُشْدٍ آمَنْتُ بِالَّذِي خَلَقَكَ ثَلَاثَ مَرَّاتٍ ، ثُمَّ يَقُولُ : الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي ذَهَبَ بِشَهْرِ كَذَا ، وَجَاءَ بِشَهْرِ كَذَا "

Sayyidina Qatadah (RA) narrates that it has certainly reached him that when the Prophet of Allah (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) sighted the moon, he used to say three times: "A new moon of good and right guidance; a new moon of good and right guidance; a new moon of good and right guidance. I believe in Him Who created you". He would then say: "Praise be to Allah Who has made such and such a month to pass and has brought such and such a month." [Abu Da'wud]

أخبرنا عبد الرزاق قال: أخبرنا معمر عن قتادة أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كان إذا رأى الهلال كبر ثلاثا، ثم قال: هلال خير ورشد، ثلاثا، ثم قال: آمنت بالذي خلقك، ثلاثا، ثم يقول: الحمد لله الذي ذهب بشهر كذا وكذا، وجاء بشهر كذا وكذا

Sayyidina Qatadah (RA) narrates when the Prophet of Allah (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) sighted the moon, he used to proclaim the Greatness of Allah (SWT) three times by Saying Allahu-Akbar and then pronounce three times: "A new moon of good and right guidance" and then say three times "I believe in Him Who created you". He would then say: "Praise be to Allah Who has made such and such a month to pass and has brought such and such a month " [Al-Musanaff]

عَنْ قَتَادَةَ ، قَالَ : كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِذَا رَأَى الْهِلالَ كَبَّرَ ثَلاثًا ، وَهَلَّلَ ، ثُمَّ قَالَ : " هِلالُ خَيْرٍ وَرُشْدٍ " ثَلاثًا ثُمَّ قَالَ : " آمَنْتُ بِالَّذِي خَلَقَكَ " ثَلاثًا ثُمَّ يَقُولُ : " الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي ذَهَبَ بِشَهْرِ كَذَا وَجَاءَ بِشَهْرِ كَذَا

Sayyidina Qatadah (RA) narrates when the Prophet of Allah (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) sighted the moon, he used to proclaim the Greatness of Allah (SWT) three times by Saying Allahu-Akbar, then rejoice and then pronounce three times: "A new moon of good and right guidance" and then say three times "I believe in Him Who created you". He would then say: "Praise be to Allah Who has made such and such a month to pass and has brought such and such a month " [Al-Jam'i  Li Muammar Ibn Rashid]

حدثنا محمد بن بشر قال حدثنا سعيد عن قتادة أن نبي الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كان إذا رأى الهلال قال : ' هلال خير ورشد ، هلال رشد وخير ، هلال خير ورشد ، آمنت بالذي خلقك - ثلاثا ، الحمد لله ذهب هلال كذا وكذا وجاء هلال كذا وكذا

Sayyidina Qatadah (RA) narrates when the Prophet of Allah (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) sighted the moon, he used to say three times: "A new moon of good and right guidance; a new moon of good and right guidance; a new moon of good and right guidance. I believe in Him Who created you". He would then say: "Praise be to Allah Who has made such and such a month to pass and has brought such and such a month." [Ibn Abi Sahybah]

أخبرنا عبد الرزاق قال أخبرنا معمر عن رجل عن بن المسيب قال كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم إذا رأى الهلال قال آمنت بالذي خلقك فسواك فعدلك

Sayyidina Ibn Musayyad (RA) narrates when the Prophet of Allah (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) sighted the moon, he used to proclaim "I believe in Him Who created , then perfected you, then brought you in due proportion?" [Al-Musanaff]

أخبرنا عبد الله بن إسحاق الخراساني العدل ، ثنا أحمد بن زياد بن مهران ، ثنا أبو عامر العقدي ، ثنا سليمان بن سفيان المديني ، حدثني بلال بن يحيى بن طلحة بن عبيد الله ، عن أبيه ، عن جده - رضي الله عنه - : أن النبي - صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم - كان إذا رأى الهلال قال : " اللهم أهله علينا بالأمن والإيمان والسلامة والإسلام ، ربي وربك الله "

 Sayyidina Bilal Ibn Yahya Ibn Sufyan (RA) narrates from his father who narrates from his father that when the Prophet of Allah (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) sighted the moon, he used to say "O Allah, make the new moon shine on us with security, belief, safety and Islam! My Lord and your Lord is Allah" [Al-Mustadrak]

أَخْبَرَنَا سَعِيدُ بْنُ سُلَيْمَانَ عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ عُثْمَانَ بْنِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ قَالَ حَدَّثَنِى أَبِى عَنْ أَبِيهِ وَعَمِّهِ عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ قَالَ : كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- إِذَا رَأَى الْهِلاَلَ قَالَ :« اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ ، اللَّهُمَّ أَهِلَّهُ عَلَيْنَا بِالأَمْنِ وَالإِيمَانِ وَالسَّلاَمَةِ وَالإِسْلاَمِ وَالتَّوْفِيقِ لِمَا يُحِبُّ رَبُّنَا وَيَرْضَى ، رَبُّنَا وَرَبُّكَ اللَّهُ »

Sayyidina Ibn Umar (RA) narrates when the Prophet of Allah (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) sighted the moon, he used to say "O Allah, let this moon (month) pass over us with blessings, Iman, safety, and in the belief of Islam. Grant us the ability to act on the actions that You love and Pleases You. (O moon) My Lord and Your Lord is Allah"." [Sunan Ad-Darimi]

عَنْ يَحْيَى بْنِ طَلْحَةَ بْنِ عُبَيْدِ الله , عَنْ أَبِيهِ طَلْحَةَ بْنِ عُبَيْدِ الله , أَنَّ النَّبِىَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ إِذَا رَأَى الْهِلاَلَ قَالَ اللهمَّ أَهِلَّهُ عَلَيْنَا بِالْيُمْنِ وَالإِيمَانِ وَالسَّلاَمَةِ وَالإِسْلاَمِ رَبِّى وَرَبُّكَ الله

Talha ibn 'Ubaydullah narrates from his father who narrates from his father that when the Prophet, (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) saw the new moon, he would say, "O Allah, make the new moon shine on us with security, belief, safety and Islam! My Lord and your Lord is Allah." [Ibn HIbaaan]

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بن الْفَضْلِ السَّقَطِيُّ , حَدَّثَنَاسَعِيدُ بن سُلَيْمَانَ , عَنْ عُثْمَانَ بن إِبْرَاهِيمَ بن حَاطِبٍ , عَنْ أَبِيهِوَعَمِّهِ، عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ , قَالَ: كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِوَسَلَّمَ , إِذَا رَأَى الْهِلالَ , قَالَ:اللَّهُمَّ أَهِلَّهُ عَلَيْنَا بِالأَمْنِوَالإِيمَانِ , وَالسَّلامَةِ وَالإِسْلامِ , وَالتَّوْفِيقِ لِمَا تُحِبُّ وَتَرْضَى, رَبُّنَا وَرَبُّكَ اللَّهُ.

Sayyidina Ibn Umar (RA) narrates when the Prophet of Allah (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) sighted the moon, he used to say "O Allah, let this moon (month) pass over us with blessings, Iman, safety, and in the belief of Islam. Grant us the ability to act on the actions that You love and Pleases You. (O moon) My Lord and Your Lord is Allah"." [Tabarani]

حدثنا أبو موسى هارون بن عبد الله الحمال ، حدثنا أبو عامر ، حدثني سليمان بن سفيان ، قال : سمعت بلال بن يحيى بن طلحة بن عبيد الله ، يحدث ، عن أبيه ، عن جده ، قال : كان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم إذا نظر إلى الهلال قال : « اللهم أهله علينا باليمن والإيمان ، والسلامة والإسلام ، ربي وربك الله

Talha ibn 'Ubaydullah narrates from his father who narrates from his father that when the Prophet, (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) saw the new moon, he would say, "O Allah, make the new moon shine on us with security, belief, safety and Islam! My Lord and your Lord is Allah." [Musnad Abd Ibn Humayd]

أخبرنا الحسن بن سفيان ، قال : حدثنا محمد بن يحيى المروزي، قال : حدثنا سعيد بن سليمان الواسطي ، قال : حدثنا عبد الرحمن بن عثمان بن إبراهيمبن محمد بن حاطب ، عن أبيه ، وعن عمه ، عن ابن عمر ، قال : كان رسول الله صلى اللهعليه وسلم إذا رأى الهلال ، قال : « اللهم أهله علينا بالأمن والإيمان ، والسلامة والإسلام، والتوفيق لما نحب وترضى ، ربنا وربك الله

Sayyidina Ibn Umar (RA) narrates when the Prophet of Allah (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) sighted the moon, he used to say "O Allah, let this moon (month) pass over us with blessings, Iman, safety, and in the belief of Islam. Grant us the ability to act on the actions that we love and Pleases You. (O moon) My Lord and Your Lord is Allah"." [Tabarani]

أورد شيخُ الإسلام ابن تيمية -رحمه الله- في كتابه "الكلم الطيب" تحت (فصل في رؤية الهلال) حديثَ عبدِ اللهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ رضي الله عنهما, قَالَ : كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِذَا رَأَى الْهِلالَ , قَالَ: (اللهُ أكبَرُ ! اللَّهُمَّ أَهِلَّهُ عَلَيْنَا بِالأَمْنِ وَالإِيمَانِ , وَالسَّلامَةِ وَالإِسْلامِ , وَالتَّوْفِيقِ لِمَا تُحِبُّ وَتَرْضَى , رَبُّنَا وَرَبُّكَ اللهُ )

Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (RA) has mentioned in his book Al-Kalimut-Tayyib under the chapter of concerning the sighting of the moom that  Sayyidina Ibn Umar (RA) narrates when the Prophet of Allah (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) sighted the moon, he used to proclaim Allahu-Akbar and then say "O Allah, let this moon (month) pass over us with blessings, Iman, safety, and in the belief of Islam. Grant us the ability to act on the actions that we love and Pleases You. (O moon) My Lord and Your Lord is Allah"."

Confirming the Saudi sighting by looking at the next day moon?

I saw the moon today and it was big and stayed on the horizon for a while and this confirmed that our start of the fasting (yesterday) was correct according to Saudi sighting?

The Islamic Sharia commands us to sight the moon and begin fasting (the next day), nowhere ae we commanded to sight the moon and then retrospectively backdate our fasting! Can you imagine if the Scholars of Islam had come up with this rule of sighting the moon and then informing the whole world that they should have fasted yesterday and need to make up? How about Islamic Scholars declaring that yesterday was actually Eid and we shouldn’t have fasted?

Therefore it is prohibitive to sight the moon (today) and speculate about yesterday. 

حدثنا أبو بكر بن أبي شيبة حدثنا محمد بن فضيل عن حصين عن عمرو بن مرة عن أبي البختري قال خرجنا للعمرة فلما نزلنا ببطن نخلة قال تراءينا الهلال فقال بعض القوم هو ابن ثلاث وقال بعض القوم هو ابن ليلتين قال فلقينا ابن عباس فقلنا إنا رأينا الهلال فقال بعض القوم هو ابن ثلاث وقال بعض القوم هو ابن ليلتين فقال أي ليلة رأيتموه قال فقلنا ليلة كذا وكذا فقال إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال إن الله مده للرؤية فهو لليلة رأيتموه

Abu'l-Bakhtari reported: We went out to perform Umra and when we encamped in the valley of Nakhla, we tried to see the new moon. Some of the people said: It was three nights old, and others (said) that it was two nights old. We then met Ibn 'Abbas and told him we had seen the new moon, but that some of the people said it was three nights old and others that it was two nights old. He asked on which night we had seen it; and when we told him we had seen it on such and such night, he said the Prophet of Allah (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) had said: Verily Allah deferred it till the time it is seen, so it is to be reckoned from the night you saw it. [Muslim]

Why should we reject the testimony of a pious practising Muslim?

Why should we reject the testimony of a pious practising Muslim of our community? Why should he or she lie?

We don’t say that anyone has lied but we say that there is a possibility of error. We say that a person can make a mistake. Ulama have the right to scrutinise the moon sighting testimony and we quote the following incidents from the lifetime of Sahabah (RA), can anyone be more honest than them?

We don’t say anyone is dishonest or lying, simply that if there is no chance of moon being sighted then the testimony of 1-2 people is a mistake. We don’t claim this mistake to be even deliberate. 

حَدَّثَنِي إِسْحَاقُ بْنُ عُمَرَ بْنِ سَلِيطٍ الْهُذَلِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا سُلَيْمَانُ بْنُ الْمُغِيرَةِ، عَنْ ثَابِتٍ، قَالَ قَالَ أَنَسٌ كُنْتُ مَعَ عُمَرَ ح وَحَدَّثَنَا شَيْبَانُ بْنُ فَرُّوخَ، - وَاللَّفْظُ لَهُ - حَدَّثَنَا سُلَيْمَانُ بْنُ الْمُغِيرَةِ، عَنْ ثَابِتٍ، عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، قَالَ كُنَّا مَعَ عُمَرَ بَيْنَ مَكَّةَ وَالْمَدِينَةِ فَتَرَاءَيْنَا الْهِلاَلَ وَكُنْتُ رَجُلاً حَدِيدَ الْبَصَرِ فَرَأَيْتُهُ وَلَيْسَ أَحَدٌ يَزْعُمُ أَنَّهُ رَآهُ غَيْرِي - قَالَ - فَجَعَلْتُ أَقُولُ لِعُمَرَ أَمَا تَرَاهُ فَجَعَلَ لاَ يَرَاهُ - قَالَ - يَقُولُ عُمَرُ سَأَرَاهُ وَأَنَا مُسْتَلْقٍ عَلَى فِرَاشِي ‏.‏ ثُمَّ أَنْشَأَ يُحَدِّثُنَا عَنْ أَهْلِ بَدْرٍ فَقَالَ إِنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَانَ يُرِينَا مَصَارِعَ أَهْلِ بَدْرِ بِالأَمْسِ يَقُولُ ‏"‏ هَذَا مَصْرَعُ فُلاَنٍ غَدًا إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَقَالَ عُمَرُ فَوَالَّذِي بَعَثَهُ بِالْحَقِّ مَا أَخْطَئُوا الْحُدُودَ الَّتِي حَدَّ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم - قَالَ - فَجُعِلُوا فِي بِئْرٍ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ فَانْطَلَقَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم حَتَّى انْتَهَى إِلَيْهِمْ فَقَالَ ‏"‏ يَا فُلاَنَ بْنَ فُلاَنٍ وَيَا فُلاَنَ بْنَ فُلاَنٍ هَلْ وَجَدْتُمْ مَا وَعَدَكُمُ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ حَقًّا فَإِنِّي قَدْ وَجَدْتُ مَا وَعَدَنِيَ اللَّهُ حَقًّا ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ عُمَرُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ كَيْفَ تُكَلِّمُ أَجْسَادًا لاَ أَرْوَاحَ فِيهَا قَالَ ‏"‏ مَا أَنْتُمْ بِأَسْمَعَ لِمَا أَقُولُ مِنْهُمْ غَيْرَ أَنَّهُمْ لاَ يَسْتَطِيعُونَ أَنْ يَرُدُّوا عَلَىَّ شَيْئًا ‏"‏ ‏.‏

Sayyidina Anas Ibn Malik (RA) reported: We were along with Ameerul-Mumineen Sayyidina Umar (RA) between Makkah and Medina that we began to look for the new moon. And I was a man with sharp eye- sight, so I could see it, but none except me saw it. I began to say to Sayyidina Umar (RA): Don't you see it? But he could not see it. Thereupon Sayyidina Umar (RA) said: I would soon be able to see it (when it will shine more brightly). I lay upon bed. He then made a mention of the people of Badr to us and said: Allah's Messenger (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) showed us one day before (the actual battle) the place of death of the people (participating) in (the Battle) of Badr and he was saying: This would be the place of death of so and so tomorrow, if Allah wills. Sayyidina Umar (RA) said: By Him Who sent him with truth, they did not miss the places (of their death) which Allah's Messenger (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) had pointed for them. Then they were all thrown in a well one after another. Allah's Messenger (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) then went to them and said: O, so and so, the son of so and so; O so and so, the son of so and so, have you found correct what Allah and His Messenger (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) had promised you? I have, however, found absolutely true what Allah had promised with me. Sayyidina Umar (RA) said: Allah's Messenger (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam), how are you talking with the bodies without soul in them. Thereupon he said: You cannot hear more distinctly than (their hearing) of what I say, but with this exception that they have not power to make any reply. [Muslim]

عَنْ كُرَيْبٍ أَنَّ أُمَّ الْفَضْلِ بِنْتَ الْحَارِثِ بَعَثَتْهُ إِلَى مُعَاوِيَةَ بِالشَّامِ قَالَ فَقَدِمْتُ الشَّامَ فَقَضَيْتُ حَاجَتَهَا وَاسْتُهِلَّ عَلَيَّ رَمَضَانُ وَأَنَا بِالشَّامِ فَرَأَيْتُ الْهِلَالَ لَيْلَةَ الْجُمُعَةِ ثُمَّ قَدِمْتُ الْمَدِينَةَ فِي آخِرِ الشَّهْرِ فَسَأَلَنِي عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ عَبَّاسٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا ثُمَّ ذَكَرَ الْهِلَالَ فَقَالَ مَتَى رَأَيْتُمْ الْهِلَالَ فَقُلْتُ رَأَيْنَاهُ لَيْلَةَ الْجُمُعَةِ فَقَالَ أَنْتَ رَأَيْتَهُ فَقُلْتُ نَعَمْ وَرَآهُ النَّاسُ وَصَامُوا وَصَامَ مُعَاوِيَةُ فَقَالَ لَكِنَّا رَأَيْنَاهُ لَيْلَةَ السَّبْتِ فَلَا نَزَالُ نَصُومُ حَتَّى نُكْمِلَ ثَلَاثِينَ أَوْ نَرَاهُ فَقُلْتُ أَوَ لَا تَكْتَفِي بِرُؤْيَةِ مُعَاوِيَةَ وَصِيَامِهِ فَقَالَ لَا هَكَذَا أَمَرَنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَشَكَّ يَحْيَى بْنُ يَحْيَى فِي نَكْتَفِي أَوْ تَكْتَفِي
 

Kuraib reported that Umm Fadl, daughter of Harith, sent him (Fadl, i.e. her son) to Sayyidina Mu'awiya (RA) in Syria. I (Fadl) arrived in Syria, and did the needful for her. It was there in Syria that the month of Ramadan commenced. I saw the new moon (of Ramadan) on Friday. I then came back to Medina at the end of the month. Sayyidina Abdullah Ibn 'Abbas (RA) asked me (about the new moon of Ramadan) and said: When did you see it? I said.: We saw it on the night of Friday. He said: (Did) you see it yourself? -I said: Yes, and the people also saw it and they observed fast and Mu'awiya also observed fast, whereupon he said: But we saw it on Saturday night. So we would continue to observe fast till we complete thirty (lasts) or we see it (the new moon of Shawwal). I said: Is the sightidg of the moon by Mu'awiya not valid for you? He said: No; this is how the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) has commanded us. Yahya b. Yahya was in doubt (whether the word used in the narration by Kuraib) was Naktafi or Taktafi. [Muslim]

 

 


2014 Eid Bayan:

Introduction and Background:

Shaykh (Maulana) Marghoob Ahmed Lajpuri (HA)

The Islamic Scholars of Batley (in UK) deliberated on the issue of moon sighting in considerable depth, visited Morocco and South Africa then unanimously agreed (a few years) to forego Saudi moon sighting. This year a Mosque (Henry Street Mosque) broke this pact and decided to revert to Saudi moon sighting. Shaykh (Maulana) Marghoob Ahmed (HA) today (05th of October 2014) at Masjid Heera (Deswbury) addressed the issue highlighting the matter in great detail and articulated the response of all (united) Ulama with the greatest respect, humility and dignity. Shaykh (Maulana) Marghoob Ahmed (HA)’s daughter also happens to be the daughter-in-law of Shaykh (Maulana) Abdur-Rauf (HA) who is the Imam of Henry Street Mosque. Those who follow Saudi moon sighting twisted the matter, deliberately edited the talk (leaving out key areas) and started maliciously spreading rumours of family feud.

This is an English translation of the entire talk (unedited) being presented with the permission and consent of Shaykh (Maulana) Marghoob Ahmed (HA).

A record of our telephone conversation with Shaykh (Maulana) Marghoob Ahmed (HA) is as follows:

Central-Mosque.com: Asslamo Allaikum Maulana and Eid Mubarak

Shaykh (Maulana) Marghoob Ahmed (HA): W-Salam and Eid Mubarak, how are you?

Central-Mosque.com: Alhumdolillah Maulana. I won’t take much of your time but I have received an excerpt of your talk which is being sent around on the Internet being labelled as “emotional outburst” because your daughter is married to Shaykh (Maulana) Abdur-Rauf (HA)'s son?

Shaykh (Maulana) Marghoob Ahmed (HA): Allahu-Akbar! People say all kinds of things. How long is the talk?

Central-Mosque.com: 5 minutes and 6 seconds.

Shaykh (Maulana) Marghoob Ahmed (HA): My daughter is (Masha’Allah) married to Hazrat (Maulana) Abdur Rauf Saheb (HA)'s son but my talk is nearly 35 minutes long.

Central-Mosque.com: Maulana, we would like to translate it in full, do we have your consent and permission?

Shaykh (Maulana) Marghoob Ahmed (HA): With pleasure!

Central-Mosque.com: Maulana, why did you give this talk at this time?

Shaykh (Maulana) Marghoob Ahmed (HA): Because of two reasons:

 

1 I was being asked to retract my views and disown Batley Moon sighting committee

 

2 I was being asked that since I have spent 6 years with Hazrat (Maulana) Abdur Rauf Saheb (HA) and he has found his previous view to be upon error, I should also change and give it up!

 

So I decided to discuss the matter in public and in detail.

Please mention this specifically in your translation.

Central-Mosque.com: Jazakallahu Khayran Maulana, Asslamo Allaikum

Shaykh (Maulana) Marghoob Ahmed (HA): W-Salam

{mp3remote}http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/vnpyafz3it/Maulana_Marghoob_Ahmed.mp3{/mp3remote}

Download Urdu Talk

Batley Moon Sighting Criteria:

Summarised as follows:

 

1 An effort will be made to establish a local sighting on the 29th of each Islamic month. This has proven to be possible as observed in the last two months. Hence, we would now initially be upholding the sunnah by trying to sight the moon locally in this country. A poster will be put up in all masjids informing of when to sight the moon and its direction. A testimony form will have to be filled in by all those who make an observation.

 

2If the sighting has not been possible on the 29th of the month locally, then authentic observations from abroad will be considered, which must be inline with the criteria mentioned in the document. Batley Moon sighting Committee will endeavour in the coming months to establish direct links with moon sighting organisations in various different countries. Only those organisations will be considered who are willing to unreservedly share and disclose necessary information. No longer will one country be specified.

 

3 In the event of no sighting locally or from abroad on the 29th then 30 days will be completed.

2014 Eid Bayan:

Due to some (emerging) issues, it came to my mind that during this brief period I should speak about an important Mas’ala (issue) relevant to British Muslims. A very dear friend of ours tells us (in good humour):

Rasul-ullah (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) had split the moon with his blessed finger in 2 parts but in Britain the moon has split the Ummah into 2!

(Humour aside) in principle there is nothing to fight or argue about the differences in moon sighting and the occurrences of 2 Eids.  Shaykh (Mufti) Mahmood Hasan Gangohi (RA) in Fatawa-e-Mahmoodiya has replied to a question that it isn’t possible to have a single Eid (throughout) the Ummah and then he has elaborated further by listing 10 separate reasons for it.

It isn’t possible to have 1 Eid (throughout) the Ummah.

An Islamic Scholar has done his research and his (research) concludes that during the lifetime of Rasul-ullah (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) there were 8 Eids in which there was a difference between Makkah (shareef) and Madina (shareef) i.e. if there was Eid in Makkah then it wasn’t in Madina or vice-versa. Can you imagine that? Rasul-ullah (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) is (physically) present and this was the era of the blessed Wahi (revelation) but there is difference in Eid.

But now we have a strange (concept)! Some people are calling the Ummah (exclusively) towards one (united and universal) Eid on a single day. This can’t happen, in fact it’s impossible.

An Alim from Pakistan has written a book, his name is Mufti Muhammad Naeem (HA) this is not the well-known Mufti Naeem (HA) but another one and he writes that the whole of Pakistan should follow Saudi Arabia for moon sighting. The issue of Pakistan (in terms of moon sighting) is unambiguous and clear-cut, the citizens (of Pakistan) diligently make arrangements to sight the moon, in fact every country has its own (distinct sighting) system. Even the Saudi Ulama don’t call for, oblige or enforce their (sighting) system on others. Shaykh Ibn Baz (RA) was a major Scholar of Saudia, Grand-mufti and I am in possession of an extract (from his writing) on the subject of moon sighting and he (RA) writes:

This notion that a global decision can be reached (or declared) based on the sighting of Makkah Mukarramah neither has any evidence (in Shariah) nor any precedence.

He (RA) was the Grand-mufti of Saudia and these are his own words so (we say) that it isn’t possible to have a one day (global) Eid.

What is the saying of Rasul-ullah (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam)?

Fast when you see it (the moon), and break your fast (i.e. have Eid) when you see it [Muslim]

So what is our calamity? What is our issue?

Our calamity, the crux of the matter, the issue is that we have abandoned and ceased to make arrangements to sight the moon (monthly). This is our calamity! Rasul-ullah (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) used to not only arrange for moon sighting but also command the Sahaba (companions) [RA] to sight the moon. In some narrations it is mentioned that the arrangements for sighting the Sha’baan (crescent) exceeded those of other months. What does this narration imply? It means that he used to make arrangements to sight the moon for every month (not just for Ramadhan, Eid but for all 12 months) and used to order the Sahaba (companions) [RA] to sight the moon but the diligence was increased for Sha’baan. This was the regular routine of our Aslaaf (elders) that on the eve of the 29th (of each month) they used to attempt to sight the moon. After Maghrib (for the whole year) they used to emerge outside, we witnessed my father (for his entire life), he used to perform the Fardh (prayers) and then go outside (prior to performing Sunnah) on the 29th of every month! The elders (of their generation) had gained experience (due to sighting month in and month out), this is an issue of (gaining) experience. We oppose the Hadeeth, we oppose the Sunnah, and we have abandoned the routine of moon sighting! May Allah (SWT) reward Wifaqul-Ulama that they have revived this Sunnah (in this country), Wifaqul-Ulama have designated and deputed Muslims across various cities in England and made them responsible to attempt to sight the moon on the 29th of every month. Even in this country there are 5-6 months where the moon can be sighted if attempts are made.

This is my (personal) opinion that the moon sighting committee which was formed in Batley 6 years ago…And why was it formed? The committees of the Mosques and Hikmah centre made Ulama responsible, requested the Ulama to deliberate over the matter (of moon sighting) and to try to solve it. So the Ulama deliberated (I was part of these), Ulama sat down not once or twice but tens of times and deliberated from the Qur’aan, the Sunnah and the Madhab of (Imam) Abu Haneefa (RA) and formulated a solution to the moon sighting (crisis) in the UK. What should be the system of moon sighting? This formula (for moon sighting) was then compiled (in a booklet) and sent to the Senior Scholars of Indo-Pak and it was accepted (almost unanimously), I will take a few names which I (remember at the moment).

 

1 Shaykhul-Hadeeth (Maulana) Saeed Ahmed Palunpuri (HA) of Darul-uloom Deoband also a Senior Mufti

 

2 Shaykh (Mufti) Taqi Usmani (HA), the well-known Scholar of Pakistan

 

3 Maulana (Qari) Saifullah Saheb (HA), the Faqih of India

 

4 Maulana Ateeq Ahmed Saheb (HA)

 

5 And many others, some of them are our teachers. These Senior scholars read the entire booklet (in depth) and then concurred and agreed with it and approved the formula (for moon sighting).

 

This is not the end of it. These Batley Ulama sent a delegation to Morocco (our Maulana Yaqoub (HA)) had also gone a very long time ago) but this delegation was sent exclusively and after contact with the Moroccan Government (i.e. they were not sent randomly). The Moroccan Government hosted them and showed them their system of moon sighting (in-depth), I was amazed at their system (of sighting) and amongst the Arab nations there isn’t a system better than Morocco. There are doubts in the sighting of (other Arab nations) but Moroccan sighting is sound (to the best of human endeavour), errors can happens (and do happen) and no system can be entirely free of errors.

Then they (Batley Ulamah) contacted South Africa. Why South Africa? Because the system of Jamiatul-Ulamah in South Africa is strong, structured and well-coordinated and in South Africa the  Jamiatul-Ulamah has (power) and not like in England where the (laymen) rule and have power. The laymen in the (Mosque) committees deliberate and decide when Ramadhan commences or Eid (occurs) this is a sign from the end times (i.e. Ulamah are side-lined). What rights do laymen in the (Mosque) committees have to deliberate and discuss these issues? Nay, they are misguided and they misguide others. What are these committees? These are folks (laymen, joe-public) and it is not in their remit to dictate matters, it is up to Ulamah to deliberate and decide. What is this decision of common folks (laymen, joe-public)? Decision is of the Ulamah.

What happened in our Batley? Administration said that we have “retracted”, I will complete my talk…

A member of the Administrator told a Senior Scholar that Hazrat Maulana Abdul-Rauf Saheb…something was left in my introduction earlier…

We will summarise the crux of our Mas’ala (issue) with evidence and objectively; we don’t want to criticise, disparage or disrespect anyone but we will…I am saying this from the mimbar that I have deep (affection and admiration) for Hazrat Maulana Abdul-Rauf Saheb (HA), I consider him to be an elder, a pious and a Senior, it is possible that we (disagree) on some issue. It is an obligation for us to disagree (where we deem ourselves to be correct to the best of our ability). It is not necessary for us to follow everyone. In this issue (of moon sighting) I most respectfully submit to Hazrat Maulana Abdul-Rauf Saheb (HA) that he has overlooked, his retraction is his (oversight). I am not saying that he is wrong but I am saying with the greatest respect that he has overlooked but the committee decides and the committee decided that they (will) retract and this retraction (of the committee) is neither morally nor Islamically binding! It is neither morally nor Islamically binding! In (sharp) contrast to the committee, the Ulama met and deliberated not once but tens of times and created a formula and then (compiled) and sent this formula to the Senior Akabir (elders) of this world and they concurred with the Ulama and the Batley moon sighting committee Alhumdolillah is functioning (well) for not only Ramadhan and Eid but for the whole year (12 months). The Ulamah sit together on the 29th, they deliberate (every month) and they don’t have a casual chat on the phone they physically collect together and then they don’t an idle chit-chat with Jamiatul-Ulamah in South Africa but have an official agreement with them that the “official (South African) moon sighting news” will be taken (as per Shariah guidelines). You (Ulamah of South Africa) need to officially notify us as the system in established in your land and we will (officially) decide on your (credible information delivered officially). These Ulama get together (year round every month) on the 29th and then they deliberate and decide. It is my humble opinion that there is no such system in the entire continent of Europe like these Ulamah and their systematic deliberation!

What is the meaning of retraction from this group of Ulamah? Retraction is evidence for those on Haqq (i.e. when truth becomes manifest they retract their earlier opinion). When the breast of a person (becomes enlightened) and doubts are lifted then this person should retract that I am wrong (earlier) and now I change my position. This is a sign of Ahlus-Sunnah. Our Hakeemul-Ummah (Shaykh) Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (RA) retracted and changed his opinion on so many issues that a volume was published as “ترجیح الراجح” There is nothing wrong with retraction when a matter becomes manifest but retraction requires evidence.

Shaykh (Mufti) Taqi Usmani (HA) deliberated on an issue and then concluded that consumption of prawns is not permissible. After further research his opinion changed and he wrote that my earlier stance was incorrect and I am of the opinion (now) that consumption of shrimp is permissible. So did he not retract from a Mas’ala (issue)? Yes he did but why? In the light of evidence and he then made his (retraction) and the evidence (both) public. So a person can retract and make it public but should also make his (evidence) public that I am retracting due to this (reason).

Batley moon sighing committee is functioning and functioning (well) so if the Henry Street Mosque (committee) wanted to retract then morally they should have contacted (with their concerns). It is not that they should consult an elder and issue a retraction, who is an elder when it comes to a Mas’ala (issue)?  Mas’ala (issue) is about Deen and Shariah. It is necessary to respect and honour elders but it is not necessary to follow all of them. Our elders are honoured, revered but I would like to state that don’t criticise an elder over (their own) individual opinion; this is a matter between them and Allah (SWT). They may have (evidence) for their individual opinion but we will remain on Haqq i.e. on what we believe to be true and correct. I have been following Morocco for a number of years but if it becomes manifest to me (tomorrow) that we were wrong (I haven’t received a revelation nor are those who chose to follow Saudia) but some evidence comes to light that we were wrong, we will retract and we will announce our retraction and our evidence (both). Retraction is neither wrong nor blameworthy but we will clearly outline our evidence (and reason).

The issue of moon sighting has become a major problem in Britain, some say that if there are 2 Eids then what is the issue, carry on. I say that in this issue the most blame must be apportioned upon our Ulamah, our Ulama must have character!

I will lose my job, I will lose my income! Does the committee have sustenance in their hands? It is Allah (SWT)’s hands! What is this “job”? Job is here today, gone tomorrow! Allah (SWT) will not kill you due to hunger (Insha’Allah). Have you heard that an Alim died due to hunger? Doctors have died due to hunger, Engineers may have died, Solicitors may have died but an Alim hasn’t died due to hunger! Will Allah (SWT) give you death despite the blessings of knowledge? They will sack us from our Jobs? What is this job? Is this job? Being an Imam is not a Job, it is stature, a rank, a position an honour (which is bestowed), if the Ulamah remain strong then the Ummah will remain strong. Due to the weakness of the Ulamah, these folks (laymen, joe-public) have picked up the strength to tamper with Mas’ail of Shariah (issues).

Malik-Shah I Saljugi (RA) was a King and during his reign decided (and announced) that tomorrow will be Eid. Imam Al-Juwayni (RA), the great Shaf’ae Faqih the first who was embodied with the title “Imamul-Haramayn (the master of the two Holy sanctuaries)” and he wasn’t called this because he was the “Imam of Haram” but due to the force and stature of his Fatwaas because the people of Makkah and Madina both considered his Fatawa binding; thus he was called “Imamul-Haramayn”. So Malik-Shah I (RA) announced that tomorrow is Eid but Allamah Al-Juwayni (RA) announced that it is my Fatwa that tomorrow is Ramadhan so let those who want to be with Juwayni (RA) fast and let those who want to (side with the king) celebrate Eid; not one person celebrated Eid and they all came for Taraweeh. Someone said to Malik-Shah I (RA) that Allamah Al-Juwayni (RA) has issued a Fatwa and nobody is with you? Malik-Shah I (RA) came to Allamah Al-Juwayni (RA) when Allamah (RA) had neither invited nor consulted him before issuing a Fatwa against his order. When he arrived  Allamah (RA) told him that matters of Shariah are decided upon evidence and after deliberation I have decided that tomorrow is a day (of fasting) and we will not oppose you (kings) in matters of governance but the matters of religion will be decided by the Ulamah! Malik-Shah I (RA) retracted his (earlier) announcement during the night and enforced the Fatwa of “Imamul-Haramayn”.

If the Ulamah get scared (and bullied) the Ummah will bend (religion).

The people tell us that we are with the (Tableeghi) Markaz, I say you are wrong! Why? The (tableeghi) Markaz has been shouting for 40-50 years to give 4 months, 40 days in the path of Allah (SWT), how many have given it? Come to Shab-e-Jummah (Friday nights), how many attend? Do you attend the Tuesday Mushwara? 3 days? 40 days? How many? Do you listen to the Markaz? Those who assist and respond to the call of Tableegh are the ones who are (truly) under the Markaz. It is not the job of the (Tableeghi) Markaz to decide about the moon sighting and they say that we don’t interfere (or deliberate) in these matters and this is the job of the Ulamah and they are absolutely right. What they do is a different story but they clearly state that moon sighting is the domain of Ulamah. Are we deceiving Allah (SWT) by stating that we are following the (Tableeghi) Markaz? Does Allah (SWT) not know our hearts?

A person told me that he follows Hazrat Maulana Abdul-Rauf Saheb (HA), I said that he performed Nikah of 2 of his sons and performed with such simplicity that it is a landmark (for us to follow) so have you followed that? Tell us and we will judge how much you follow him. It is deception to state that we follow such and such, nobody is following anyone but we are following our Nafs (ego)!


Allah (SWT) has given us intellect, understanding and we will be asked about it. I say it (loudly and clearly) that in this country there are 3 groups of Ulamah.

 

1 If an Alim clearly and openly and with insight (and understanding) clearly states that the Saudi sighting is correct (and accurate) then there is nothing wrong with acting on this (opinion) this is correct and accurate. We haven’t received a revelation that Saudia is wrong, we (however) on the basis of evidence, (sighting) facts and circumstances don’t consider their sighting binding (in Britain).

 

2 Another group of Ulamah clearly state that we don’t follow Saudia (in the light of evidence); that’s fine follow what you deem to be correct.

 

3 I don’t have any problems with either one of these groups (I have my position of course) but I do complain to the group of Ulamah who say that Saudi moon sighting is wrong and yet follow it! You say that it has errors then why do you follow it? Why do you act upon it? They say that is a matter of Ijtehaad! Really? All Mas’ail are matters of Ijtehaad why confine the issue to moon sighting? Isn’t saying Ameen loudly also an issue of Ijtehaad, why don’t you act on that? Recitation of Surah Al-Fatiha (behind the Imam) is an issue of issue of Ijtehaad, why don’t you act on that? Some of these Ulamah visit the Haram and refuse to pray Wit’r in congregation so where does the issue of Ijtehaad goes then? They don’t pray Tahajjud in Haram! How much do they love and follow Haram?

 

A Muslim cannot remain a Muslim (at heart) if disrespect or smudge of dishonour comes in his heart towards Haram. The honour, stature, dignity and scared nature of Haram should be absolutely buried deep inside the heart of every believer but is there a principle in Islamic Shariah to follow “Haram”? No the four principles for following in Islamic Shariah are:

 

1 Qur’aan

 

2 Hadeeth

And then based on the above two:

 

3 Ijmah (consensus)

 

4 Qiyas (Deduction)

 

Which 5th source is binding?

 

So an Alim who says that I am aware of the Saudi errors and still follows it? How? Then he says that he follows the unity? Unity of what and upon what? One Mosque in Batley retracts its opinion and this becomes a unity position? No! The issue became even more complex and puzzling, much more complex than before.

They said that within families wife, husband, father, son had 2 Eids so we had to retract, I said that due to your decision your Ulamah have had 2 Eids in their families, previously it were the laymen and now it’s your Ulamah (who are affected by this decision). They asked, “How”? I said your Imam is Maulana Mota Saheb (HA), he is younger than me and his sister is married to my son, my own daughter is in the house of Hazrat Maulana Abdul-Rauf Saheb but she is not doing Eid with me. Another Maulana has his daughter married to the other son of Hazrat Maulana Abdul-Rauf Saheb and she is not doing Eid with her father so your decision has split the Ulamah, is this the wise decision?

Listen! Shaykh (Maulana) Sarfaraz Khan Safdar (RA) one of the most Senior Ulamah of Pakistan and he has written:

Unity will always emerge as a result of following Haqq, if you want to achieve unity by following wrong then this unity cannot be achieved!

I have my doubts (it is not my place to issue fatwas) but I am unsure if the Eid of people of Batley who “retracted” is correct or not which they observed yesterday. I don’t know if their Eid (of yesterday) is correct or not. Why? Those who continue to follow Saudia from the beginning their Eid is fine (that’s not the issue) here and I am not saying that as my opinion. One of the great Muftees of Britain is Shaykh (Mufti) Ismail Kacholvi (HA) and he has written a Fatwa in which he was asked if Qurbani (sacrifices) of people of Batley performed on 2 days is valid so Shaykh (HA) replied and in the end there is a sentence which I would like to quote, he (HA) writes:

The people of Batley have Hikmah centre, Rabita-Ulamah and the Imams of the Mosques and together with due deliberation and consideration they decided on a formula for moon sighting. It is necessary for the people of Batley to follow the (united) position of these Ulamah and to act upon an individual opinion will be against the laws of Shariah.

So if it’s against the Shariah then I fear if their Eid (yesterday) is valid or not and if their Qurbani (sacrifice) is valid or not?

I hope that my voice reaches someone from the Haqq, I urge them to prove (even today) to be from Haqq, it has been the way of our Ulamah of Deoband to revert to Haqq, to admit their mistake. Fuqaha have written (in the past when there were no ways of mass communication) that if considerable time has elapsed and there is no room for Eid (Salah) then declare that there is no Eid (don’t fast) but due to some extreme reason (heavy downpour, fear of the enemy etc) if there is no room for Salah then the Salah can be conducted on the next day, so 2 days have been designated for Eidul-Fit’r. Salah for Eidul-Adha can be read for upto 3 days i.e. if the person was unable to pray on the 1st day then the 2nd day or even the 3rd day can be used (for Eid Salah). Today is Sunday so if not today than it can be read on Monday or Tuesday as Allah (SWT) has made it permissible.

My dear friends, I had to say these things. Have you not heard the saying in Urdu, “Thief blaming the cop”, doing the wrong thing and then pinning the blame on the one who is correct (and right). People are saying absurd things that “He is against the Haramayn!”. What does the issue of moon sighting has to do with Haramayn? I have said this and I am saying it again. I have written at least eight essays praising the Saudi Government e.g. “Saudi Government and serving the Qur’aan” which is to outline (and appreciate) their translations of the Qur’aans in various languages of the world and then spreading these translations by the millions (free of charge) it is exemplary service of Saudi Government. The example of this is hard to find in our history. Their service of Haramayn is exemplary, they have spent billions in its service (and expansion). I met a man (from Pakistan) who was an Engineer in Madina (shareef) and he told me that he had been blessed by Allah (SWT) to be on the committee (of Haram expansion) and he told me (personally) that when the issue of air-conditioning was discussed King Fahd (RA) decreed that this system should be placed miles away from the Masjid. We stated that this will increase the expenses by millions so King Fahd (RA) replied, “Our treasury is open till billions but if Rasul-ullah (Sallallaho Alaihe Wassallam) is inconvenienced even by an iota it is not acceptable to me!” Is this an ordinary thing? The air-conditioning system is approximately 6 KM away, their service to the Haramayn is exemplary.

Their service to the Mosques is exemplary. I went a while ago to Masjid al-Ji'ranah and discovered lack of water and facilities, went a few years later and the whole situation had dramatically improved. Rebuilt Mosque, Toilets, Wudhu places, cold (clean) drinking water; their service to the Mosques (throughout) Saudia is exemplary. They have done tremendous Service to the Haramayn Shareefain.


We witness, appreciate and admit their Services for Islam but it doesn’t mean that we follow them in everything. Which evidence, which Hadeeth necessitates and forces us to follow them in every aspect? No! This is what we have read in Hadeeth:

صُومُوا لِرُؤْيَتِهِ وَأَفْطِرُوا لِرُؤْيَتِهِ فَإِنْ غُمِّيَ عَلَيْكُمْ فَأَكْمِلُوا الْعَدَدَ

Observe fast on sighting it (the new moon) and break (fast) on sighting it (the new moon),

We destroyed the practise of this Ummah of moon sighting and started  the practise of fighting and disagreeing!

So we say with Basreeah (insight) that Alhumdolillah what we are acting upon what we believe to be correct (and accurate) and there is no disunity. The disunity has arrived due to following Saudi moon sighting. The whole issue has been turned upside down; there was no disunity in this country until the issue of Saudi moon sighting arrived (at these shores). East has been labelled and West has been labelled East, thief has been labelled the cop and the cop has been labelled the thief!

May Allah (SWT) grant us the ability to follow the right path including the issue of moon sighting. Allah (SWT) has given everyone intellect and understanding so every man should ponder and deliberate and understand (what is the issue and what is the crux of the matter). If we have a legal issue then we search for 5 solicitors (in search of the best of the lot), for one ailment we search for five physicians (to look for the best) so is our Deen just “blind following?” Just “blind following”?

May Allah (SWT) give us the ability to follow what has been said. Please convey to others who have not heard this; we don’t want to hurt the feelings of others but we do want to convey to others what we deem to be the truth.

We will (together) discuss, deliberate and ponder on this issue and we will put pen to paper. We will prove our point clearly and without backing down (to solve the problem for the Ummah). I appeal to the committees that your task is not to interfere in Mas’ail (issues) and if you do so then you will be questioned by Allah (SWT). You will be questioned by Allah (SWT)!

Those Ulamah who follow the laymen (joe-public) wrongly when they know an error and yet they follow the public? How come? Shaykh (Mufti) Taqi Usmani (HA) stated that this (moon sighting) is an issue of Ijtehaad (we agree) but then he (HA) also said that there cannot be a difference of 2 days , it is an impossibility to have a 2 (day) difference in moon sighting in the world!

Try to follow what he is saying (in its entirety), 2 day difference in sighting is clear manifestation of their error. People ask for proof of Saudi error, it’s like asking for proof for sun at midday. Do you need proof when the sun is bright and shiny at midday (clear skies)? There cannot be a difference of 2 days in moon sighting and if it happens then it’s an error!

Make dua that Allah (SWT) corrects the sighting of Haramayn and also corrects the sighting of England. This (error) isn’t a matter of Ijtehaad because it is linked to our fasting, our Eid, our Qurbani (sacrifice). Wrong moon sighting means incorrect Qurbani (sacrifice), incorrect Eid, incorrect fasting etc. A person will fast when it is Sha’baan and will have Eid when it’s the 29th of Ramadhan. I have gone over the limit but just want to add one last point:

Understand that in acts of worship being late is not the issue but being early invalidates the act of worship. If a person prays Asar but Asar time hasn’t started. Is his prayer valid? No! If he prays Asar when Asar has arrived is his prayer valid? Yes! If a person prays Eid Salah (early) then how can Eid be valid? He performs his Qurbani (sacrifice) early then how can it be valid? He starts his Ramadhan early then how can it be valid? If he is late then Qadha (fast) is valid. Caution demands delaying, not being early.

 


1 Fasting is doubtful.

 


2 Qurbani (sacrifice) is doubtful

 


3 Takbeerat are doubtful.

 


4 Aitekaaf is doubtful

 

Allah (SWT) has associated acts of Islamic Shariah with the moon, the acts of Fasting, Eid, Hajj are all associated with the moon so an error in moon sighting will cast doubt on the validity of all of these actions.

May Allah (SWT) give us the ability and the capability to act upon what is being said (Ameen).


Celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr in each country

Shaykh (Mufti) Taqi Usmani (HA)

Q. 1. Is it all right for me to follow the Jamia Mosque for Eid-ul-Adha celebration although I do not agree with this decision to celebrate it with Hajj day in Saudi Arabia (i.e.next to Hajj day).

2. What is the true significance of the details given in the attached brochure on the light of the Fiqh followed in different schools?

3. Does it agree with the decision taken by Fiqh council of Saudi Arabia which has members from all over the Muslim world.
(A Canadian Muslim)

I have gone through the article enclosed with your letter and published in the Newsletter of the Islamic Society of North America, Vol.2 No.2. With my utmost respect to the sentiments of muslim unity expressed in the article, I am forced to say that the view explained in the article is in total disagreement with the teachings of the Holy Quran, the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet ( Sallaho Alaihai Wasallam ) and with the Shariah position recognised throughout the countries. This is an unprecedented view which has never been adopted by any of the Muslim Jurists during the past 14 hundred years, and it has a number of intrinsic defects and anomalies, some of which are summarized hereunder :

1 The article states that the celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr should be tied up with the sighting of the moon in each relevant country and should not be linked with the celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr in Saudi Arabia. But at the same time the article argues for the celebration of Eid-ul-Adha according to the Saudi Calender. In the first place, I am unable to understand how this scheme work reasonably? Suppose, the American Muslims have declared 1st of July as 28th of Zulqa’dah according to their local sighting of the moon. But the Saudi authorities have announced the same date to be the first of Zulhijjah.

If the American Muslims follow the Saudi declaration, as proposed by Isna in the said article, it will mean that the month of Zulqa’dah will and up on the 27th or 28th day, which is an absurd position on the face of it, because an Islamic month cannot have less than 29 days, as it is expressly mentioned by the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) in the well-known ahadith. The other alternative possibility in such a situation would be to run the calender according to the Saudi calendar irrespective of the local dates. But this option will be even worse, because it will mean that Eidul-Adha is being celebrated in America on 8th or 9th of Zulhijjah and not on the 10th. One can easily appreciate that this option is more unacceptable than the first one, because Eid-ul-Adha can only be celebrated on 10th of Zulhijjah.

It is thus clear that the theory proposed in the article is not practicable in any way.

2 The article has laid much emphasis on the concept of the unity of Muslim Ummah which cannot be denied by any one. But at the same time one must appreciate that the unity does not mean that the whole Muslim Ummah throughout the world should perform their acts of worship at one time and at the same time, because it is not possible at all. It is evident that when the people offer their fajr prayer in Saudi Arabia, the Muslims of America offer their ‘Isha prayer of the previous day, and when the people offer their Fajr prayer in Los Angeles, the Muslims of Pakistan and India offer their Maghrib or the ‘Isha prayers of the same day.

If it is made obligatory on all the Muslims of the world to offer their acts of worship at one time for the sake of unity, this type of unity can never come into existence. It is, therefore, obvious that the difference of time while offering acts of worship can in no way disturb the concept of Muslim unity. What the concept of Muslim unity does actually mean is that all the Muslims should treat each other with brotherly sympathy and affection and should not spread disorder and dissension among them, nor should they invent new ideas foreign to the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah which may divide the Muslims and raise quarrels between them.

It is also astonishing that the article takes the celebration of Eid-ul-Adha in different days as against the concept of unity, while in the matter of the celebration of Eidul Fitr this concept of unity is not applied. It is not understandable that if the celebration of Eidul Fitr in different days does not harm the concept of unity, how can it be said to harm the unity in the case of Eid-ul-Adha?

3 It is true that the Eid-ul-Adha falls immediately after the day of Arafat in Saudi Arabia, but it is not necessary that the Muslims of every country should follow the same dates in their respective areas. Hajj is, no doubt, tied up with a particular place, but the celebration of Eid-ul-Adha is not confined to that place alone. It is celebrated everywhere in the world. Therefore, it cannot be held as a celebration which should in any case conform to the Saudi calendar, as suggested in the article.

 

4 It is admitted in article itself that the celebration of Eid-ul-Adha in other countries was never linked with its celebration in Saudi Arabia throughout the 14 centuries of our past. But, according to the author of the article, it was due to the lac of communication between the countries, because in the absence of telecommunication, the people living outside Saudi Arabia could hardly know the exact date on which the Hajj was being performed in Saudi Arabia. The author of the article argues that this phenomena has totally changed with the progress of telecommunication and other scientific resources, and it is now known to everybody on what date the Hajj is being performed in Arafat, therefore, the celebration of Eid-ul-Adha can easily be tied up with its celebration in Saudi Arabia.

But this argument itself is a clear admission on the part of the author to the effect that it is not obligatory according to the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah to celebrate Eid-ul-Adha according to the Saudi Calendar. Had it been so, the Muslims would have tried their best to know the exact date of Hajj in Saudi Arabia. It is not correct to say that it was not possible in those days for the people living outside Saudi Arabia to know the exact date of Hajj, because the date of Hajj is normally determined on the very first night of Zulhijjah, and the Hajj is performed after a period of nine days was more than sufficient to acquire the correct information about the exact date of Hajj. But no single jurist has ever stressed upon collecting such information in order to celebrate Eid-ul-Adha according to the dates of Saudi Arabia.

Moreover, if this argument of the author is accepted, and it is held that the real intention of the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah was to link the celebration of Eid-ul-Adha with the Saudi dates, as a mandatory provision for all the Muslims of the world, it will mean that the Shari’ah has stressed on a principle which was not at all practicable for more than 1300 years. Is it not against the Qur’anic declaration that Allah does not make a thing mandatory unless it is practicable for the human beings?

If the author means to say that the celebration of Eid-ul-Adha was not linked with the dates of Makkah in our past, but it has now become a mandatory requirement of Shari’ah, then the question arises who has abrogated the previous principle and on what basis? There is no provision in the Holy Qur’an or in the Sunnah which orders the Muslims to celebrate Eid- ul-Adha according to their local dates up to a particular time and to link it with the dates of Makkah thereafter. Whoever considers this and similar other questions arising out of this unprecedented theory advanced by the author of the article can easily appreciate it fallacy.

At the end, I would like to inform you that the question of sighting of the moon in each lunar month including Zulhijjah was thoroughly discussed in the annual session of the Islamic Fiqh Academy (held in jordan between 11th and 16th October 1986) consisting of more than 100 outstanding scholars of Shari’ah and the resolution adopted by the Academy has recommended all the Muslim countries to determine all the lunar months including Zilhijjah on one basis (and not to have one basis for Eid-ul-Fitr and another for Eid-ul-Adha). This resolution represents the consensus of the Muslim jurists throughout the world. But the proposal given by the author off the article is totally against this consensus.

Before parting with the subject, I would like to emphasize that such unprecedented proposals can never advance the cause of Muslim unity, rather, they may create a new point of disunity and dissension among the Muslims. Before issuing such opinions as a definite ‘fatwa’ they should be discussed at some reliable international forum of contemporary Muslim jurists like International Islamic Fiqh Academy of Jeddah. I would propose to refer this matter to the Academy and to wait for its answer before implementing this proposal.