Do Darul Uloom follow Saudi sighting or not?

As Salaamu Alaikum.

The following message has been circulating, in Trinidad, interesting to see Darul Uloom is one day off, is there a particular reason, that you all pick and choose when to follow Saudi Moon Sightings? I would Like to know the reason behind it, as I realized it has been done before, but when its Eid al Adha you all go with their sightings? Is there a particular reason for it?

Wa Alaikum Assalaam,

الجواب و بالله التوفيق

The Darul Uloom is not ‘one day off, and it does not pick and choose when to follow Saudi Moon Sightings.’

The Darul Uloom does not follow Saudi moon sighting at all. It does not go in accordance with global/International sighting whether it is Jordan, Yemen or Saudi. In fact, the Muftis and Shuyukh of Saudi Arabia have given an official Fatwa stating that those living outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia should not take the sighting of the Kingdom. They should take the moon sighting of their country. Based on this official position, it means that those who take Saudi moon sighting are actually going against the Fatawa of the official Muftis of the Kingdom.

As for Darul Uloom, it goes with ‘Regional Sighting’ only. Whenever the moon is sighted in the region and it is firmly established (having fulfilled the requirements) as being sighted, this is accepted and an announcement is made by the Darul Uloom to all. This takes place every month.

On account of the fact that the crescent (due to its size at the end of the 29th day) may be visible to some Countries, then, when sighted, a pronouncement of the moon being sighted will be given in those Countries and with this, a new Islamic month will begin. This is based on each Country’s sighting and not necessarily that one Country is following another Country.

Similarly, the crescent may be too small (at the end of the 29th day), to be sighted by some countries. In this case, a pronouncement of ‘not sighted’ will be made by these Countries, and the Islamic month will not commence.

This is the manner in which moon sighting Committees operate, and this is the manner in which the Darul Uloom Moon Committee works. The Institute goes in accordance with regional sighting alone, and does not take the sighting of Saudi Arabia. Hence, it is totally wrong for anyone to assume that Darul Uloom will ‘pick and choose when to follow Saudi moon sighting.’

Sometimes, we, who are in Trinidad may sight the crescent when the Saudi’s see it. In this case, the month will commence at the same time. At times, they may see it before us. In this case, they will be one day ahead of us. This is the same principle that is used for Eid Ul Adha. In certain years, it may fall on the same day as they have it, since the crescent in our region would have been sighted on the same day that they saw it. However, at times, it may not fall on the same day because Saudi would have seen the crescent a day before us, and we could not see it due to its size.

Therefore, the difference in the beginning of the Islamic new months is based purely on sighting the crescent (new moon). Whenever it is confirmed as being sighted in our region, the new Islamic month begins, and whenever it is confirmed as ‘not sighted’, then the new Islamic month will not begin. Instead, 30 days of the current month will be completed.

And Allah Knows Best.

Mufti Waseem Khan.

11/10/16.

As salaamu Alaikum. A few days ago I asked a question regarding the moon sighting, following the respond, I would just like to know who issued the fatwa, please don’t think me annoying, its just this is extremely bothering me, I have been asking around internationally in order to be guided correctly. Because a part of me is now understanding apart from racism, why I see people just remove hijab and claim Islam as a part time, with all these minor confusion is discouraging as a revert.

Assalaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah,

The Fatawa which you have asked about is given below with the respective names of the Scholars who have issued the Fatawa. These are mentioned in the compendium of Fatawa known as ‘Fatawa Islamiyah’ being Islamic verdicts which were issued by the following Scholars: Shaikh Abdul Aziz Bin Abdullah Bin Baz; Shaikh Muhammad Bin Salih Al Uthaimin; Shaikh Abdullah Bin Abdur Rahman Al Jibreen, along with the Permanent Committee and the decisions of the Fiqh Council.

There are two Fatawa mentioned below which were given in response to questions asked regarding moonsighting. The following are the questions with the answers:

‘The sighting of the new Moon in the Country does not obliged all of the Countries to judge according to it’

 

“Question: 
The appearance of the new moon of Ramadhan or the new moon of Shawwal varies between the Islamic countries. Therefore, do the Muslims fast when it is sighted in one of these countries?

Answer: 
The People of knowledge differ among themselves on the issue of the new moon. Among them there are those who think that if the sighting of the new moon of Ramadhan is confirmed in any one place in an Islamic sanctioned manner, then this obliges all the Muslims of fast. They also say that if the sighting of the new moon of Shawwal is confirmed (in any place), all of the Muslims are obliged to break the fast.
This is well-known view of the Mathhab (School of Fiqh) of Imam Ahmad. Based upon this, if the new moon is sighted in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for example, it is obligatory on all of the Muslims in all of the lands to act according to this sighting in fasting Ramadhan and breaking the fast in Shawwal. The evidence that they use for this position is the generality of the Statement of Allah, the Most High:

“So whoever among you witnesses the month, then let him fast it.” Al-Baqarah 2:185.
They also use the generality of the Prophet’s statement:

“When you see it (the new moon of Ramahan), then fast, and when you see it (the new moon of Shawwal), then break your fast.” Al-Bukhari no. 1906.

Among the scholars are those who say that fasting with the new moon of Ramadhan and breaking the fast in Shawwal is not obligatory except for whoever sees the new moon or is in the same sight zone (i.e., the same area of the sighting) as someone who saw it. This is because the rising points of the new moon differ, as is agreed upon by the people who know (its science). Thus, if the sighting zones differ, it is obligatory that every land judge according to its own sighting and the lands that are in the same sighting zone of the new moon should follow it. If a land is not in the same sighting zone, it should not follow another land’s sighting. This statement is the one chosen by Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taimiyyah, may Allah have mercy on him. His proof for this view is in the Statement of Allah, the Most High:

“So whoever among you witnesses the month, then let him fast it.” Al-Baqarah 2:185.
He also based this upon the Prophet’s statement:

“When you see it (the new moon of Ramahan), then fast, and when you see it (the new moon of Shawwal), then break your fast.” Al-Bukhari no. 1906 and Muslim no. 1080.

In other words, he used the same evidence that is used by those who hold the view that there is general, comprehensive obligation regarding the ruling of the new moon. However, the angle of proof with Ibn Taimiyyah in this Verse and this Hadith is different, as (he held the view that) the ruling is related to one who witnesses and sees the moon. This dictates that whoever does not witness or see it, then he is not obliged to follow its judgement. Therefore, based on this, if the sighting zones differ, the judgements of the new moon are not confirmed by generalization.

There is no doubt that this is a strong position proving this point and it is supported by examination and analogy.
(Ash-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaimin)”

The above is the official position given by the noble Shaikh, Muhammad Bin Salih Al Uthaimin. In this, he clearly showed what is the strong opinion in the matter.

(Fatawa Islamiyah – Islamic Verdicts, Vol. 3, Pgs. 232, 234, Darus Salaam, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2002).

Another Fatawa with the question is also given by Shaikh Ibn Baz in the following:

‘Fasting the Country in which you reside’

“Question: 
If the beginning of the month of Ramadhan has been confirmed in one of the Islamic countries, like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and that has been announced, however in the country in which I live, the beginning of Ramadhan has not been announced, what is the ruling? Do we fast merely by the confirmation in the Kingdom or do we break our fast and fast with them (the people where er are) whenever they announce the beginning of the month of Ramadhan, and likewise regarding the beginning of Shawwal – ‘Eid day? What is the ruling if there is a difference in the matter between two countries? May Allah reward you with a good reward on behalf of the Muslims and us.

Answer: 
It is (obligatory) upon the Muslim to fast with the country where he is and to break his fast with them. This is due to the statement of the Prophet :

“The fast is the day you all fast, breaking the fast is on the day that you all break the fast and scarifies (Al-Adhha) is on the day that you all scarifies.” At-Trimithi no.697.
(Ash-Shaykh Ibn Baz)”

(Fatawa Islamiyah – Islamic Verdicts, Vol. 3, Pgs. 240,241, Darus Salaam, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia).

Mufti Waseem Khan.

Darul Ifta.

27/10/16.