New moon based on size and height.

Q. On the 29th of Dhu Qaadah, the moon was not physically sighted by GS Masjid (neither was it sighted anywhere in the country, region or continent). The moon was physically sighted on the 30th of Dhul Qaadah. Quite naturally, the moon was high on that day and the GS Masjid assumed that because of the height, this is the 2nd moon and not the 1st. Based on this assumption, they have announced Eid-ul-Adha 1 day ahead of when it should be.

1. Is this understanding that because the moon was high on the 30th of Dhul Qadah, they assumed it to be the 2nd moon correct?

2. Will their Eid prayer be valid?

3. Will their Qurbani be valid?

4. Are only the decision makers of the masjid sinful or the Musallis also sinful?

5. If their prayers and qurbani will not be valid, how do they make up for this?

A. 1) It is totally wrong to assume that a moon is 2 days old on account of its size or height. The Prophet (SA) has given sufficient guidelines with respect to the commencement of a new month in Islam. He said that one must look for the new moon / crescent to begin the other month. If it is seen, then the new month will begin, and if it is not seen/sighted then the Muslims are required to complete 30 days of the month that they are in, and then commence the new month after the completion of 30 days. Seeing that you looked for the moon and did not sight it in the entire region/continent, then it was essential upon you to check 30 days in Dhul Qa’dah, and then begin the month of Dhul Hijjah.

2), 3), 5) If the Eid Salaah coincided with the 10th Dhul Hijja of another country who had sighted the new moon before, and had celebrated Eid on the same day that you have celebrated it, then the Eid Salaah will be valid, based on the allowance which some scholars have given for Global or International sighting. Taking this into consideration, your Qurbani will also be valid (on that day). However, if your Eid Salaah and Qurbani took place on a day which happened to be the 9th of Dhul Hijjah (or 8th Dhul Hijjah) in all other countries, and there was no city that held it as the 10th (that is, the day of Eid) (which means that even in the case of global sighting no one considered it to be the day of Eid), then your Eid Salaah and Qurbani will not be valid. As for the Eid Salaah, you would not be able to do anything to make up for it, and what you have read will be regarded as nafl Salaah. With respect to the Qurbani, you will have to give the price of a goat/sheep or a share of a large animal in charity.

4) Those who were in charge of making the decision will be held accountable to Allah, and not the Musallis. The decision makers have done something wrong and must not repeat it in the future. The Shariah has not given us this method of assuming the day/date in the Islamic Calendar. They were supposed to consult reliable scholars before making a decision.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Waseem Khan