[Download pdf] - Related: The Importance of Jame Ghafeer (Large Group) | The History of the UK following Saudi Arabia

By Mufti Muhammad Yusuf Danka, Croydon Masjid, UK (published 2011, updated 2019)

Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) has stated in the Holy Qur’aan: “They ask you (O Muhammad صلي الله عليه وسلم) about the crescent moons. Say: They are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage.” Quran (2: 189).

Muhaqaq Ruyat Basari (محقق رؤيتِ بصرى): The Shari’ah of Islam have classified the regulation of time (months) by means of sighting the crescent moon. Every person who has the faculty of sight can look at the sky and determine the start of the new month (by viewing the crescent moon). Despite great leaps being made in the field of astronomy as well as scientific calculations being formulated on the birth of the new moon, the scientific analysis is not a verified proof in Islam to commence the new month. To stipulate Ramdhan and Eid (commencement of end of the month) calendar dates by calculations alone is Haraam. In the commencement of every month, it is necessary to verify and validate the sighting of the moon (Muhaqaq Ru’yat Basari). Whosoever leaves this methodology has left the guidance of the Shari’ah in Sunnah. (Dars-e-Tirmidhi vol 2, p 520-521)

Shaykhul Tafsir Allamah Muhammad Idrees Khandhlawi رحمه الله writes: ‘In the Shari’ah; Zakaat, Hajj, and Ramadhan fasting, issues of Islamic jurisprudence (i.e the waiting period of women etc) are based upon the lunar month. There is no reference made to the solar calendar or its calculation in Shariah. It is for this reason that the knowledge of the lunar months and conditions of Ruyat-e-Hilal are Fard alal Kifayah upon the Muslims. If all the Muslims were to abandon attaining knowledge related to these matters, they would be committing a sin. (Ma’riful Qur’an, vol 1, p380)

The Final Prophet to Mankind, Sayyidina Muhammad bin Abdullah (ﷺ) has related many signs before Qiyamah [Day of Judgement] to warn Mankind. The books of Hadith are filled with authentic chain of narrations in respect of these signs. One sign among the signs of Qiyamah is that there will be disagreement in regards to Ruyat-e Hilal. It has also been related that near the end day of Qiyamah the crescent moon of the first day will be seen to be large. The Prophet (ﷺ) also stated: ‘When seeing the crescent moon of the first day people will state, this looks like the moon of the 2nd day.’ In books of Hadith this type of incident took place during the time of Sahaaba (رضى الله عنهم) where some people saw the crescent for the first day and said: ‘This moon looks like the 2nd night and some said it looks like the 3rd night.’ The Prophet (ﷺ) further told us to abstain from saying such things. (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba, #37553/ Sahih Muslim, #1088/ Mishkaat Masabih, ch. Ruyat-e Hilal)

In this time, not only the laymen but also certain groups among the scholars are proclaiming these matters. The scholars are not mindful of the fact that their statements are going against the advices made by the Nabi (ﷺ). For example, in 2019 UK’s Jamiatul Ulama Britain shared a video of the moon two days after Eid with themselves appearing in the video. They never sent a video of the crescent moon on the night of the sighting (29th Ramadhan) which is very strange and something that raises doubt. This has been their common practice for the last few years.

Nowadays people totally forgo the Sunnah of sighting the moon when deciding upon any calendar event. In fact the norm is that people try to cause controversy after the full moon is evident by working back on dates and justifying that there date of celebration or commencement of fasting was correct. We can see the reality in the statements of the Prophet (ﷺ) 1432 years on, when we are hearing and seeing people making statements exactly as the Prophet (ﷺ) described. People are saying today: ‘Is the moon of the 1st night really this big?’ or ‘does the moon of the 1st night stay on the horizon for such a long time?’ then they say: ‘This means that it must be the moon of the 2nd or 3rd night.’ Such statements are made as accusations rather than questions and are evident to signs preceding Qiyamah as foretold by the Prophet (ﷺ).              

The requirements of Shari’ah are to sight the moon of the 29th night and if it is not viewed then 30 days are to be completed for the month. The size of the moon is not entertained or given any weight in Shari’ah, as this is the view of ignorant and irreligious persons. In Islam, we have specific stipulations clearly laid out which is the law of Allah  revealed to Mankind for their betterment.

Signs of Qiyamah - Sighting a large moon of the 1st night:
  1. عن أبى هرير ة   قال : قال رسول الله  من أقتراب الساعة إنتفاخ الأهله وإن يرى لليلة ، فيقال لليلتين. {مجمع الزوائد لإبن أبى بكر الهيثمى جلد3 ص146}
    Sayyidina Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) related that the Prophet (ﷺ) stated: ‘A sign from among the signs of Qiyamah is that the moon of the 1st night will be large and upon seeing this people will say: ‘This is the moon of the 2nd night.’ (Majmuz-Zawahid, vol 3, p146)
  2. عن عبدالله بن مسعود  قال : قال رسول الله  من أقتراب الساعة إنتفاخ الأهله. {مجمع الزوائد لإبن أبى بكر الهيثمى جلد3 ص146}
    Sayyidina Abdullah bin Masood (رضي الله عنه) related that the Prophet (ﷺ) stated: ‘Close to the day of Qiyamah, the moon will be seen as being large.’(Majmuz-Zawahid, vol 3, p146)
  3. انظر – البانى : صحيح الجامع الصغير (5/214) اشراط الساعة (ص193)
    Remember the Ghair Muqalideen cannot debate the validity of these Ahadith, even Shaykh Albani (rah) has stated their authenticity.
    عن أنس بن مالك  يرفعه إلى النبى  قال : ان من أمارات الساعة أن يرى الهلال لليلة ، فيقال لليلتين. {مجمع الزوائد لإبن أبى بكر الهيثمى جلد7 ص325}
    انظر – البانى : صحيح الجامع الصغير (5/214 ح5775) اشراط الساعة (ص194)
    Sayyidina Anas bin Malik (رضي الله عنه) related that the Prophet (ﷺ) stated: ‘Verily, a sign of Qiyamah is that the moon of the 1st night will be large and upon seeing this people will say: ‘This is the moon of the 2nd night.’ (Majmuz-Zawahid, vol 7, p325)
Signs of Qiyamah - The new month being commenced before sighting the crescent moon:
  1. عن أنس  قال : من أقتراب الساعة أن يرى الهلال قبلا، فيقال لليلتين ...الخ {مجمع الفوائد جلد4 ص714}
    Sayyidina Anas bin Malik (رضي الله عنه) related that the Prophet (ﷺ) stated: ‘A sign from among the signs of Qiyamah is that the moon will be seen before it is sighted. Upon sighting the moon of the 1st night it will be said: ‘This is the moon of the 2nd [night]’ (Majmul-Fawahid, vol 4, p714)


Nowadays, certain governments of Muslim countries (Turkey, Indonesia etc) are commencing Ramadhan and Eid upon pre-calculated lunar calendars. This results in them commencing the new month 1 or 2 days before the crescent moon can be sighted. The Saudi government base the commencement of the new month, especially Ramadhan, Eid and Hajj on the possibility of the new moon being present (not witnessed) on the horizon for 1 minute after the sun sets. If a calculation proves this is phenomenon, they deem the new month to have commenced and it is upon this that the Umm al-Qura calendar is formulated and printed for the entire year. It is the desire of the Saudi government that the entire Muslim world follows their lead in adopting this principle. It is for this reason that they announce the commencement of the new Islamic month before the crescent moon of the 1st day is visible anywhere in the World. Shaykh Ul Hadith Moulana Muhammad Zakariya Kandhalvi رحمه الله, writes: “In Saudi, the Umm al-Qura calendar is followed.” (Aap Beeti, vol 7, p211)

Signs of Qiyamah - The moon of the 1st night will be called the moon of the 2nd night:
  1. عن عاصم بن بهدلة عن الشعب رضي الله عنهما أن رسول الله  قال : من أقتراب الساعة إنتفاخ الأهله وإن يرى الهلال إبن ليلة، كانه ليلتين. {السنن الوارده جلد4 ص791}
    Asim bin Bahdala رحمه الله relates from Sayyidina Shu’aib (رضي الله عنه) that the Prophet (ﷺ) stated: ‘A sign witnessed close to the day of Qiyamah will be that the moon of the 1st night will seem like that of the 2nd(As Sunnanul Waarida, vol 4, p791)
  2. عن عمارة بن مهران قال سمعت الحسن  يقول : قال رسول الله  أن من أشراط الساعة أن يرى الهلال لليلة، فيقال هو لليلتين. {السنن الوارده جلد4 ص791}
    Sayyidina Amara bin Mehran (رضي الله عنه) relates: I heard Sayyidina Hassan (رضي الله عنه) state: ‘The Prophet (ﷺ) stated: ‘A sign from the signs of Qiyamah is that the moon of the 1st night will be sighted and it will be said: This is the moon of the 2nd night.’ (As Sunnanul Waarida, vol 4, p791)
  3. عن أبى سعيد الخدرى رضي الله عنه قال :: أقتراب الساعة إنتفاخ الأهله، يراه الرجل لليلة، يحسبه لليلتين. {السنن الوارده جلد4 ص791} 
    Sayyidina Abu Saeed Khudri (رضي الله عنه) related that the Prophet (ﷺ) stated: ‘Close to Qiyamah the moon will be seen as being large. Upon seeing the moon of the 1st night a person will have doubt it is the moon of the 2nd night.’ (As Sunnanul Waarida, vol 4, p791)

There are many reports that corroborate with these narrations, including At-Tabarani, each of which strengthens the other according to the science of Hadith. There are also those narrations which are related through Sahih and Hasan chains of narration.

Signs of Qiyamah - The disagreement in the sighting of the Ruyat-e Hilal:
  1. Abu Baktari (Saeed bin Firoz Kufi رحمه الله) stated: ‘We went out with the intention of Umrah, when we reached Batane Nakhla (an area between Makkah and Taif) we gathered in a place to sight the moon. (After seeing the moon) Certain people said: ‘This moon looks like the 2nd night and some said it looks like the 3rd night.’ Following this, we met Sayyidina Abdullah ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنه). We described our experience to him, he asked: ‘What night did you see the moon?’ We replied: ‘such and such a night.’ Ibn Abbas related that Nabi (ﷺ) stated: ‘Allah has based the month of Ramadhan upon the sighting of the moon. Therefore, the moon is of the night that you people viewed it (that is the 1st night).’ It is found in another narration: ‘If you people did not view a clear sky and the moon is not sighted, complete the month with 30 days (Sh’abaan) and after this keep the fasts of Ramadhan.’ (Mishkaat Masabih, ch. Ruyat-e Hilal/ Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba, #37553/ Sahih Muslim, #1088)

In the present day and age, many people go to Saudi Arabia during the month of Ramadhan to perform Umrah. On the day when the Saudi government announces the commencement of the new month, when there are clear skies, none of the millions present sight the moon. Even the responsible persons of the Saudi Ruyat-e Hilal committee are not able to view the moon with the use of an observatory standard telescope in numerous locations in the kingdom. However, in accordance with the Umm Ul Qura calendar, the announcement is made 1 day before the new crescent moon can be sighted. Confusion and quarrels are found in the entire Muslim world, only due to the incorrect announcement of Saudi Arabia. The signs of Qiyamah as mentioned in the Ahadith are a result of this.

In the countries where the Muslim leaders of centres and organisations follow the Saudi announcements or adopt it for their purpose of establishing a new month, even they do not view the crescent moon on the night of the Saudi announcement. They view the moon 2 or 3 days after Saudi makes their announcement and instead of making this the 1st night, they say: ‘maybe the Saudi announcement was right then, this looks like the moon of the 2nd or 3rd night.’ They will prefer to protect and preserve the Umm Ul Qura calendar rather than taking the advice of the Prophet (ﷺ): ‘If you people did not view a clear sky and the moon is not sighted, complete the month with 30 days…’

The Statements of the Scholars:

سماحة الشيخ علامة شبير احمد عثمانى رحمه الله : اي أن الله تعالى يخلقه كبيراً ليكون أظهر للأبصار ويخلقه صغيراً، فقد يرى وقد لا يرى فتكمل العدة ثلاثين كما تكمل فى الغيم. {فتح الملهم جلد3 ص115}

Hadhrat Allamah Shabir Ahmed Uthmani رحمه الله writes: ‘Allah at times creates the moon in a large form so that the people may see it easily. At times it is witnessed as being small and at times, it cannot even be seen. The order of the Shari’ah is that if the moon is not witnessed then 30 days are to be completed in the month. There are times when it is possible to sight the crescent moon, but the sky is cloudy and the moon is not visible, in this instance 30 days will be completed.’ (Fathul Mulhim, vol 3, p115)

Hadhrat Allamah Nawab Muhammad Khutubudeen Dehlawi رحمه الله writes: ‘In conclusion, it can be understood that the basis of Ramadhan is upon sighting the crescent moon. There is no reliance or weight to the size of the crescent moon, be it large or small. However, it is found in narrations that the viewing of a large moon of the 1st night is from amongst the signs near the End of Times (Qiyamah). (Mazahir Haq, vol 2, p309)


Presently, people who are not witnessing the new crescent moon in the stipulated nights, instead of adopting the advice of the Shari’ah to complete 30 days, follow the announcements of the another country and government to where they are living. In doing so, they commence Ramadhan in the month of Sh’abaan. When they view the moon the following day, they hide their fault and proclaim the moon of the 1st night as being that of the 2nd. The same is true for the completion of Ramadhan, when the moon is not sighted for the commencement of Shawwal on the 29th night, 30 days should be completed. In this instance, 1 fast of Ramadhan is wasted and Eid is performed in Ramadhan. It is unfortunate, that those who follow the Sunnah and Mustabat 11 months of the year, leave aside a Fardh on this occasion and it does not affect their conscience.

The Prophet (ﷺ) stated: ‘My Ummah will never unite on a wrong.’ It is for this reason, that those who call to the Truth, announce the reality of this wrong to the masses even though they come under a barrage of ridicule for their stance.

What is the logic behind the moon of the 1st night being large?

الشّمس والقمر بحسبان، سوره الرحمن آيت  سورج اور چاند كيلئے ايک حساب هے. (ترجمہ شيخ الهند قدّس سره) يہ سب ايک خاص حساب اورضابطہ اورمضبوط نظام کےماتحت هے. مجا ل نہیں كہ اسكےدائره سےباهرقدم ركهسكيں. (تفسير عثمانى)

There are 2 important conditions for the sighting of the Hilal:
  1. The moon (light) must be distinguishable from sunlight, so as not be engulfed in the rays of the sun.
  2. The moon should be high in the sky. For the moon to be viewed on the 1st night, it needs to be at least 10 degrees above the horizon. The crescent moon can only be viewed a minimum of 18 hours after the birth of the new moon. The crescent is visible only after the strong rays of the sunset have subsided, this occurs when the sun is 5 degrees below the horizon. The crescent will only be visible if it is at 10 degrees or more above the horizon after the sun has ‘set’ (5 degrees below the horizon). This process takes approximately 15-20mins from sunset to the sighting of the crescent moon. Whosoever, claims to have sighted the crescent moon before this stipulated time, either they have been deceived by their sighting or they are lying. It is not possible for there to be Ruyate Aama (majority sighting) before the conditions stated above.

Unseen Time: The last time that the moon is seen in the month is the morning of the 27th or 28th day. After this, the moon is hidden from the sight of anybody on Earth. The time the moon is hidden to the 29th or 30th night, when the new Hilal becomes visible is referred to as Mahaaq (unseen time). Usually, the timeframe for ‘unseen time’ is between 36 – 60 hours [New Moon Phase].

شهادت كى روسے چاند كى عمركا پہلا دن پہلى تاريخ قرار پارهاهے يہ بد يہى البطلان هے اسلئے كہ اسكا مطلب تو يہ هوا كہ هلال پدائش سے بهى قبل نظرآسكتا هے. (احسن الفتاوى جلد4 ص418)

It should be noted that the moon constantly circulates the Earth. The time taken to complete a lunar monthly cycle is 29 days, 12 hours, 44mins, 2.9secs. It is for this reason that the Prophet (ﷺ) stated: ‘sight the moon of the 29th night and if it is not viewed then complete 30 days (for the month)’.

The full moon of a lunar monthly cycle occurs 14 days, 18 hours, 22mins, 1.5 secs after the birth of the new moon (14.75 days). This is when the moon is seen at 100% coverage in the sky, a full moon. Therefore, in 1 hour the crescent occupies 0.2821932 % of the moons surface area, this denotes the thickness of the crescent on any given day. In 1 day the moon is covered 6.7726385% of the surface area.

By understanding the scientific principle of the crescent size formation above, the following will become clear. For example: on the 29th August 2011, the Saudi government announced the sighting of the crescent moon for Eid ul Fitr in accordance with the Umm Ul Qura calendar. Scholars throughout the Islamic world rejected this announcement. Hadharat Mufti A.S. Desai Sahib حفظه الله of Mujlisul Ulama South Africa, has written in his article of 16 Shawal 1432 (15/9/2011): ‘Despite clear skies, the Hilal was not sighted in Saudi Arabia, neither by the Hilal committees nor the masses.’ This is a statement made in light of the Shari’ah and Sunnah.

The reality is also clearly against the possibility of a sighting on this night; on the 29th August 2011, sunset was at 6.40pm, the moon set at 6.44pm. Therefore the moon was only present of the horizon for 4 mins after sunset, the moon was 12 hours 36min old at this time. The altitude of the moon on this day was zero degrees above the horizon.

The following day; on the 30th August 2011, sunset was at 6.39pm, the moon set at 7.27pm, the moon was present on the horizon for 48 mins after sunset and was 10 degrees above the horizon. It was possible for Ruyate Aamah to take place on this night according to the requirements of Shari’ah. This was, in reality, the 1st day of the Islamic month which many thousands of people have witnessed. The moon was seen on the horizon 10 minutes after sunset and was visible for 30 mins. On seeing the large crescent moon on this night, people in Saudi Arabia said: ‘This is moon of the 2nd night.’

The birth of the moon can be ascertained exactly with current science and technology but there is a difference of opinion on when the crescent can be first seen with the naked eye. Crescent moon sighting is only possible when the moon is between 18 hours and 30 hours old. The fact is that the moon needs to be at least 18 hours old for the crescent to be seen with the naked eye. It also needs to be at least 10 degrees above the horizon and for the moon to remain above the horizon for at least 45 minutes after sunset. That is why Sheikhul Islam Mufti Taqi Usmani  حفظه الله says in Saudia even when a crescent is 4-5 hours old the Government announces. This is impossible because the moon has to be at least 18 hours old. This is why Mufti Saheb says Pakistan does not act according to the Saudi declaration.


It should be understood that it was not possible to see the moon on the 29th August 2011 as it was only 12 hours 36mins old. As stated before, it is not possible to view the crescent moon when it is less than 18 hours old. On the 30th August 2011 the moon was 36 hours 35 mins old. The reason this crescent moon looked large of the horizon was because it covered 10.26% of the moons surface area (1/10th of the moons area) (1hour - 0.2821932% x 36.35hrs = 10.26%). We should look at how accurately the Nabi (ﷺ) foretold of these occurrences and words people will utter in respect of the Ruyate Hilal near the day of Qiyamah, they are playing out in front of our own eyes.

May Allah  unite us in this time of Fitnah and grant us the correct understanding of the Deen. آمين Ameen!

صبح صادق والله وحده هو المسؤول والمستعان وهو الهادي إلى سبل الخير والسّلام .

 فتى محمد يوسف ڈنكا (عفاالله عنه)

{Mufti Muhammad Yusuf Danka, Croydon Masjid}

[Download pdf] - Related: Sighting of the Crescent Moon and the Signs of Qiyamah | The History of the UK following Saudi Arabia

By Mufti Muhammad Yusuf Danka, Croydon Masjid, UK (published 2012, updated 2019)

Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) has stated in the Holy Qur’aan: “They ask you (O Muhammad صلي الله عليه وسلم) about the crescent moons. Say: They are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage.” Quran (2: 189).

It is necessary to view the crescent moon with the naked eye as proof of the Hilal. If the sky is clear, the Hanafi scholars state that Jame Ghafeer (a large group) is required to have witnessed the crescent moon. In the matter of Jame Ghafeer, there is no difference of opinion from the time of the Salaf to the present day. In Saudi Arabia, even though the skies are clear, there is never a report of Jame Ghafeer. It is unfortunate that the Jamiat and Hizbul Ulama of the UK are blindly following the Saudi announcements, after claiming to be followers of the Hanafi school of thought. They give no regard to the Shari’ah or the rulings of their predecessors behind a guise of a hallucinated unity.

 عن إبن عمر أن رسول الله  قال: الشهر تسع وعشرون ليلة فلا تصوموا حتى تروه، فإن غمّ عليكم فأكملوا العدة ثلاثلين .(صحيح بخارى ص306 صحيح مسلم ص347) اس حديث ميں " فلا تصوموا حتى تروه جمع كا صيغه هے۔"

Sayyidina Ibn Umar  relates from Nabi (ﷺ) that there are twenty nine nights in a month, do not fast until all you see it (the Hilal), if it is hidden from you then complete thirty days. (Sahih Bukhari p,306/ Sahih Muslim p,347)

The word in the Hadith فلا تصوموا حتى تروه، which can mean that when a lot of people sight it (the Hilal) then fasting should begin. Throughout the lifetime of Prophet (ﷺ) ‘Ruyat e A’amah’ i.e. a large group as could be understood by this Athar (speech of Sahabah or Tabi’een ) was practised. Only on one occasion in Madina moon was not sighted and RasulAllah (ﷺ) accepted the witnessed statement of a Nomad Arab. But consideration needs to be taken that the person who accepted the testimony was the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and the witness himself was a just Sahabi (In essence, both parties have no element of doubt). The practice of our Pious Salaf us Saliheen clearly indicates that they insisted upon the ‘Ruyat e A’amah’.

The statements of the Companions (رضى الله عنهم):

Kurayb (رضى الله عنه) related: Sayiddina Abdullah ibn Abbas (رضى الله عنه) sent me to Sayiddina Muawiya  in Syria. I completed my errand there, the moon of Ramadhan was viewed on Friday night in Syria. I returned to Madinah Munawarrah, Ibn Abbas (رضى الله عنه) asked me about my journey and the sighting of the moon. I said: ‘The moon was sighted on Friday night in Syria.’ Ibn Abbas  asked me: ‘Did YOU yourself see the moon?’ I replied: نعم ورآه الناس)) ‘Yes, I and other people also. The next day Muawiya  and the others kept a fast.’ Ibn Abbas  stated: ‘We saw the moon on Saturday night, either we will see the moon for Eid or we will complete 30 days.’ I asked: ‘Is the sighting of Muawiya  not enough for you?’ Sayiddina Ibn Abbas (رضى الله عنه) said: ‘No, The Prophet (ﷺ) has ordered us to do this’ (to act upon their own moon sighting). (Sunan Abu Dawood #562, Sunan Nasai #2115)

It is proven from the above hadith, due to the question and answer of the Companion Ibn Abbas (رضى الله عنه) , it was the requirement of the Sahaba that Jame Ghafeer be performed on the occasion of sighting the crescent moon. Certain people have the belief that due to the blessing of the Haramain Sharifain, Allah  allows the moon to be seen there before anywhere else in the World. It is proven from the above hadith that the Muslims of Syria in the time of the Sahaba sighted the moon before the Arab peninsula.

The Statements of the Tabi’ee رحمه الله :

قلت لعطاء: أرأيت لو أن رجلا رأى هلال رمضان قيل الناس بليلة أيصوم قبلهم أو يفطر قبلهم؟ قال لا، الا ان يراه الناس، أخشى أن يكون شبه عليه. (مصنف عبدالرزاق، باب كم يجوزمن الشهودعلى رؤية الهلال ج4 ص130)

Tabi’i Ataa رحمه الله (who was from amongst the teachers of Imam Abu Hanifah رحمه الله), was asked that if a person was to see the Hilal of Ramadhan a night before the others could see it, should he fast before them, or should he celebrate Eid before them? He replied يراه الناس)) ‘No, not until the people see it. I fear that he is mistaken’. (Musannaf Abdur Razzaq vol 4, p130)

Hadhrat Shaykh Moulana Zakariya رحمه الله relates the statement of Imam Abu Hanifa رحمه الله from the well known book of the Hanbali Fiqh, Al Mughni: ‘If the sky is clear, then a witnessing cannot be accepted without the testimony of a large group of the Muslims. (Aujazul Masalik vol 5, p21)

شيخ الحديث شيخ محمد زكريا قدس سره حنبلى فقه كى معروف كتاب المغنى (جلد3 ص157) سے نقل كرتے ہيں۔ وقال أبوحنيفة رحمه الله في الغيم كقولنا وفي الصحو لا يقبل الا الاستفاضة لأنه لايجوز أن تنظرالجماعة إلى المطلع وأبصارهم صحيحة والموانع مرتفعة فيراه واحد دون الباقين۔ (اوجزالمسالك جلد5 ص21)


The Statements of the Taba Tabi’een  رحمه الله – Zahirul Riwayat:

When the sky is clear and Jamme Ghafeer witnessing of the crescent moon takes place, only then will the Hilal be established. For this, Imam Azam Abu Hanifa رحمه الله‘s student Imam Muhammad Shaybani رحمه الله writes in his 1st book, Kitabul Asal Mabsoot:

وإن لم يكم بالسماء علة فلم أقبل شھادة رجل حتّى يكون أمرا ظاھرا –

 (كتاب اصل،  مبسوط .لامام محمد رحمه الله ، باب تتمته نوادرالصوم، جلدثانى ص280)

Imam Muhammad bin Shaybani رحمه الله writes: ‘If the sky is cloudy, the witness of just one Muslim person for sighting the crescent moon will be accepted for Ramadhan. If it is for Eid ul Fitr, the Hilal cannot be established without the presence of two male witnesses. If the sky is clear, even the witness of one male cannot be accepted until the situation is made clear, with (a large group of the Muslims sighting the crescent).’ (Kitabul Asal Mabsoot, vol 2, p280)

In the commentary on this saying by Allamah Abu Wafa Afghani رحمه الله states: ‘This means that the sighting of the crescent moon is not well known and common knowledge (absence of Jamme Ghafeer).’

All the books that have been written in light of the Hanafi Fiqh have taken the ruling of Imam Muhammad Shaybani رحمه الله above as a fundamental basis for establishing the new crescent moon through Jamme Ghafeer.

وإذا لم تكن با لسماء علة لم تقبل الشهادة حتى يراه جمع كثير يقع العلم بخبرهم.. لأن التفرد بالروية فى مثل هذه الحالة يوهم الغلط فيجب التوقف فيه حتّى يكون جمعا كثيرا. (هدايه- جلد1 ص125، لعلامه على بن أبى بكرالمرغيناني هجرى 592/ مختصرالقدورى مع الشرح ص224، لعلامه احمدالقدورى هجرى428 / نورالإيضاح ص167/ مراقى الفلاح ص236)

‘If the sky is cloudy, the witness of one just Muslim person for sighting the crescent moon will be accepted. If the sky is clear then the witnessing will not be accepted until a large group from the Muslims testify to viewing the crescent, not until there is no doubt of the witnessing.’ (Quduri, p46, Hidayah, vol1, p125)

If the Qazi gives a ruling against the Qur’an or Sunnah of Ijma, it should not be accepted:

اخبرنا عبدالرزاق عن الثورى قال إذا قضى القاضى بخلاف كتاب الله او سنة نبى الله او شئ مجتمع عليه فإن القاضى بعده يرده (مصنف عبدالرزاق، باب ھل يرد قضاء القاضى او يرجع عن قضاه؟ ج8 ص234# ،15377

It is related from the Tabi’een Sufyam Thawri رحمه الله’: If the Qazi gives a ruling against the Qur’an, the Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ) or a matter upon which there is Ijma, then his ruling will be rejected.’ (Masanad Abdur Razak, vol 8, p234)

It can be said that the ruling of the judge of Saudi Arabia is binding upon the inhabitants of Saudi Arabia. However, it cannot be incumbent upon all Muslims to follow this ruling. Therefore it is necessary for those scholars who blindly follow the Saudi rulings in respect of the new crescent moon, to take note of the advices and rulings of their predecessors. When in Saudi the announcements for the commencement of the new moon is not done in accordance to the required principle and is against the Ijma of the predecessors, it cannot be accepted. The scholars of the UK in particular: the Darul Ulooms, Markaz and scholarly organisations should make an informed decision for their country of residence in accordance with the rulings of their school of thought.

Mufti Rashid Ahmed Luhdyanvi رحمه الله write: The news of the sighting in Saudi Arabia reaching the status of ‘Istifaadha’ is questionable and further, due to the sighting in Saudi being against the principles of the Hanafi Maslak (Fiqh) and logic; it is unacceptable. According to Hanafi Fiqh when the skies are clear, a large group (Jamme Ghafeer) is a condition. (Ahsan ul Fataawaa Vol 4 P 426)

Hadhrat Mufti Sayed Abdur Raheem Lajpuri رحمه الله writes: If the skies are clear the testimony of the two or four people will not be enough. A testimony of such a large group is essential to the extent that the Qadhi, Aalim or Mufti is fully confident and satisfied that the Hilal has been sighted, and no doubts remain. (Fataawa Rahimiyah vol 10, p 169 فتاوى فتاوى محموديہ جلد3 ص129/)

Imam Abu Yusuf رحمه الله requires 40 witnesses to establish Jame Ghafeer as taking place.

وإذا لم تكن بالسماء علة لم تقبل الشهادة حتي يراه جمع كثير يقع العلم بخبرهم لأن التفرد بالرؤية في مثل هذه الحالة يوهم الغلط فيجب التوقف فيه حتي يكون جمعا كثيرا.....ثم قيل في حد الكثير أهل الملة وعن أبى يوسف رحمه الله خمسون رجلا اعتبارا بالقسامة ...۔ (فتح القدير جلد2 ص328، لعلامه إبن همام حنفى 861هجرى) وقيل بلا علة جمع عظيم يقع العلم) الشرعي وهو غلبة الظن (بخبرهم وهو مفوض إلى راى الإمام من غير تقدير بعدد) على المذهب۔ (درمختار كتاب الصوم- جلد3 ص410)

In the Shari’ah of Islam the sighting of the crescent moon is stipulated with the following conditions: If the sky is clear on the 29th night of the month, then for Ramadhan and Eid to be established, Jame Ghafeer has to be witnessed. In the books of Fiqh the number of witnesses required for Jamme Ghafeer to be established range from 50 to 500. Allamah Shami رحمه الله states in respect of the number of witnesses: ‘If by receiving the testimony of the witnesses the Qazi is satisfied, together with 2 conditions: (1) it is possible to sight the moon on that day (2) a large group of the Muslims witness the sighting of the crescent moon.’ For this reason when the sky is clear, the testimony of 3 or 4 people cannot be accepted. (Fatawa Haqqania, vol 4, p137)

شريعت مقدسہ ميں چاند كى رؤيت كيلئے قانون يہ هے كہ اگر (29)انتيس كى رات كو مطلع بالكل صاف هو تو پهر جم غفير كى رؤيت روزه اورعيد كيلئے ضرورى هے. جم غفيرکى تعداد کے بارے ميں مختلف اقوال ذخيره فقه ميں درج ہيں بعض سے پچاس اوربعض سے پانچ سو وغيره مروى ہيں البتہ امام علامه إبن عابدين شامى رحمه الله نے تعداد سے قطع نظر كرکے قاضى کے مطمئن هونے كو ترجيح دى هے ليكن قاضى كا اطمينان بهى دو شرائط کے ساتهہ مشروط هے (1) امكان رؤيت (2) كثرت شهود.. اسلئے صاف مطلع کےدوران تين ياچار آدميوں كى گواهى نا قابل قبول هے-كذافي ردالمختار جلد2 ص101 (فتاوى حقانيہ جلد4 ص137)


The Statement of the Founders and Senior Scholars of Deoband:

Hadhrat Aqdas Sheykh Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi نوّرالله مرقده writes “If the skies are clear then the testimony of two or four people will not be sufficient, whether it is for Ramadhan or whether it is for Eid. On the other hand, if so many people came forward with testimonies, that it becomes clear that they are not lying, nor can such a large group lie, then the testimonies will be accepted and the new month will commence. (Bahishti Zewar part 3 p6/ Ilm ul Fiqh vol 3 p425 By Moulana Abdul Shakur Farooqi رحمه الله/ Ta’limul Islam vol 4, p69 By Mufti KifayatulAllah رحمه الله)

The ruling of Mufti Shafi Uthmani رحمه الله which was authorised by signatures of the senior Scholars and Jurists, Hadhrat Molana Zafar Ahmed Uthmani, Hadhrat Molana Muhammad Yusuf Binori and Hadhrat Mufti Rashid Ahmed Ludyanwi رحمهم الله, in respect of witnessing 2 Eids: ‘When the horizon is clear and 2 or 4 people have witnessed to sighting the crescent, it is not correct to accept their sighting according to the Shariah. Not until a large group of the Muslims do not verify this sighting also, only then will it be acceptable. The sighting of the 2 or 4 people will be ruled as being incorrect or a false statement.’ (Jawahirul Fiqah vol 1, p399-400)  

بہركيف هلال عيدين كيلئے شرعى ضابطہ شهادت کےبارے ميں، حضرت مفتى اعظم پاكستان مفتى محمد شفيع عثمانى نوّرالله مرقده اور اس وقت کےفقہاء كامتفقہ فيصلہ تها كہ "جب چاند كى رؤيت عام نہ هوسكے صرف دوچار آدمي نےديكها هو، تويہ صورت حال اگرايسى فضاميں هو كہ مطلع بالكل صاف هو، چاند ديكهنے ميں كوئى بادل يا دهواں غبار وغيره مانع نہ هو توايسى صورت ميں صرف دوتين آدميوں کى رؤيت اور شهادت شرعاً قابل اعتماد نہیں هوگى، جب تک مسلمانوں كى بڑى جماعت اپنےديكهنے كى شهادت نہ دے چاند كى رؤيت تسليم نہ كى جائےگى- جو ديكهنے كى شهادت دےرهےہيں اسكو انكامغالطہ ياجهوٹ قرار دياجائيگا"- (جواهرالفقه جلد1 ص399-400) (’دستخط كنده 10 1386هجرى، حضرت مفتى محمد شفيع عثمانى، حضرت مولانا ظفراحمد عثمانى، حضرت مولانا محمد يوسف بنورى، حضرت مفتى رشيد احمد لدهيانوى رحمهم الله) 

In Saudi Arabia, there is never a report of a large group that witness the sighting of the crescent moon (Muhaqaq Ru’yat Basari). The reality of the condition is that Saudi Arabia claims to have sighted the crescent moon, yet the continents nearby: Africa, Asia etc do not report a sighting. This makes the Saudi statement very doubtful. It is a unanimous decision of the jurists of Islam, when the sky is clear, it is a necessary condition that the sighting of the crescent moon be witnessed by a large group (Jame Ghafeer). (Fatawa Mazahirul Uloom Saharanpur, Mufti Maqsood & Mufti Muhammad Tahir)

It is wajib alal khifayah to sight the crescent moon, it is for this reason in the UK, when the skies are clear and it is possible to sight the crescent moon (the correct nights of the month), we should not sit at home accepting the announcement of the Saudi government as gospel. (Fatawa Darul Uloom Kandariya, Mufti Abdullah Kawi)

In Saudi Arabia, there is no principle of following the Hanafi Fiqh and the system for observing the crescent moon and commencing the months is also other than the guidance of the Shariah and Sunnah. It is for reason that it is not necessary to accept or recommended for the Muslims in the UK to follow the Saudi announcement, especially for Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Adha. (Fatawa Jamia Hussainiya Gujrat, Mufti Ismail Wari & Molana Zaheerudeen Faid Abadi, 7/7/2007)

اگر مطلع صاف باشد دررمضان وشوّال جماعت عظيم مےبايد۔ (مالابدمنه ص93 – از قاضى ثناءالله پانى پتى نوّرالله مرقده)      

وقال أبوحنيفة رحمه الله في الصحو لابد من جمع كثير۔ (الروضة الندية جلد1 ص292)

The news of the sighting in Saudi Arabia reaching the status of ‘Istifaadha’ is questionable and further, due to the sighting in Saudia being against the principles of the Hanafi Maslak (Fiqh) and logic; it is unacceptable. According to Hanafi Fiqh when the skies are clear, a large group (Jamme Ghafeer) is a condition. (Ahsan ul Fataawaa Vol 4 P 426 by Hadhrat Mufti Rasheed Ahmad Luhdyanavi رحمه الله)

In conclusion, it can be understood from the time of the Salaf to the present day the same conditions have been upheld for the sighting of the crescent moon. However, the Saudi announcements disregard all of these requirements and adopt a way other than the way of the Shari’ah and Sunnah. ‘It is not acceptable for a Mufti Qadhi or Scholar to ignore the principles of the Shari’ah, in the guise of a hallucinated unity, to give rulings against their Fiqhi Maslak’. (Sharah Uqood Rasmul Mufti)

The laws and restrictions of obeying the order of a Judge (Qadhi) in an Islamic court:

It is proven from the Sahih Ahadith that the Prophet (ﷺ) sent Companions and representatives to different areas of the Islamic kingdom, to act as a judge and governor. For example: Muadh bin Jabal  was sent to Yemen. The responsibility of these governors was to give rulings within their own stipulated districts. They only held the authority to give rulings within their own governorship. This was also the case in the time of the Khulafa Rashideen, independent governors were sent to each district of the Islamic Kingdom. They had a responsibility to enforce the rulings of the Shari’ah for their subjects, in Syria, Egypt, Yemem, Iraq etc… ‘The Shari’ah has placed restrictions upon a judge appointed by the Ameer of an area or country. These restrictions apply both to regions (vicinity of a town or country) and in specific fields (Zakat, Talaq, Iddat etc). The Judge can only decide matters upon topics that he has been appointed to the position for. Further, his ruling will only be enforceable and binding in the area that he is appointed over. A Judge will not have the jurisdiction to enforce a ruling in an area that is not within their appointed dominion, nor will the ruling be established outside of the appointed region’. (Fathul Qadir, vol 7, p254 / Al Bahrur Raiq, vol 6, p259 / Fatawa Hindiya, vol 3, p315 / Adhahul Nawadir, vol 2, p124)


If there is no other way to encourage the masses to follow the Saudi moon sighting, the laymen are told that the order of the Chief Judge in Saudi Arabia has to be followed and it is Wajib to do so. This is incorrect, in accordance to the Islamic teachings and rulings. A layman should not be blackmailed emotionally in this manner by those who hold more knowledge and a better understanding of the Deen.

Z-Hijjah ١٣٩٩هجرى (1979) Sheykh Bin Baaz رحمه الله: The grand scholar Mufti of Saudi Arabia (after doing extensive research on this moon issue, he concludes with this statement). ‘As for those who say that it is necessary to follow the sighting of Makkah (Saudi Arabia) then let it be known that there is no proof or basis for this in the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah’. (Al Ba’thul Islami p. 63)

May Allah  unite us in this time of Fitnah and grant us the correct understanding of the Deen. آمين Ameen!

والله وحده هو المسؤول والمستعان وهو الهادي إلى سبل الخير والسّلام .

مفتى محمد يوسف ڈنكا (عفاالله عنه)

{Mufti Muhammad Yusuf Danka, Croydon Masjid}

This question comes up every year at the time of Eid-ul Adha and so, many eminent scholars of the past and present have looked into the Seerah (biography) of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and found that following Makkah by foreign countries (i.e. those living outside Saudi Arabia) have no basis in Shariah. Here are few quotations from fatawa issued by renowned scholars from Arabia/Asia:

  1. Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani (حفظه الله) said: “I would like to inform you that the question of sighting the moon for each lunar month including Zul-Hijjah was thoroughly discussed at the annual sessions of the Islamic Fiqh Academy (held in Jordan, October 11-16, 1986) attended by more than a hundred outstanding scholars of Shari'ah. The academy adopted the resolution recommended that all Muslim countries should determine all the lunar months including Zul-Hijjah on the same basis for both Eid al-Fitr as well as Eid al-Adha [i.e. based on regional moon sighting].” [Fatwa, Darul Uloom Karachi, Pakistan] / ISNA's Eid al-Adha Evaluated by A Renowned Scholar
  2. Mufti Habibur Rahman (حفظه الله) said: “There is a far greater distance between Britain and Saudi, whereas Morocco is a lot closer to Britain. To abandon a close country’s sightings and to accept Saudi’s sighting, is in contradiction with the principles of Fiqh.” [Fatwa Darul Uloom Deoband, India] / Moon Sighting and Following Neighbouring Countries (pdf)
  3.  Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Saleh Al-Othaimeen (رحمه الله) said: “You should fast and break your fast along with the people of the country where you are living, whether that is in accordance with your country of origin or not. Similarly, on the Day of Arafah [9th Dhul Hijjah], you should follow the country [moon sighting] where you are living”.  Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 19 [Saudi Arabia] / Fasting of Ramadan and the day of Arafah
  4.  Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Saleh Al-Othaimeen (رحمه الله) was asked: “Should we fast and end our fast according to the sighting of the new moon in Saudi Arabia or should we do it according to the sighting of the new moon in the country where we are?” He replied: “It is obligatory for you to follow the sighting of the new moon in the place where you are” Ref: Al-Aqalliyaat Al-Muslimah - Page 84, Fatwa No.23 [Saudi Arabia] / Should we fast according to the new moon in Saudi Arabia
  5. Shaykh Mohammed Ibrahim Memon (حفظه الله) said: “Eid-ul-Adha was established in Islam in the 2nd year of hijra and the first Hajj in the Islamic calendar was performed in the 9th year of hijra. This means that for nearly seven years, the Sahabah (رضى الله عنهم) celebrated Eid and slaughtered their animals even though the Hajj had not yet begun. If the day of Eid is associated with the day of Arafah the way some think it is, then both would have been brought into the Shari'ah at the same time. Never in the history of Islam has any Islamic country tried to follow the moon sighting of Saudi Arabia based on the idea that its Eid should follow the day of Arafah, except only until very recently” (Darul Uloom Al Madania, USA) / Moon Sighting
  6. Shaykh Abdul Aziz Bin Baaz (رحمه الله) said: "As for those who say that it is necessary to follow the crescent moon sighting of Makkah, then let it be known to them, that there is no proof or basis for this [in the Quran and Ahadith]" (فأما قول من قال إنه ينبغي أن يكون المعتبر رؤية هلال مكة خاصة ، فلا أصل له ولا دليل عليه) [Saudi Arabia] / (Ref: Fatwa of Shaykhul Imam, Shaykh Bin Baaz)

[The first sighting of the moon starts from different locations on the earth each month, hence to follow one fixed location every month in a foreign country is both illogical and unscientific. Furthermore, it has no basis in Shariah as quoted above – Editor]

Related: What is the ruling on the Day of Arafah fasting for other countries if the moon sighting differs with Saudi Arabia? [English] [Arabic]

Related: Regional Moon Sighting Fatwa by Darul Uloom Deoband

Question: I wish to inform you that based on the global moon sighting theory, many of our UK Masajid who normally follow UK/Morocco regional sighting reports (because of persistently cloudy weather in the UK) have now found a new source of moon sighting news from all the way to Nigeria, and celebrated Eid-ul Fitr on Sunday 25th June 2017, even though we have received NEGATIVE sighting reports from Morocco Awqaf Ministry (with 278 sighting points).

From your previous comment that "global sighting is baseless", would you agree that the UK Muslims should NOT go as far as Saudi Arabia or Nigeria and most certainly not across to the opposite Hemisphere to your own country, South Africa (even if your sightings reports are most reliable) on the basis of global sighting theory (as it is baseless)?

To reiterate, kindly clarify, if it's valid for UK Muslims to borrow moon sighting news from South Africa on the opposite hemisphere, over 8,000 miles away (rather than confine to UK/Morocco region only) on the basis of global sighting theory?

Dated:  7 Shawwal 1438 (2 July 2017)

Answer: Those in the UK who had contravened the Shariah by bypassing Morocco and accepting the baseless Nigerian announcement have erred grievously. It appears that they did so solely to celebrate Eid on Sunday which is very convenient for most people. In the process, they deemed it appropriate to override the Shariah.

We believe that Morocco is the nearest to the UK, and a valid arrangement exists with Morocco for hilaal information. As such, those who usually follow Morocco have sinned by going to Nigeria where the authorities are submissive to Saudi Arabia which does not accord the proper Shar’i importance to hilaal-sighting.

Furthermore, there is no need and no goodness for the UK to follow South Africa which is 8,000 miles away. When people seek to override the Shariah, they invite problems, difficulties and controversies. The global sighting theory is bunkum. It has no validity in the Shariah.

Mufti A. S. Desai
Mujlisul Ulama of South Africa
Dated: 8 Shawwaal 1438 (3 July 2017)


References: Email Fatwa from Mujlisul Ulama on African Moon Sighting