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)