For many decades it was commonly believed that the moon cannot be sighted in the UK due to cloudy weather, but with the establishment of the Islamic Crescents Observation for the UK (ICOUK) in 2008 to revive the Sunnah of Local Moon Sighting, this misconception has been significantly reduced and we have over 4-years observation data to prove it, Alhamdulillah. Therefore, in November 2021 we have asked the following question (Istiftaa) to a number of renowned Darul Ulooms in the Indian Subcontinent together with the 4-years (1439-1442) data.
Question: From our actual moon sighting experience over many years, we strongly believe that the Hilal can be easily sighted in the UK and request your advice if we are allowed to follow our own Local Moon Sighting, InshaAllah?
Answer: We have received the fatawa from a number of major Darul Ulooms which can be downloaded from the ICOUK website at www.moonsighting.org.uk. However, the summaries of the responses are given below:
Jamiah Islamiah, Dabhel (India): “If the sighting of the crescent moon is proven in the UK according to the prescribed method, then it is necessary to follow it in fulfilling the related commands of the Shariah. In such a case, there is no need to follow any near or far distant countries.” (Mufti Abdul Qayyum Rajkoti/Mufti Abbas Daud Bismillah, 20/11/2021)
Jamiah Darul Uloom Karachi (Pakistan): “The reason for following the Moon Sighting reports of nearby Muslim countries in the past was because it was not possible to sight the Hilal in Britain. But that difficulty no longer exists. Therefore, discuss with those who follow Saudi Arabia and invite them to the Local Moon Sighting.” (Mufti Sayed Hussain Ahmed/Mufti Abdul Rauf Sakharvi, 21/1/2022)
Jamiatul Uloom Al-Islamia, Karachi (Pakistan): “When the moon sighting is possible in your country (Britain), then relying on the sighting of another country will not be permissible.” (Mufti Mustafa Amin/Mufti Muhammad Ibrahim, 26/1/2022)
Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow (India): “We are delighted to learn that it is now possible to sight the Hilal in Britain. In this situation, [the Muslims of] Britain should follow the base rule of Local Moon Sighting. There is no need or necessity now to follow the news of near or far distant countries.” (Mufti Mohammad Zafar Alam Nadwi/Mufti Niyaz Ahmed Nadwi, 5/3/2022)
Markaz Al-Dawah, Dhaka (Bangladesh): “We believe that if serious efforts are made and mutual dialogue is continued, it is possible, that everyone will agree on Local Sighting, because the excuse that led to the following of the foreign countries has now disappeared, Alhamdulillah.” (Mufti Abdul Malek/Mufti Abul Hasan Muhammad Abdullah, 10/3/2022)
Darul Uloom Deoband, Utter Pradesh (India): “We say, if the local scholars and credible moon sighting committees agree with these [UK Moon Sighting] research findings, then they should organise and follow Local Moon Sighting. (Mufti Habibur Rahman/Mufti Waqar Ali, 5/4/2022)
In conclusion, the above fatawa clearly state that there is no reason for the UK Muslims to follow any distant countries if the Hilal can be sighted in the UK according to the rule of Shariah. Therefore, we urge all the UK Muslims to support their Mosque Committees, Imams and Scholars to unite on Local Moon Sighting, InshaAllah.