In 1981 the Muslims World League (MWL) Fiqh Council in Makkah organised a conference with many eminent scholars of the Muslim World (including the Saudi Scholar, Shaykh Abdul Aziz Bin Baaz and the Indian Scholar, Shaykh Abul Hasan Ali Nadawi) to discuss the moon sighting issue and they all signed a declaration in support of local moon sighting for all 12 months of the year, including Dhul Hijjah (for Eid-ul Adha) – see Reference 3.

3.3 Muslim historians have recorded that the Farewell Pilgrimage (Hujja-tul Wada’ /حجة الوداع) of the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was on Friday 9th Dhul Hijjah 10 AH in Makkah and his demise was on Monday 12 Rabi-ul Awwal 11 AH (3 months later) in Madinah. Noting that a lunar month is either 29 or 30 days, it is not possible to synchronise the calendar of Makkah with Madinah, even if all three months are made 30-days, as the Madinah calendar still becomes 1-day short (demise falls on Sunday) with that of Makkah. This difference was resolved by the Muslim historian Mulla Ali Qari (رحمة الله عليه), who stated that people of Madinah started the month of Dhul Hijjah 10 AH 1-day after that of Makkah. The calendar diagram below illustrates this point (and also the fact that a lunar month did not start on the day of a Solar Eclipse/New Moon in Madinah (29 Shawwal 10 AH).

MakkahMadinah10AH

This calendar proves beyond any doubt of the point that people of Makkah and Madinah carried out local moon sighting at the time of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and they did not borrow the news from each other.

3.4 A few years ago (c. 1998) the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) decided to follow local moon sighting for Ramadan and Makkah (Saudi Arabia) for Dhul Hijjah (Eid-ul Adha), instead of local moon sighting for all months. When a renowned scholar (Mufti Taqi Usmani) was asked to comment on the validity of the above criteria, he commented that both Ramadan and Dhul Hijjah should be started according to local moon sighting since following Makkah by foreign countries has no basis (or precedence) in Islam. He also pointed out the unanimous ruling of the world Muslim Scholars on the same issue more recently (see Reference 2) and also pointed out that Eid-ul Fitr and Eid-ul Adha were celebrated by the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) in Madinah from 2 AH when Ramadan became obligatory, which was 7 years before Hajj became obligatory in 9 AH and he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) never attempted to borrow the moon sighting news from Makkah to Madinah for Eid-ul Adha, even though 9 days and 10 nights were more than enough time to send a horse rider with the news from Makkah to Madinah.