In 2006, I (Muhammad Yusuf Danka) attended a meeting with the Director General of London Central Masjid Dr Ahmed Dubiyan. This meeting was attended by 20 management members of the West London Masajid and Shaykhul Hadith Molana Samirud-Deen Qasmi حفظه الله from Manchester. In this meeting, Dr Dubiyan stated: ‘In our own Masjid here, there was a meeting and we in UK agreed to unite on the moon sighting announcements and criteria for this country, however, the Jamiatul Ulama Britain & Hizbul Ulama UK changed their minds the very next year, from this, our own attendees complained to us why we were not following Saudi when others who were not Arab did so, this made matters very difficult for us, even after being from a Saudi background, we (London Central Mosque) have no objection in not following the Saudi announcement. If today, the Scholars of this country agree to unite on the specific criteria, we are ready to adopt that also. '
Prior to 1986, the UK followed the Moon Sighting announcements from Morocco. After 1986, a division arose, caused by the blind following of Saudi Arabia:
In Ramadhan 2007, Shaykh-ul-Hadith Mufti Saeed Ahmad Palanpuri Sahib حفظه الله was present in Masjid Quba Stamford Hill, London. He related in detail during a lecture, the following matter, he was invited to a Masjid in Bolton in 1985, at this time, due to the lack of technology, the news of the moon sighting was received from Morocco via Telex. That year due to inclement weather, news from Morocco was delayed. The people of Bolton in the absence of news offered the Taraweeh prayer and still waited for news. No news was forthcoming, so the people returned home and fasted the following day. The next morning, a shopkeeper was appointed to receive the telex from Morocco, opened his shop at 10am and found a telex stating the moon had been sighted in Morocco yesterday. In Bolton Eid was then announced and performed the following day. As News broke late in the morning, the Scholars were unanimous on this decision apart from Moulana Yaqub Kawi Sahib of Dewsbury and a few others with him who did not break their fast. Nevertheless, everybody celebrated Eid together on the following day.
Jamiatul Ulama Britain & Hizbul Ulama UK became annoyed at Moulana Yaqub Kawi’s حفظه الله refusal to break his fast. Mufti Saeed Ahmad Palanpuri Sahib حفظه الله sat down with both groups and attempted to resolve the dispute. However, of the two groups, none was willing to back down therefore reconciliation was not possible. In the end, Mufti Saeed Ahmad Palanpuri حفظه الله returned to India and the dispute remained unresolved. Instead of the matter being resolved or some compromise being reached, the division became more exacerbated. In opposition, to Molana Yaqub Kawi, Jamiatul Ulama Britain & Hizbul Ulama UK, stubbornly announced that they would follow the Saudi government sightings whatever the circumstances. This marked the beginning of the adherence of Saudi Arabia’s moon sighting in England which continues to this present day. It is only due to the stubbornness of Jamiatul Ulama Britain & Hizbul Ulama UK that a great Fitnah endures. This is even after, the Scholars from all quarters and groups fully understand the reality of the Shariah deficiencies of the Saudi moon sighting announcements. Remember, there are numerous references in the Holy Qur’an of stubbornness and its potential to corrupt the Deen.