A Sincere Advice to the Muslims in the UK from the Scholars of Darul uloom Deoband:

عن عمر رضى الله عنه قال قال رسول الله صلّى الله عليه وسلم إذا أقبل الّليل من ههنا وأدبرالنّهار من ههنا وغربت الشمس فقد أفطر الصّا ئم (متّفق عليه

Sayyidina Umar (رضى الله عنه) narrated that The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) stated: ‘When night falls from this direction (pointing to the eastern horizon) making it dark and the day break finishes from that direction (pointing to the western horizon). And the sun has completely set, then the fasting person should (with certainty) break his fast.' (Jami Tirmidhi, Vol 1, p150 also in Saheeh Bukhari)

As the Arabian Peninsula consists of mountainous regions (the Two Blessed Cities of Makkah and Madinah lie within mountainous areas) some doubt is created for observers on when the time of sunset actually occurs. Due to this, the Prophet has given us the criteria to observe the darkness setting in from the eastern horizon and the daylight receding from the western horizon for the fasting person to break his fast. Shari’ah states the issues in which doubt is created, according to Islamic jurisprudence should not be adopted. The Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) has stated ‘Leave that which is doubtful for that which has no doubt.’ (Al-Tirmidhi and Al-Nasaíi)

On the basis of this Hadith, today in the UK in order to remove all doubts, the Ulama of Deoband have put forth this guidance. When Saudi makes an announcement regarding the sighting of the moon, we should not as a matter of convenience follow them. Instead of deciding upon the matter in haste we should rather be patient and observe the condition in our Country and those near to us geographically. This is because; as the sun sets observers around the world especially in the continent of Africa can clearly sight the moon straight after the Saudi sunset. If the information received from the African continent is reliable (Muhaqaq Ruy’at e Basari) and in line with the Saudi announcement then it is acceptable for us to adopt this sighting in the UK. However, usually after Saudi has made their announcement the moon is neither sighted in the entire African or American continents as well as the Indian sub continent. Sometimes the period between Saudis sighting and that of other countries differ by up to 12 hours or a whole day whereby no sighting of the moon is witnessed in nearby lands and continents, whereas the moon should be sighted the next day. There are also known reports of Individuals living within Saudi Arabia who testify to seeing the moon two days after the Saudi announcement has been made. It is also reported and encouraged by the Sahih Hadith that ‘Ruy’at e Aamah’ (sighting by a large group) is a condition of accepting a sighting of the crescent moon. This criterion of sighting by a large group is never found in Saudi Arabia. In such a situation, those who do not live under the authority of Saudi Arabia’s Islamic jurisprudence should not destroy their fast, Eid and Qurbani/Adhiyah.