To follow the Saudi moon sighting is granting freedom in interpreting the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah without proof or knowledge. This in the manner that the Ghair Muqalideen are accustomed to. In 11 months of the year, these two Jamaats (Jamiat ul Ulama Britannia and Hizbul Ulema UK) propagate the teachings of the Hanafi Fiqh. When the time for Ramadhan comes they seek to blindly follow the Saudi moon sighting announcement. These originate from Government officials in Riyadh who are acting upon the birth of the new moon sighting to establish Ramadhan and the Eids! These same officials have taken the unanimous agreement of the Companions of the Prophet – Ijma Sahaba - of 20 Rakats Taraweeh and replaced it with 8 Rakats everywhere in Saudi except the Haramain! The same people (Ghair Muqalideen) who have taken the announcement of 3 Talaqs and made it one…making what is impermissible, acceptable!
Are Jamiatul Ulama Britain & Hizbul Ulema UK against the theory of Astronomical calculation?
Verily, these two groups Jamiatul Ulama Britain Jamiat & Hizbul Ulema UK, state verbally and in their writings that they do not accept the theory of Astronomical calculations. However, in reality following of Saudi equates to the contrary, they so completely and uncompromisingly follow Saudi as to leave no room for the sighting of the crescent moon with the naked eye (Muhaqaq Ru’yat Basari) and witnessing by a large group (Jamme Ghafeer) to take any precedence. The Saudi moon sighting announcements over the past 30 years have never once been subject to the mandatory criteria mentioned above. Further to this, the Saudi moon sighting criteria is fully based upon the Astronomical calculations of the Umm ul Qura calendar. These two groups do not make any effort to ascertain whether the moon sighting of the Saudi government is correct. Rather, they act upon it blindly without any hesitation.
المملكة العربية السعودية
مدينة الملك عبدالعزيز
على المستويين الرسمي واَلشخصي .. فإنه يسر المدينة أن تصدر هذا التقويم الهجري – لأثنتين سنة – من 1409 حتى 1440 هجرى بنا على الحسابات
العلمية التي تعتبر التوقيت العالمي لولادة الهلال الفلكية أساساً لدخول الشهر.
د. صالح بن عبدالرحمن العزل، رئيس مدينة الملك عبدالعزيز للعلوم والتقنية
Above, the Saudi government has written in the Introduction of the Umm ul Qura calendar that they are pleased that a calendar has been prepared for the Islamic months from 1409 to 1440. The basis of the commencement of the Islamic month in this calendar is upon the ‘birth of the new moon.’
The issue is not that we follow Saudi or not; rather the reality is that Saudi is incorrect and hence we must avoid following them in this matter. This is because by making the decision according to Saudi (where the birth of the new moon is set as a criterion) is in fact adopting the teachings of Judaism and Hinduism not Islam.
Despite knowledge of the issues above, the groups of Jamiatul Ulama Britain & Hizbul Ulama UK still prevent people from discussing the matter of moon sighting in respect of the astronomical calculation. This is due to the fact that, from amongst the practising Muslims in the World, there are very educated and knowledgeable individuals in the field of Astronomy. Even if the Saudi government had not distributed the Umm ul Qura calendar, these people would be able to deduce the basis the Saudi moon sighting employs. To hide the reality of the Saudi moon sightings, which they follow, the Jamiatul Ulama Britain & Hizbul Ulema UK have prevented people from entertaining any discussion which involve astronomical calculations. The astronomical calculations that have been formulated by the Muslim specialists in the field are based on the possibility of sighting of the crescent moon. As this is the basis upon which Islam has established the commencement of the new month. However, the occurrence of Jamme Ghafeer is still the deciding factor and ascertains the correctness of the calculations; the astronomers accept this and amend their calendar in accordance with it. The difference of the Saudi way is that no matter how wrong their announcements and calculations are they never accept it. Jamiatul Ulama Britain & Hizbul Ulema UK too, never accept that the Saudi announcement is flawed or unacceptable.
To be wary of those that claim not to follow Astronomical calculation, claiming it to be against Islamic Principles. Shaykhul Hadith Mufti Saeed Palampuri of Darul Uloom Deoband writes: ‘It is necessary to mention this point that in respect of the Moon, calculations are not to be relied upon. It is understood that some mischievous Muslims do falsely testify to seeing the new moon to facilitate the Saudi announcement. In such a situation, the calculation is only to be used to prove that a false testimony is made, where in reality it was not possible to sight the crescent moon. In this instance, a testimony will not be accepted. And Allah knows best. (Tuhfatul Al Ma’ee Sharah Sunan Tarmidhi vol 3, p57 by Shaykh-ul-Hadith Mufti Saeed Ahmad Palanpuri, Darul Uloom Deoband)