We are taught by the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah that the direction to face while praying is towards the Ka’ba. In the matter of establishing the Islamic month, we are taught to sight the crescent moon with the naked eye (Muhaqaq Ru’yat Basari) by means of a large group (Jamme Ghafeer). Those who go to Hajj obtain the reward of 100,000 for each Salah prayed in the Haram of Ka’ba. However, when the time for Hajj comes, the Muslims are ordered to leave Haram. This has been clearly stated by the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet and to uphold the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah that those performing the Hajj have to leave the vicinity of Ka’ba. There are those who give themselves the title of protesters of the Taqaddus Al Haramain, seeking to join the masses on the Saudi moon sighting, stating that those who do not follow the Saudi announcements are disrespectful of the Haramain.
However the issue is that we as Muslims follow the ruling of Shari’ah when it is given, for instance when on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah, the day of Arafat, the Hajis leave the Ka’ba to go to Arafat this does not mean that they are disrespecting the Ka’ba but rather following a ruling to complete their Hajj. You cannot argue at that point that it is more rewarding to not go to Arafat as you will miss the reward of praying in the Ka’ba as this is required by the Sunnah of the Prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم at that time. Similarly at this injunction we should not regard the statement of the people who are not complying by the ruling of moon sighting but rather following the ruling of Taqaddus Haramain when it is not due.
Allah has stated in the Holy Qur’an: “And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah (i.e. this Qur’an), and be not divided among yourselves.” (s3, v103)
Indeed being united is very important. However, in this Ayah, Allah has clearly mentioned that we should unite on the method as prescribed by Allah , as it is Haq’ (righteous to do so). Even the enemies of Islam unite against Islam; this does not mean that their purpose of being unified is correct. Those who do not follow the righteous teachings and rather base their ruling on the birth of the new moon are going against the propagation of Shariah and are bringing a new modernization in Deen. How can the disregard for the Truth (Haq) attain the pleasure of Allah, solely for unification?
Allah has stated in the Holy Qur’an: “Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidences and the guidance, which we have sent down, after we have made it clear for the people in the Book, they are the ones cursed by Allah and cursed by the cursers.” (s2, v159)
The Prophets of Allah صلي الله عليه وسلم proclaimed and propagated the message of Allah, whether the masses accepted it or not. The example of the propagation of Sayyidina Nuh spanned some 950 years and the majority of his community did not accept his message. He did not leave the Truth or alter it to appease the masses and gain followers, if there is disunity caused due to the propagation of the Truth, there is no harm or evil in this. Those that claim it is a Fitna are placing blame on the Prophets and Messengers of Allah صلي الله عليه وسلم. When nations were united on the wrong, the Prophets and Messengers were sent to proclaim the message of Allah. This caused disunity and some were guided and some remained astray. The mission of the Prophets was only to proclaim the Truth; the acceptance of their message was the choice of their individual communities. Remember, if a community unites upon the wrong, then that community is preparing itself for the punishment of Allah .
The laws and restrictions of obeying the order of a Judge (Qadhi) in an Islamic court:
The Shari’ah has placed restrictions upon a judge appointed by the Ameer of an area or country. These restrictions apply both to regions (vicinity of a town or country) and in specific fields (Zakat, Talaq, Iddat etc). The Judge can only decide matters upon topics that he has been appointed to the position for. Further, his ruling will only be enforceable and binding in the area that he is appointed over. A Judge will not have the jurisdiction to enforce a ruling in an area that is not within their appointed dominion, nor will the ruling be established outside of the appointed region. (Fathul Qadir, vol 7, p254 / Al Bahrur Raiq, vol 6, p259 / Fatawa Hindiya, vol 3, p315 / Adhahul Nawadir, vol 2, p124)
If there is no other way to encourage the masses to follow the Saudi moon sighting, the laymen are told that the order of the Chief Judge in Saudi Arabia has to be followed and it is Wajib to do so. This is incorrect, in accordance to the Islamic teachings and rulings. A layman should not be blackmailed emotionally in this manner by those who hold more knowledge and a better understanding of the Deen.
The Chief Judge of Riyadh is appointed by the King of Saudi Arabia. The King does not call himself the Khalifah of the Muslims of the World, nor do the Muslims accept him as such. Together with this, the ruling of the Chief Judge of Riyadh is applicable and enforceable only within Saudi Arabia and does not apply to the Muslims elsewhere around the world, such as England (UK).