Disclaimer: This blog keeps timing continuously and I have had to type this 3 separate time. If there are numerical errors or spelling mistakes etc I apologise.
Asslamo Allaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh,
There are loads of technical details on WifaqulUlama website on the issue so please feel free to browse.
Here, I wish to raise some very simple points for an uneducated laymen (like me).
Issue 1 (Announcements before Asar/Maghrib)?
The foundation of Moon sighting in Islam is a very simple and succinctly summarised in the following Hadeeth:
صوموا لرؤيته، وأفطروا لرؤيته، فإن غبي عليكم فأكملوا عدة شعبان ثلاثين
Observe fast when you see it (the new moon) and break fast when you see it (the new moon of Shawwal), but when (the actual position of the month is) concealed from you (on account of cloudy sky), then count thirty days of Sha'baan. [Muslim]
Take a look at the timeline of Mosque Announcements, Tweets and facebook updates of many Masajid and you will find that their decision (for Ramadhan) was announced even before Asar time in United Kingdom. How come? Which Hadeeth, which Madhab, which Imam and which principle of Fiqh tells you to announce Ramadhan 2 days later before Asar (or between Asar and Maghrib)?
Then you have those committees who have already made their decision (based on Saudi Arabia) but merely wait until Maghrib as a formality. There is no attempt to even sight the moon but just a formality to wait until Maghrib.
Issue 2 (Mocking the issue)?
We have a number of eminent and knowledgeable Muslims who take to Social Media to mock the issue. Laymen merely take it a step further and post pictures with “Moon Wars coming to a Mosque near You”.
Here is Shaykh (Mufti) Mangera (HA) addressing moon sighting:
Here is Shaykh Suleiman Ghani (HA) addressing moon sighting:
Both Scholars are offering divergent opinions backed by evidence. How come as a Scholar or a knowledgeable person all you can offer is MOCKING?
Then you come with (not very funny) jokes about Ramadhan is coming (Moon wars will start…) you have done NOTHING for 11 months what do you expect to happen in the 12th month?
Issue 3 (Hanafi Madhab has Global Moon Sighting…)?
Would you like to inform Darul-uloom Deoband, Saharunpur, Karachi, Lahore, Multan ?
Please articulate your points against their Taqleed and send them?
Issue 4 (I follow Imams of Haram…)?
Which Imam of Haram has given you the Fatwa to follow Saudi Moon Sighting in Britain? Name and Fatwa details please???
Issue 4 (I am a Deobandi and follow Deoband…)?
And proof of your claim is? What makes you reject clear Fatwaas from Deoband then?
Issue 5 (It’s not important…)?
We have a group of Scholars who trivialise the issue or downgrade those who try to resolve the conflict or give their “Fatwa” when asked questions reply with “I don’t want to talk about it…”
Why is it that you have the time to offer random (off the cuff) comments but not the time to have your (off the cuff) comments analysed by other (Scholars)?
What gives you the right to criticise other Scholars who deem the issue to be important?
Importance is subjective! For a child, breaking a pencil is important. For a bride (upon the Sunnah) waiting for her husband and breaking a nail is disappointing and important. For a Palestinian, the next Israeli airstrike on Gaza is important. For Mufti Hussain Kadodia (HA) to determine the exact distance for prayers to be shortening is important. For Mufti Ibn Adam (HA) the exact ruling around plucking eyebrows is important.
So what makes you think that the right day to start Ramadhan and the right time to start to begin fasting is not important for others (Scholars and Laymen alike)?
Issue 6 (Cannot Switch from Saudi Arabia)?
Muslims of United Kingdom never followed Saudi Arabia until in 1980’s (for circumstances of that time) switch to Saudi Arabia was (temporarily) allowed.
Why was switch to Saudi Arabia permissible but switch from it impermissible?
Issue 7 (Follow Majority)?
There are 1.9 million+ Muslims in United Kingdom and there is no clear evidence that Majority follow Saudi Arabia, but let’s discuss 2 specific cases (for Deobandees).
- Entire Shaf’ae community DOES NOT follow Saudi Arabia
- Birmingham Central Mosque DOES NOT (blindly) follow Saudi Arabia
- Barelwes DO NOT follow Saudi Arabia
- Number of Deobandees and Salafees DO NOT follow Saudi Arabia
- Any Mosques part of Shura (1, 2, 3 & 4) DO NOT follow Saudi Arabia
What makes you break ranks, go against Majority and follow Saudi Arabia?
Majority of Muslims in the city (Deobandees included) DO NOT follow Saudi Arabia, what makes you break ranks and go against Majority?
Issue 8 (Love for Makkah & Madina)?
- How come Shaykh (Mufti) Taqi Usmani (HA) doesn’t display his love for Makkah & Madina by following Saudi Arabia for moon sighting?
- Ulama of Darul-uloom Deoband?
- Ulama of Saharunpur?
Do you get the picture or should I keep going?
Issue 9 (Which dates do you follow for Hajj)?
Would you like to have this discussion with Shaykh (Mufti) Taqi Usmani (HA) who follows Pakistan for moon sighting but Saudi Arabia for Hajj? Because obviously your in-depth knowledge of Fiqh has escaped Hazrat!
Do you get the picture or should I keep going?
Issue 10 (Follow the Mashaykh…)?
- Shaykhul-Hadeeth (Maulana) Zakariyya Kandhalwi (HA) never followed Saudia (in India)
- Shaykh (Peer) Zulfiqar Saheb (HA) doesn’t follow Saudia.
- Shaykh (Mufti) Taqi Usmani (HA) doesn’t follow Saudia.
How come the Mashaykh in UK are disobeying their Shaykhs?
Issue 11 (I follow my local Mosque…)?
Maghrib in your city is at 21:34, your Mosque decides to have Maghrib Jamaat (congregation) at 21:23, would you pray?
So why do you fast a day early? Or fast on Eid day?
What is the difference?
Issue 12 (I get your point but how can we break Unity and Switch…)?
You have been printing Salah timetable for 20 years and now realise that your Maghrib time was early by 5 minutes). Your whole city follows the same timetable.
What do you do? Keep praying 5 minutes before sunset because you have always done it?
Issue 13 (The Latest Fatwa from Deoband is about India, not UK)?
Agreed, read the conclusion in English:
In Summary, we categorically state without ambiguity in the light of evidence from Qur’aan, Sunnah and Shariah that there is no scope for the application for Saudi moon sighting dates in India.
Here is Darul-uloom Deoband Fatwa on their official website about Brtain, why do you reject this?
ASlmz w w, Alhumdolillah Mufti Saeed Ahmed Palunpuri was in London this Ramdhan and we benefitted from his as never before - he safe guarded our farz fast by explaining the whole masail of Moonsighting and i prayed my Eid salaat with him. Can you please answer 2 questions for me:- 1st Question "Here in the UK all our Deobandi edara's and most of their UK akaabereen (not all) follow Saudi in moonsighting. Must we follow them or should we not (inlight of fatwa from Deoband, Shaharanpur, Dhabel and other world fatwas) as Saudi's moon sighting is not reliable?" 2nd question Do we have to follow our elders (Respected Scholars and Muftis) of the UK if we have doubt in the sighting of the Saudi moon?
There is much distance between Britain and Saudi Arabia. Instead of following such a distant country the people of Britain should follow the moon sighting of any closer country like Morocco when the moon sighting is proved by ways prescribed in Shariah.
Allah (Subhana Wa Ta'ala) knows Best
Darul Uloom Deoband