Below is a well written article on moonsighting by Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti’s on this moonsighting issue that comes up every year. I often wonder why these disputes only occur in so called open and free societies. Inshaa Allah even if we disagree with the decision making bodies in our area. This should be done with reverence,respect for our fellow believers and with the best of adab. Lets us remember in enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong there is a principle that one knows not only the majority opinion but the differing opinions as well, not to mention this idea of greater harm.
Definitive Reply to the Moonsighting Controversy
Hisab & Ru’ya or Matla’ al-Budur
bismillahi r-rahmani r-rahim.
al-hamdulillah alladhi ja‘ala l-ahillata mawaqita li-n-nasi wa-ijtima‘a n-nayrayni ‘alamatan li-inqida’i sh-shahri wa-miqatan li l-‘ibadati bi-ru’yati l-ahillati fi shari‘ati l-amri wa s-salatu wa s-salamu ‘ala rasulihi alladhi ja‘alahu sirajan muniran wa-min nurihi mustaniran wa ja‘ala alihi wa-ashabihi nujuman wa li-shayatina l-insi wa l-jinni rujuman amma ba‘d.Your letter raised a number of issues,
so I have divided this article into four questions:
(a) the fiqh ruling of rejecting a testimony [shahada] that contradicts unquestioned computation [hisab qat‘i; i.e., astronomical data]; (b) the maximum extent [tahdid] of the local sighting-zone [matla‘ mahall al-ru’ya] according to both fiqh [Islamic jurisprudence] and falak [astronomy]; (c) the precedence of
a sighting [ru’ya] in the East over the local sighting-zone; (d) the meaning of having a ‘universal’ and united ‘Id; (0) and an introduction.