Bismillahi Al-Rahmani Al-Rahim
More About Sighting The Moon
One of the brothers sent the following, may Allah
reward him, regarding the late Sheikh Ibn `Uthaymin (may Allah have mercy
upon him) and his opinion on sighting the moon. The Sheikh seems pretty
clear as to what is the mufta bihi position in the Hanbali mathab and what
the alternative position is.
And Allah knows best.
I found the following at www.ummah.net/moonsighting/fatawah/fatwaoth.htm:
Question: Appearance of Ramadan Hilal or Shawwal Hilal differs between
Muslim countries. So should the Muslims fast if the Hilal appears in one of
Answer: The scholars have difference of opinion regarding the issue of
Hilal. Some of them view that if Ramadan Hilal appears in a place per
Islamic rules, so all Muslims should start fasting. And if Shawwal Hilal
appears, all Muslims should break fast.
And this is famous in the Fiqh of Imam Ahmad. And from this eg. if we see
the Hilal in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, then it is incumbent on all
Muslims in all countries to follow this sighting for fasting in case of
Ramadan and for breaking the fast in case of Shawwal. And it was based on
an open statement of Allah (SWT) in the Qur'an: "Fa man shahida minkum
ash-shahr fal yasumh". and the open statement of the Hadith from our
Prophet (PBUH): ): if you saw it fast, and if you saw it, break the
And some scholars who say that it is not necessary to fast from the
appearance of Ramadan Hilal, nor to break fast in Shawwal, except for the
one who saw the Hilal or agreed on the sighting in the Matale of Hilal,
because Matale of Hilal differs, as agreed by people who know. So if there
are any differences (of Matale), each country must follow their own
sighting. If a country agrees in the Matale of Hilal, it follows, otherwise
And this is what the Sheikhul Islam Ibn Taimiyah RHA chose. And he based
this on the word of Allah (SWT): "Fa man shahida minkum ash-shahr fal
yasumh". and the Hadith of the prophet (SAW): if you saw it fast, and if
you saw it, break the fast. i.e. by the same daleel / method, which was
used by the ones who obligate (all to follow one sighting), but Ibn
Taimiyah who bases on the same Ayah and Hadith, differs (in his
conclusions). If the ruling was to follow the witness and the sighter, so
the ones who did not witnessed or saw it, the ruling will not be obligated
on them. And if the Matale (sighting) differs, so the ruling of Hilal
cannot be generalized (for them).
And this is for sure a strong argument to use, based on proof (daleel) and
strengthened by viewpoint and qiyas (analogy).
Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Saleh Othaimeen, Saudi Arabia.
Translated from Arabic book: "Fatawah Islamia", (Vol. 2, p. 113), Compiled
by Muhammad bin Abdul Aziz Al-Musnad,