By Kaniz Fatma, New Age Islam
13 April 2021
What Is The Opinion Of The Muslim Jurists And Scholars About The Sighting The New Moon Of Ramadan
1. It is Wajib Kifaya to see the new moon to witness the Month of Ramadan
2. Opinion of the Muslim jurists and scholars about the sighting the new moon of Ramadan?
3. If all the people dismiss this obligation, then they will be declared sinful
4. Transmitted proof (Naqali dalil) is needed to declare the sighting of the new moon
Is it a communal obligation (Wajib Kifaya) to see the new moon to witness the Month of Ramadan?
Yes, it is a communal obligation to see the new moon to witness the month of Ramadan. The Muslims must try to sight the moon on the twenty-ninth day of Sha’ban. If they see the moon, they should begin fasting from the next day. If the moon is not visible to them on the twenty-ninth day of Sha’ban, they are to complete the thirty days of Sha’ban and then begin fasting.
What is the opinion of the Muslim jurists and scholars about the sighting the new moon of Ramadan?
The majority of scholars and jurists including Imam Abu Hanifa hold the view that sighting the new moon on the evening of the twenty-ninth of Sha’ban or Ramadan is a communal obligation (Wajib-e-Kifaya). Wajib-e-Kifaya means, if all the people dismiss this obligation, then they will be declared sinful, and if some people do it, the rest will be relieved from it. They state that If the people see the new moon, they are obligated to begin fasting, otherwise, they must complete the month (as thirty days) and then start fasting. The rational reason is given that something essential to the performance of an obligatory duty also becomes obligatory. (See for details, Hidaya by Allama Marghinani)
What is the transmitted proof (Naqali dalil) to declare the sighting of the new moon of Ramadan a communal obligation?
The transmitted basis of this obligation is the words of the Prophet (peace be upon him),
“Commence fasting on seeing it (the moon) and end fasting on seeing it. If the moon is not visible to you, complete the period of Sha’ban of thirty days.”
Another hadith reported by Hazrat Ibn Umar reads that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) made a mention of Ramadan and he with the gesture of his hand said:
The month is thus and thus. (He then withdrew his thumb for the third time). He then said: Fast when you see it (the moon), and break your fast when you see it, and if the weather is cloudy calculate it (the months of Sha'ban and Shawwal) as thirty days. (Sahih Muslim Book 6, Number 2364:)
Hazrat Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) has said,
“Commence the fast when you see it (the moon) and cease fasting (perform Eid) when you see it. But if the weather is cloudy, complete thirty days of Sha’ban.” [Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 1, Page 256]
It is hereby proved that sighting the new moon of Ramadan is a communal obligation on Muslims. This means if some Muslims manage to see the new moon of Ramadan, the rest will be relieved from this responsibility and will not be declared sinful.
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