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Ramadhan Moon Sighting


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#1 UndercoverBrother

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 07:40 PM

Salaam

With regards to the moon sighting which leads to Ramadhan and fasting being prescribed the next day should we follow the opinion that a Global sighting is suffecient for us and that as long as we trust the muslims sighting the moon it is ok to declare Ramadhan. Or do we follow a local sighting which only occurs and matters for our country region or even county. The second would result in Ramadhan startinf on different days according to when people view the moon.

Do we as shia hold one of the above two opinions to be correct according to our fiqh. Also do the Ayatollah's when declaring Ramadhan give a reason or proof to thier decision.

#2 macisaac

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 08:18 PM

Salaam

With regards to the moon sighting which leads to Ramadhan and fasting being prescribed the next day should we follow the opinion that a Global sighting is suffecient for us and that as long as we trust the muslims sighting the moon it is ok to declare Ramadhan. Or do we follow a local sighting which only occurs and matters for our country region or even county. The second would result in Ramadhan startinf on different days according to when people view the moon.

Do we as shia hold one of the above two opinions to be correct according to our fiqh. Also do the Ayatollah's when declaring Ramadhan give a reason or proof to thier decision.



There has been a difference of opinion amongst the fuqaha on this issue. To illustrate:

"1744. * If the first day of a month is proved in a city, it is also proved in other cities if they are united in their horizon. And the meaning of having a common horizon in this matter is that if new moon was sighted in a city, there would be a distinct possibility of sighting it in the other cities, if there were no impediments, like, the clouds etc." Sayyid Sistani

"1744. If the first date of a month is proved in a city it is also proved in other city whether they are near or far and whether or not they have a common horizon, provided they have a common night, even though when it is the first part of the night in one of them it is the last part of the night in the other." Sayyid Khoei

"If the sight of the moon is established in another town but not in one’s own town, then if they are close to each other, or it is sure that they have a common horizon, it shall be sufficient (for acceptance), otherwise not." Sayyid Khomeini

"Issue No. 1458- If the first day of a month is proved in a city , it will be sufficient for other cities which are near it. Similarly, the distant cities that are united in their horizon, and also if the moon is sighted in the cities in the east, it will be sufficient for people who are in cities in the west of them ( like, if the 1st of the moon is proved in Mashed, for sure, it will suffice for those who are in Tehran. However, it will not suffice if it is vice versa)." Shaykh Makarim Shirazi

and so on.

The general view is therefore not that a sighting anywhere in the world will suffice for everyone else, however, the distinction of what the acceptable boundaries of sighting are is something wherein there are differences to be found.

#3 UndercoverBrother

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 08:27 PM

The general view is therefore not that a sighting anywhere in the world will suffice for everyone else, however, the distinction of what the acceptable boundaries of sighting are is something wherein there are differences to be found.


Well here in the UK some people follow Iran and some follow Pakistan and some even Saudi Arabia so that just makes it even more confusing in the first place. Maybe we are influenced by the Sunni then because they have two opinions of national/global sightings.

#4 Abuzar

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 08:28 PM

Salaam

With regards to the moon sighting which leads to Ramadhan and fasting being prescribed the next day should we follow the opinion that a Global sighting is suffecient for us and that as long as we trust the muslims sighting the moon it is ok to declare Ramadhan. Or do we follow a local sighting which only occurs and matters for our country region or even county. The second would result in Ramadhan startinf on different days according to when people view the moon.

Do we as shia hold one of the above two opinions to be correct according to our fiqh. Also do the Ayatollah's when declaring Ramadhan give a reason or proof to thier decision.


(salam)

It would depend on whose taqlid one is doing. For instance, Grand Ayatullah Sistani (HA) has decreed that moonsighting should be according to horizon, so there can possibly be two sightings on two different dates in the same country, as happened at Eid-ul-Fitr in North and South India last year. On the other hand Grand Ayatullah Khu'i (ra) had permitted that sighting at one place within a common night area (e.g. country) could be considered as sighting for the whole area. Taqlid is done without having to know the reasoning or proof for decrees of the marja'.

Those knowing Urdu and interested in knowing more on this subject may wish to hear the third 2007 speech of Dr. Kalbe Sadiq on this website

Edited by Abuzar, 11 September 2007 - 08:30 PM.


#5 Mahdavist

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Posted 12 September 2007 - 02:37 AM

(bismillah)

(salam)

Well here in the UK some people follow Iran and some follow Pakistan and some even Saudi Arabia so that just makes it even more confusing in the first place. Maybe we are influenced by the Sunni then because they have two opinions of national/global sightings.


You are correct in saying so, and this is due to genuine or feigned ignorance of a significant amount of people in the Shia community, and the trend also exists within the Ahl-us-Sunnah.

The problem is that people seem to 'follow' a country, either because it's an Islamic or a Muslim country (as is the case with Iran and Saudi) or because they happen to have been born in that country (North Africans, South Asians, etc...)

In the Ahl-us-Sunnah there are two options, either you follow Saudi (which less and less people are doing because they can't find any reason to do so, and also because Saudi has committed many errors in the past) or you sight the moon in the region you live in.

As for the Ahl-ut-Tashayyu (the Shi'a), you follow the ruling of your marja.

The problem is people often equate this to directly following the same date as the marja, which is false. Ayatullah Seestani, for example, clearly writes in his book of laws that declaring the first day of a month is NOT the duty or responsibility of the marja.

Too many people will start fasting on a day just because their marja is doing so in his own country, whereas the ruling does not say this.

If one follows the rulings correctly there is every possibility that the marja and the muqallid will fast on different days, and both be correct.



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