A phase of the moon is any of the aspects or appearances presented by the moon as seen from earth, determined by the portion of the moon that is visibly illuminated by the sun. The lunar phases vary cylically as the moon orbits the earth and the earth moon system orbits the sun, according to the relative positions of the earth, the moon and the sun. Since the moon appears bright only due to the sun’s reflected light, only half of the moon facing the sun is illuminated.
(1) The Islamic months, being lunar months, commence with the sighting (rooyat) of the crescent moon (hilal). The principle is the sighting of the hilaI, not the birth of the moon.
(2) It is Wajib (obligatory) for the people to search for the hilal at the end of the 29th day of Sha’ban, i.e. at sunset.
(1) The Saum of Ramadhan is Fardh. One who denies the fardhiyat (being Fardh) of the Saum of Ramadhan becomes a kaafir while one who accepts its fardhiyat but neglects its observance is described as a Fassiq.
(2) The Saum of Ramadhan commences when the sighting of the Ramadhan hilal (crescent moon) has been confirmed in accordance with the rules of the Shariah.