The Sighting of the Moon

Bahishti Zewar, Fiqh, Part 3-Fasting, Zakaat, Qurbani, Hajj etc. / Sunday, August 31st, 2008

1. The moon of Ramadhân was not sighted because of clouds or some dust in the
sky. However, a religious-minded, pious and honest person gives testimony that
he has sighted the moon. The sighting of the moon will thus be established
irrespective of whether the person is a male or a female.
2. If the moon of Eid is not sighted because of clouds, the testimony of one
person will not be acceptable irrespective of how reliable a person he may be.
Instead, the sighting of the moon will only be established if two reliable,
pious men or one reliable, pious man and two reliable, pious women give
testimony that they have sighted the moon. If four women alone give testimony,
it will not be acceptable.
3. The person who does not follow the requirements of the Deen and continues
committing sinful acts, e.g. he does not offer salâh, does not keep fasts, is in
the habit of speaking lies or commits some other sin and does not confine
himself to the dictates of the Shariah; his testimony cannot be relied upon
according to the Shariah. This is irrespective of the number of oaths he may
take in order to give credence to what he is saying. In fact, if there are
several people like him, even then their testimony will not be acceptable.
4. This notion which has become popular among the masses that the day on which
the 4th of Rajab falls, on that same day the 1st of Ramadhân will fall has no
validity in the Shariah. If the moon is not sighted, fast should not be kept.
5. Upon seeing the moon, one should not say that the moon appears to be very big
and that it appears to be the second moon. This is an evil habit. It is
mentioned in a Hadith that this is a sign of qiyâmah. When qiyâmah will draw
near, people will talk in this manner. In short, do not even rely on the size of
the moon as to whether it is big or small. Nor should you rely on the Hindus who
say that today is dooj (the second day of the lunar fortnight) and that the moon
will definitely be sighted today. In the Shariah, all this is regarded as
6. If the skies are absolutely clear, even the testimony of several persons will
not be acceptable and the sighting of the moon cannot be established. This is
irrespective of whether it is the moon of Ramadhân or the moon of Eid. However,
if a very large number of people give their testimony that they have sighted the
moon to such an extent that the heart feels that such a large number of people
cannot be lying and that it is impossible for them to be concocting a story,
then only will the sighting of the moon be established.
7. A rumour has spread in the entire city that the moon had been sighted
yesterday and that many people had seen it. However, after making many
enquiries, not a single person could be found who had actually sighted the moon.
Such a rumour cannot be acceptable.
8. A person sighted the moon of Ramadhân. Apart from him, no one else in the
entire city sighted the moon. Furthermore, this person does not follow the
dictates of the Shariah. The residents of the city should not fast and cannot
rely on this person’s testimony. However, this person will have to fast. And if
he fasts for the full thirty days and the moon of Eid has not been sighted as
yet, he will have to keep one additional fast and celebrate Eid with the rest of
the residents of the city.
9. A person sighted the moon of Eid alone and the Shariah did not accept his
testimony. This person cannot celebrate Eid as well. He must fast the following
day and should not rely on his sighting of the moon. Nor should he break his

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