Ramadhan begins Monday Sept. 1 2008
Official Decision and Announcement of the High Judiciary Council of Saudi Arabia…
Just a short time ago, Fatwa-Online was informed of the official decision and announcement of the High Judiciary Council (HJC) of Saudi Arabia that since the moon of Ramadhaan was not sighted this evening, here in Saudi Arabia, we shall be completing thirty (30) days of Sha’baan (1429 A.H.), in accordance with the hadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam):
((Fast when you see the crescent. If it is obscured to you, then complete thirty days of Sha’baan. And break your fast when you see the crescent. If it is obscured to you then fast thirty days)), [transmitted by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim].
Subsequently, we shall be starting our taraaweeh prayers tomorrow evening (Sunday 31 August 2008) after the ‘Ishaa. prayer, in preparation for the first fast of Ramadhaan on Monday 1 September 2008, inshaa.-Allaah.
2 Opinions on when to start Fasting
When Do We Start Fasting (Opinion #1)?
|Reference: Tape: Istiqbaal Shahr Ramadaan (Welcoming the Month of Ramadaan), Side B 21st of Sha’baan, 1425|
It is well known to your eminence the presence of Muslim minorities in some non-Muslim countries and the disputing that occurs between some of them as it relates to the beginning of the fast of Ramadaan. So what is the best way to unify them and eliminate any splitting and differing amongst them? May Allaah reward you with good.
My advice to those minorities in the other countries is that they call the Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia]. And they do [in fact] call: they call the Higher Judiciary Council in the Kingdom from France, Britain and America. They ask about the sighting of the crescent and are informed about it. So they should strive to do that.
Also, from the things that are well established and undoubtedly known is that if the crescent is sighted in an eastern country, the possibility of sighting it in a land west of that country is even more likely… Hence, if it is seen in the Kingdom, the likelihood of seeing it in America is greater. However, they may not spot it, or they may not be skilled at sighting it, or they may be busy with other things. So they should call the Kingdom. If it is announced that the fast has started in the Kingdom and it’s broadcasted through the media – visual and audio – then whoever hears it should follow it.
The problem is when it’s sighted in the Kingdom and it hasn’t been sighted in the Far East, since [the difference in time zone] between us and the Far East is almost a whole night. So if we [in KSA] have sighted it at the time of sunset, it will be the end of the night or the time of Fajr in the Far East. Thus the countries of the Far East are not bound to fast according to our sighting. Rather, those bound to follow our sighting are the ones who are west of this country.
When Do We Start Fasting (Opinion #2)?
|Reference: ataawaa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah (10/112; #2149)|
Is it permissible for Muslims residing in a non-Islaamic country to form a committee responsible for determining [the sighting of] the crescent of Ramadaan, Shawaal and Dhul Hijjah?
It is permissible for Muslims present in a non-Islaamic country to form a committee comprising of Muslims that will take responsibility for determining [the sighting of] the crescent of Ramadaan, Shawaal and Dhul Hijjah.
Both articles are from: http://www.madeenah.com