Monday 15th July 2024 | Ithnain 8th Muharram 1446 [?]

This question comes up every year at the time of Eid-ul Adha and so, many eminent scholars of the past and present have looked into the Seerah (biography) of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and found that following Makkah by foreign countries (i.e. those living outside Saudi Arabia) have no basis in Shariah. Here are few quotations from fatawa issued by renowned scholars from Arabia/Asia:

  1. Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani (حفظه الله) said: “I would like to inform you that the question of sighting the moon for each lunar month including Zul-Hijjah was thoroughly discussed at the annual sessions of the Islamic Fiqh Academy (held in Jordan, October 11-16, 1986) attended by more than a hundred outstanding scholars of Shari'ah. The academy adopted the resolution and recommended that all Muslim countries should determine all the lunar months including Zul-Hijjah on the same basis for both Eid al-Fitr as well as Eid al-Adha [i.e. based on local moon sighting].” [Fatwa, Darul Uloom Karachi, Pakistan] / ISNA's Eid al-Adha Evaluated by A Renowned Scholar
  2. Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Saleh Al-Othaimeen (رحمه الله) said: “You should fast and break your fast along with the people of the country where you are living, whether that is in accordance with your country of origin or not. Similarly, on the Day of Arafah [9th Dhul Hijjah], you should follow the country [moon sighting] where you are living”.  Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 19 [Saudi Arabia] / Fasting of Ramadan and the day of Arafah
  3. Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Saleh Al-Othaimeen (رحمه الله) was asked: “Should we fast and end our fast according to the sighting of the new moon in Saudi Arabia or should we do it according to the sighting of the new moon in the country where we are?” He replied: “It is obligatory for you to follow the sighting of the new moon in the place where you are” Ref: Al-Aqalliyaat Al-Muslimah - Page 84, Fatwa No.23 [Saudi Arabia] / Should we fast according to the new moon in Saudi Arabia
  4. Shaykh Mohammed Ibrahim Memon (حفظه الله) said: “Eid-ul-Adha was established in Islam in the 2nd year of hijra and the first Hajj in the Islamic calendar was performed in the 9th year of hijra. This means that for nearly seven years, the Sahabah (رضى الله عنهم) celebrated Eid and slaughtered their animals even though the Hajj had not yet begun. If the day of Eid is associated with the day of Arafah the way some think it is, then both would have been brought into the Shari'ah at the same time. Never in the history of Islam has any Islamic country tried to follow the moon sighting of Saudi Arabia based on the idea that its Eid should follow the day of Arafah, except only until very recently” (Darul Uloom Al Madania, USA) / Moon Sighting
  5. Shaykh Abdul Aziz Bin Baaz (رحمه الله) said: "As for those who say that it is necessary to follow the crescent moon sighting of Makkah, then let it be known to them, that there is no proof or basis for this [in the Quran and Sunnah]" (فأما قول من قال إنه ينبغي أن يكون المعتبر رؤية هلال مكة خاصة ، فلا أصل له ولا دليل عليه) [Saudi Arabia] / (Ref: Fatwa of Shaykhul Imam, Shaykh Bin Baaz)

 [The first sighting of the moon starts from different locations on the earth each month, hence to follow one fixed location every month in a foreign country is both illogical and unscientific. Furthermore, it is neither local sighting nor global sighting and has no proofs from the Quran and Sunnah, as quoted above – Editor]

Related: YouTube: What is the ruling on the Day of Arafah fasting for other countries if the moon sighting differs with Saudi Arabia? [English] [Arabic]