Sunday 16th June 2024 | Ahad 9th Dhul-Hijjah 1445 [?]

icouk new logo2For many decades it was commonly believed that the moon cannot be sighted in the UK due to cloudy weather, but with the establishment of the Islamic Crescents Observation for the UK (ICOUK) in 2008 to revive the Sunnah of Local Moon Sighting, this misconception has been significantly reduced and we have over 4-years observation data to prove it, Alhamdulillah. Therefore, in November 2021 we have asked the following question (Istiftaa) to a number of renowned Darul Ulooms in the Indian Subcontinent together with the 4-years (1439-1442) data.

Question: From our actual moon sighting experience over many years, we strongly believe that the Hilal can be easily sighted in the UK and request your advice if we are allowed to follow our own Local Moon Sighting, InshaAllah?

Answer: We have received the fatawa from a number of major Darul Ulooms which can be downloaded from the ICOUK website at www.moonsighting.org.uk. However, the summaries of the responses are given below:

Jamiah Islamiah, Dabhel (India): “If the sighting of the crescent moon is proven in the UK according to the prescribed method, then it is necessary to follow it in fulfilling the related commands of the Shariah. In such a case, there is no need to follow any near or far distant countries.” (Mufti Abdul Qayyum Rajkoti/Mufti Abbas Daud Bismillah, 20/11/2021)

Jamiah Darul Uloom Karachi (Pakistan): “The reason for following the Moon Sighting reports of nearby Muslim countries in the past was because it was not possible to sight the Hilal in Britain. But that difficulty no longer exists. Therefore, discuss with those who follow Saudi Arabia and invite them to the Local Moon Sighting.” (Mufti Sayed Hussain Ahmed/Mufti Abdul Rauf Sakharvi, 21/1/2022)

Jamiatul Uloom Al-Islamia, Karachi (Pakistan): “The Muslims of Britain should arrange their own sighting and begin a new month and end the previous one on the sighting of their own country. [...] When the moon sighting is possible in your country (Britain), then relying on the sighting of another country will not be permissible.” (Mufti Mustafa Amin/Mufti Muhammad Ibrahim, 26/1/2022)

Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow (India): “We are delighted to learn that it is now possible to sight the Hilal in Britain. In this situation, [the Muslims of] Britain should follow the base rule of Local Moon Sighting. There is no need or necessity now to follow the news of near or far distant countries.” (Mufti Mohammad Zafar Alam Nadwi/Mufti Niyaz Ahmed Nadwi, 5/3/2022)

Markaz Al-Dawah, Dhaka (Bangladesh): “We believe that if serious efforts are made and mutual dialogue is continued, it is possible, that everyone will agree on Local Sighting, because the excuse that led to the following of the foreign countries has now disappeared, Alhamdulillah.” (Mufti Abdul Malek/Mufti Abul Hasan Muhammad Abdullah, 10/3/2022)

Darul Uloom Deoband, Utter Pradesh (India): “We say, if the local scholars and credible moon sighting committees agree with these [UK Moon Sighting] research findings, then they should organise and follow Local Moon Sighting. (Mufti Habibur Rahman/Mufti Waqar Ali, 5/4/2022)

Darul Uloom Deoband, Utter Pradesh (India): “This [fatwa to follow South Africa] was written on the basis that the questioner (Mustafa) had written in the question the time difference between the UK and South Africa was only a 1-hour. If this is incorrect, as you have written; and rather Morocco is the closest country [to UK], then the ruling written in the fatwa (1349/B, 1428 AH) [to follow South Africa] will not be effective [or valid]." (Mufti Zainul Islam Qasmi Allahabadi, Mufti Mahmud Hasan Buland Shahri; Mufti Muhammad Asadullah, 21/1/2023)

In conclusion, the above fatawa clearly states that there is no reason for UK Muslims to follow any distant countries if the Hilal can be sighted in the UK according to the rule of Shariah. Therefore, we urge all UK Muslims to support their Mosque Committees, Imams and Scholars to unite on Local Moon Sighting, InshaAllah.

Reference: UK Moon Sighting Fatawa 1443/2022; (English/Urdu PDF, 68 pages, 46 MB)


Ramadan Fasting with Local Moon Sighting - by Sheikh Abdulaziz Ibn Bazz
Question: What is the ruling if the start of Ramadan has been confirmed and announced in one Muslim country, such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, though the month has not started in our country? Do we have to observe Sawm (Fast) with Saudi Arabia or we are to follow our country regarding the start and end of Ramadan? Likewise, what is the ruling if the two countries differ with regard to the start of Shawwal i.e., 'Eid-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast)? May Allah reward you with the best!
Answer: A Muslim has to start and end observing Sawm (Fast) of Ramadan according to the sighting of the moon of the country where they live. This is because the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “The beginning of Ramadan is on the day when you begin fasting; the end of Ramadan (i.e. 'Eid-ul-Fitr) is on the day when you end fasting; and Eid-ul-Adha is on the day when you sacrifice.” May Allah grant us success! [view image]
Reference: Majmoo’al Fatawa by Sheikh Abdulaziz Ibn Bazz, Late Mufti of Saudi Arabia (Vol.15/p.58) [download pdf]