Local Versus Global Sighting
Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
What is the position of the Hanafi madhab regarding the local versus international moon sighting? Sayyid Sabiq in his Fiqh us-Sunnah says, “the correct opinion among the Hanafiyyah, and the chosen opinion among the Shafiyah, every ‘country’ (or territory) is to take into consideration its own sighting and not necessarily follow the sighting of the others.” (I realize that Fiqh us-Sunnah is weak fiqh work but Shaykh Nuh Keller said that the conclusions and proofs it use conform 90 percent to the Shafi’i positions and for that reason, being unlettered in Arabic, I sometimes refer to it.) I remember listen to series of lecture tapes by Shaykh Nuh on a trip to Guyana and someone asked him this question. He said that the Hanafi position was the international sighting. I am originally from NYC but currently living in Malaysia. The Indo-Pak Hanafis in New York all followed the local sighting fatwa. What is the authoritative position in the Hanafi madhab? (Do you know which scholars of the Shafiis endorse the international sighting?)
Both the local and global sighting are sound positions in the Hanafi school., but the global sighting is sounder and more precautionary, as mentioned by Ibn Abidin in his Hashiya.