Q: Regarding the recent adjustment of the Islamic calender, I came across an interesting obversation from the internet regarding hilaal. What is this Shariah standpoint regarding this view? It’s perhaps a silly question to ask because if Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasllam) said so what is the need for clarification? But again I am a layman and need guidance from our elders. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Fast when the hilaal is sighted, and stop fasting when it is sighted. If due to overcast conditions, the moon is not sighted, then it will be a 30-day month.” What is the problem with this instruction of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)? What is so difficult that makes it impossible to observe this command? Why do people display an aversion for the Sunnah? Nothing but deficiency of Imaan and deficiency in love for Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) are the causes for treating the Sunnah and the Shariah with disdain. That’s the obsevation I read which made sense to me but I await the response of the muftis on this.
A: The Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is explicit in regards to sighting the moon: “Commence the month upon sighting the moon and terminate the month upon sighting the moon.” However, there are certain Shari’ee laws and guidelines when accepting the transmission of information regarding the sighting of the moon. These laws are clearly explained in the books of Fiqh with their details.
And Allah Ta’ala knows best.
Mufti Zakaria Makada
Checked & Approved:
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)