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Local Moon-sighting VS Global Moon-sighting
(END OF DEBATE, once and for all)

Assalamualaikum ekhwan,The below article is compiled with clear evidences from clear Hadiths and sound Hikma.May Allaah reward the brother who put the compilation together.

Many people in Bangladesh and other parts of the world follows the opinion of wahdatul matale (unification of the horizon), "Global Moonsighting", so if the moon is visually sighted anywhere in the world  then they start fasting and celebrate EID etc.

FIRSTLY :

A narration of Ibn ‘Abbas in Sahīh Muslim indicates that local moonsighting alone was the prevailing method in the time of the Blessed Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and was a part of the teachings of the Blessed Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) to the Sahābah. The narration goes like this:

Sahīh Muslim Book 6 Chapter 5: THERE IS A SIGHTING OF THE MOON FOR EVERY TOWN THE SIGHTING AT ONE TOWN CANNOT BE HELD VALID FOR THE OTHER TOWN SITUATED AT A CONSIDERABLE DISTANCE FROM IT

Kurayb narrates that Umm al-Fadl sent him to Mu‘āwiyah in Sham for something. Kurayb says:"I went to Sham and finished the job. I was in Sham when the month of Ramadān began and we saw the moon the night of Friday. When I reached Madinah at the end of the blessed month, Ibn ‘Abbas asked me about Sham. (After answering him) He then asked me when we saw the moon. I said: 'We saw the moon the night of Jumu‘ah.' He asked, 'Did you see it as well?' I said: 'Yes, I saw it too and many others saw it and we all kept fasting and so did Mu‘āwiyah (that is according to that moonsighting).' Ibn Abbas said: 'But we saw the moon on Saturday night, therefore, we will keep fasting for thirty days according to that unless we sight the moon on the 29th' I asked: 'You don’t think the moonsighting of Mu‘āwiyah and his fasting is enough for you?' Ibn Abbas replied: 'No, this is how the Blessed Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) taught us'"(Muslim H.1819, Tirmiðī H.629, Nasa'i H.2084, Abu-Dawud H.1985, Musnad Ahmad H.2653 Dar-qutni H.2234)

This hadith is clear evidence. When Ibn Abbas was informed by the person who himself sighted the moon that the people of Sham had begun Ramadan one day before, he responded that it was not only his opinion, but also the teachings of the Blessed Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) that the moonsighting of another locality was not compulsory upon them.

Islam and its Shariah does not change with time ....

SECONDLY:

Shaykh Uthaymin has issued a very clear fatwa to Muslims in the Americas and other lands outside the Arabian Peninsula with no ambiguity whatsoever regarding this matter:

It is well known amongst astronomers that the time the moon rises differs from place to place. The moon might be seen in one place and not in another. Therefore, according to the verse, whoever does not see it is not obliged to fast. . . . If, therefore, each place has its own ruling due to the variation in the time that the sun rises and sets, the same also applies due to the variation in the time that the moon rises and sets. . . .Therefore, the answer to the question is clear. It is obligatory for you to follow the sighting of the new moon in the place where you are  [Shaykh Ibn Uthaymīn....al-Aqalliyāt al-Muslimah - Page 84, Fatwa No.23]

LOGICALLY: 

What they are essentially doing is calling people to bid‘ah, because you will not find a single hadith that tells about one country following the sighting of another country (like the Arabs of the Arabian peninsula).THERE IS NO SUCH HADITH, because no one could travel great distances or use telephones and satellites to report such sightings until about 50 years ago, if even that early. On the contrary, we find that Muslims living much closer to one another with different sightings never bothering to follow one another.Evidence: the Hadith of Ibn Abbas in Sahīh Muslim

Even in the case of ‘Īd-ul-Adhā, there is no evidence from the Qur'an or sunnah that the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وسلم) or any of the Sahābah ever tried to establish a so-called "Wahdatul Matale' (unification of the horizon):

"If, as we are told by those postulating the 'Day after Arafat' position, that ‘Īd-ul-Adhā is dependent on the Hajj date, then why did the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) make no effort to ascertain the Hajj dates in Makkah for his ‘Īd celebration in Madinah? After the conquest of Makkah in the seventh year of the Hijra there would have been no problem in finding out when the Hajj was going to be since there would be ten days for a rider to travel to surrounding areas with the glorious news. The Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وسلم) made no attempt to know, or to inform the Muslims in the areas around Madinah about when the Hajj was in Makkah. Every Muslim community prayed according to its own sighting of the crescent of Ðūl Hijjah. Accordingly, all the scholars of Islām are unanimous that ‘Īd-ul-Adhā is on the 10th of Ðūl Hijjah which is determined by the sighting in each locality, and NOT ON THE 10th OF ÐŪL HIJJAH IN MAKKAH. It is a bid‘ah to try to impose a Vatican-like dogma on the Muslim ummah, although the propagators would tell you that they are simply following a 'universal horizon.' Don't be fooled. In Ramadān of 1999 it was claimed that the moon was seen in Yemen and Libya, and the Muslims of those countries began fasting on December 8, 1999. Those who claim to accept any sighting anywhere in the world conveniently ignored those Muslims, opting for the 'universal sighting' of their choice. The Companions of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) opposed every attempt to impose the moon sighting in one town over the others, even in close proximity, when it was not seen on a clear horizon, or when the horizon was cloudy on the 29 day of the Islamic month." (The Community News, a newsletter published by TARIC, vol. 107, March 8, 2000.)

To call people to follow a "global sighting" is to defy the laws of Allāh. Just as He has ordained for us to pray five times a day at times according to the position of the sun relative to our own horizon where we happen to be at that time, so has He ordained for us to look for the hilāl and sight it where we happen to be living or staying during that time of the month. To say there is one universal horizon, or a "unity" of the horizon is absolutely absurd. It would be the same as arguing that we should follow the prayer timings of Masjid Al-ḥarām for the sake of unity. To call people to pray in perfect global synchronization with Makkah would be a profound bid‘ah, just as it is to call people to the falsehood of "one horizon," would be to ignore that the planet earth is round.

MORE LOGIC: (For those who likes to present logic and disregard clear apparent Hadith)

"North America lags the rest of the world in time (they are 10 hours behind South Africa), quite often they will see the new moon before the rest of the world, and thus start the new month ahead of the rest of the world. This is a consequence of the fact that the sun sets last over the American continent, giving the new moon more time to age and become visible."

So, this is why global sighting is wrong, why it was never implemented by anyone until less than 50 years ago: Allāh has made it impossible to implement!

Proof: If a new moon (not a hilāl, but an "invisible" moon) has been born and only develops into a mature visible hilāl by 20 minutes after sunset in Honolulu, Hawaii, which would mark the beginning of Ramadān for them, what are the Saudis, Kuwaitis, and Bahrainis going to do about their fasting? It's 18:30 at night in Honolulu and by the time they got to a phone and called anyone in Saudia it was 19:00, that's 07:00 in the morning, the next day in Saudi Arabia. Too late to get on Saudi TV 1 to announce the beginning of Ramadān. Oops! They also missed out on the first night of praying tarawīḥ! For Manila in the Philippines and many places in Australia, their Muslims will have no chance whatsoever of starting Ramadān on time since it is already 12:30 in the afternoon (or later in some Australian time zones) the NEXT DAY! How can someone say that Allāh (سبحانه وتعالى) would prefer this type of unfairness to be imposed on His slaves just west of the International Dateline?

From this proof, we see their is no ḥikmah whatsoever in the so-called "global" moonsighting (wahdat-ul-matale'). Please note that this proof is completely devoid of "calculations" or the use of star charts. This is just plain common sense that shows how ridiculous "global" sighting really is. With local sighting, Muslims are not following any ethinic group, tribe, political affiliation, or regime/government. No one feels slighted. No nation/state is preferred over another. That's the Islamic way: thefair way, the just way, the way that Allāh (سبحانه وتعالى) commands us to follow, and the way His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) taught Ibn ‘Abbas (remember the Kurayb Hadith?).

Any so-called fatwa from any of the four great Imams supporting "global" moonsighting (wahdat-ul-matale') can never be applied to this current bid‘ah simply because none of them lived during a time when travel across thousands of kilometers could be achieved in the same day, nor could they speak with someone sitting on the other side of the planet over a telephone to inquire about hilāl sightings. 

FINALLY:  

In conclusion, there is no evidence from the Qur'an or the sunnah, supporting a so-called "global" moonsighting (wahdat-ul-matale') that relies on sighting attempts from observation points spanning thousands of kilometers around the globe. Even with all the technological advancements today, according to the sharī‘ah or technologically or logically impossible to implement. Regarding the fasting of Ramadān, a proof is given (in above paragraph) that it is impossible to implement this so-called "global" moonsighting (wahdat-ul-matale') logically or according to the sharī‘ah

And ALLAH knows best. Subhanaka Allaahuma wa bihamdika ash-hadu allaa ilaaha illa anta astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk.

Hadith on searching for the moon locally:

NARRATOR Abu Hurayrah
SAHIH MUSLIM, HADITH_No 2378
Allah’s Messenger (peace_be_upon_him) said: Whenever you sight the new moon (of the month of Ramadan) observe fast, and when you sight it (the new moon of Shawwal) break it, and if the sky is cloudy for you, then observe fast for thirty days.
________________________________________
NARRATOR AbuHurayrah
SAHIH MUSLIMÂ, HADITH_No 2379Â
Allah’s Messenger (peace_be_upon_him) said: Observe fast on sighting it (the new moon) and break (fast) on sighting it (the new moon), but if the sky is cloudy for you, then complete the number (of thirty).
________________________________________
NARRATOR AbuHurayrah
SAHIH MUSLIM, HADITH_No 2380
Allah’s Messenger (peace_be_upon_him) said: Observe fast on sighting it (the new moon) and break it on sighting it. But if (due to clouds) the actual position of the month is concealed from you, you should then count thirty (days).
________________________________________
NARRATOR AbuHurayrah
SAHIH MUSLIM, HADITH_No 2381
The Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) made a mention of the new moon and (in this connection) said: Observe fast when you see it (the new moon) and breakfast when you see it (the new moon of Shawwal), but when (the actual position of the month is) concealed from you (on account of cloudy sky), then count thirty days.
________________________________________
NARRATOR Abdullah ibn Abbas
SAHIH MUSLIM, HADITH_No 2391
Kurayb said: Umm Fadl, daughter of Harith, sent him (Fadl, i.e. her son) to Mu’awiyah in Syria. I (Fadl) arrived in Syria, and did the needful for her. It was there in Syria that the month of Ramadan commenced. I saw the new moon (of Ramadan) on Friday. I then came back to Medina at the end of the month. Abdullah ibn Abbas asked me (about the new moon of Ramadan) and said: When did you see it? I said: We saw it on Friday night. He said: (Did) you see it yourself? I said: Yes, and the people also saw it so they observed fast and Mu’awiyah also observed fast. Thereupon he said: But we saw it on Saturday night. So we shall continue to observe the fast until we complete thirty (fasts) or we see it (the new moon of Shawwal). I said: Is the sighting of the moon by Mu’awiyah not valid for you? He said: No; this is how the Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) has commanded us. Yahya ibn Yahya was in doubt (whether the word used in the narration by Kurayb) was Naktafi or Taktafi.
________________________________________
NARRATOR Abdullah ibn Abbas
SAHIH MUSLIM, HADITH_No 2392
AbulBakhtari reported: We went out to perform Umrah and when we encamped in the valley of Nakhlah, we tried to see the new moon. Some of the people said: It was three nights old, and others (said) that it was two nights old. We then met Ibn Abbas and told him we had seen the new moon, but that some of the people said it was three nights old and others that it was two nights old. He asked on which night we had seen it; and when we told him we had seen it on such and such night, he said the Prophet of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) had said Verily Allah deferred it till the time it is seen, so it is to be reckoned from the night you saw it.
________________________________________
NARRATOR Abdullah ibn Abbas
SAHIH MUSLIM, HADITH_No 2526
Hakim ibn al-Araj reported: I went to Ibn Abbas and he was reclining using his mantle as a pillow near the fountain of Zamzam. I said to him: Tell me about fasting on Ashura. He said: When you see the new moon of Muharram then count the (days) and observe fast on the 9th. I said to him: Is it how the Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) observed the fast? He said: Yes.
________________________________________
NARRATOR AbuHurayrah
SAHIH MUSLIM, HADITH_No 2635
We were talking about laylat al-Qadr in the presence of the Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) and he said: He who amongst you remembers (the night) when the moon arose and it was like a piece of plate (at the fag end of the month in a state of waning).
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NARRATOR Anas ibn Malik
SAHIH MUSLIM, HADITH_No 6868
We were with Umar between Mecca and Medina so that we might begin to look for the new moon. I was a man with sharp eyesight, so I could see it, but none saw it except myself. I began to say to Umar: Don’t you see it? But he could not see it. Thereupon Umar said: I shall soon be able to see it (when it shines more brightly). I lay in bed. He then mentioned to us of the people of Badr and said: Allah’s Apostle (peace_be_upon_him) showed us one day before (the actual battle) the place of death of the people (participating) in (the Battle) of Badr and he was saying: This will be the place of death of so and so tomorrow, if Allah wills. Umar said: By Him Who sent him with truth, they did not miss the places (of their death) which Allah’s Apostle (peace_be_upon_him) had indicated for them. Then they were all thrown in a well, one after another. Allah’s Apostle (peace_be_upon_him) then went to them and said: O, so and so, the son of so and so; O so and so, the son of so and so, have you found what Allah and His Apostle (peace_be_upon_him) had promised you? I have, however, found absolutely true what Allah had promised me. Umar said: Allah’s Apostle (peace_be_upon_him) said: How can you talk as bodies without souls in them. Thereupon he said: You cannot hear more distinctly than (they can) what I say, but with the exception that they have no power to make any reply.
________________________________________
NARRATOR Abdullah ibn Umar
AL-MUWATTA, HADITH_No 18.1.1
The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, once mentioned Ramadan and said, “Do not begin the fast until you see the new moon, and do not break the fast (at the end of Ramadan) until you see it. If the new moon is obscured from you, then work out (when it should be).”
________________________________________
NARRATOR Abdullah ibn Umar
AL-MUWATTA, HADITH_No 18.1.2
The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “A month has twenty-nine days in it. Do not start the fast or break it until you see the new moon. If the new moon is obscured from you, then work out (when it should be).”
________________________________________
NARRATOR Abdullah ibn Abbas
AL-MUWATTA, HADITH_No 18.1.3
The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, once mentioned Ramadan and said, “Do not start the fast or break it until you see the new moon. If the new moon is obscured from you, then complete a full thirty days.”
________________________________________
NARRATOR AbuUmayr ibn Anas
ABU DAWUD, HADITH_No 1153
AbuUmayr reported on the authority of some of his paternal uncles who were Companions of the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him): Some men came riding to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and testified that they had sighted the new moon the previous day. He (the Holy Prophet), therefore, commanded the people to break the fast and to go out to their place of prayer in the morning.
________________________________________
NARRATOR Abdullah ibn Umar
ABU DAWUD, HADITH_No 2312
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: The month consists of twenty-nine days, but do not fast till you sight it (the moon) and do not break your fast till you sight it. If the weather is cloudy, calculate it thirty days. When the twenty-ninth of Sha’ban came, Ibn Umar would send someone (who tried) to sight the moon for him. If it was sighted, then well and good; in case it was not sighted, and there was no cloud and dust before him (on the horizon), he would not keep fast the next day. If there appeared (on the horizon) before him cloud or dust, he would fast the following day. Ibn Umar would end his fasting alone with the people, and did not follow this calculation.
________________________________________
NARRATOR Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin
ABU DAWUD, HADITH_No 2318
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) used to count the days in Sha’ban in a manner he did not count any other month; then he fasted when he sighted the new moon of Ramadan; but if the weather was cloudy he counted thirty days and then fasted.
________________________________________
NARRATOR Hudhayfah
ABU DAWUD, HADITH_No 2319
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Do not fast (for Ramadan) before the coming of the month until you sight the moon or complete the number (of thirty days); then fast until you sight the moon or complete the number (of thirty days).
________________________________________
NARRATOR Abdullah ibn Abbas
ABU DAWUD, HADITH_No 2320
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Do not fast one day or two days just before Ramadan except in the case of a man who has been in the habit or observing a fast (on that day); and do not fast until you sight it (the moon). Then fast until you sight it. If a cloud appears on that day (i.e. 29th of Ramadan) then complete the number thirty (days) and then end the fasting: a month consists of twenty-nine days.
________________________________________
NARRATOR Abdullah ibn Umar
ABU DAWUD, HADITH_No 2331
Husayn ibn al-Harith al-Jadli from the tribe of Jadilah Qays said: The governor of Mecca delivered a speech and said: The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) took a pledge from us that we should perform the rites of hajj after sighting the moon. If we do not sight it and two reliable persons bear witness, we should perform the rites of hajj on the basis of their witness. I then asked al-Husayn ibn al-Harith: Who was the governor of Mecca? He replied: I do not know. He then met me later on and told me: He was al-Harith ibn Hatib, brother of Muhammad ibn Hatib. The governor then said: There is among you a man who is more acquainted with Allah and His Apostle than I. He witnessed this from the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him). He then pointed with his hand to a man. Al- Husayn said: I asked an old man beside me: Who is that man to whom the governor has alluded? He said: “This is Abdullah ibn Umar, and he spoke the truth. He was more acquainted with Allah than he. He (Abdullah ibn Umar) said: For this is what the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) commanded us (to do).
________________________________________
NARRATOR Abdullah ibn Abbas
ABU DAWUD, HADITH_No 2333
A bedouin came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and said: I have sighted the moon. Al-Hasan added in his version: that is, of Ramadan. He asked: Do you testify that there is no god but Allah? He replied: Yes. He again asked: Do you testify that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah? He replied: Yes. and he testified that he had sighted the moon. He said: Bilal, announce to the people that they must fast tomorrow.
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NARRATOR Ikrimah
ABU DAWUD, HADITH_No 2334
Once the people doubted the appearance of the moon of Ramadan, and intended neither to offer the tarawih prayer nor to keep fast. A bedouin came from al-Harrah and testified that he had sighted the moon. He was brought to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him). He asked: Do you testify that there is no god but Allah, and that I am the Apostle of Allah? He said: Yes; and he testified that he had sighted the moon. He commanded Bilal who announced to the people to offer the tarawih prayer and to keep fast.
________________________________________
NARRATOR Abdullah ibn Umar
ABU DAWUD, Hadith_No 2335
The people sighted the moon, so I informed the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) that I had sighted it. He fasted and commanded the people to fast.
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NARRATOR AbuRazin al-Uqayli
ABU DAWUD, HADITH_No 4713
I asked: Apostle of Allah! will each one of us see his Lord? Ibn Mu’adh’s version has: “being alone with Him, on the Day of Resurrection? And what sign is there is His creation?” He replied: AbuRazin! does each one of you not see the moon? Ibn Mu’adh’s version has: “on the night when it is full, being alone with it?” Then the agreed version goes: I said: Yes. He said: Allah is more great. Ibn Mu’adh’s version has: It is only part of Allah’s creation, but Allah is more glorious and greater.
________________________________________
NARRATOR Qatadah
ABU DAWUD, HADITH_No 5073
When the Prophet of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) saw the new moon, he said: “a new moon of good and right guidance; a new moon of good and right guidance; a new moon of good and right guidance. I believe in Him Who created you” three times. He would then say: “Praise be to Allah Who has made such and such a month to pass and has brought such and such a month.”
________________________________________
NARRATOR Abdullah ibn Abbas
MISHKAT AL-MASABIH, HADITH_No 1230r
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: Do not anticipate Ramadan. Start the fast with observing the new moon and terminate it with observing it. If the sky is overcast let the month run to thirty days.
________________________________________
NARRATOR Talhah ibn Ubaydullah
MISHKAT AL-MASABIH, HADITH_No 1233r
On seeing a new moon, the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) would supplicate: Allah, do Thou cause the appearance of this moon to be a harbinger of peace, faith, security and Islam for us. Thy Lord, O moon, and mine is Allah. May this be a moon presaging guidance and good


 

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