Dear respected Shaykh, assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. What should be a Muslim’s stance concerning the various sightings of the moon? ما موقف المسلم من اختلاف مطالع الهلال؟
Praise be to Allah, and may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family and his companions. Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh. As to what follows: In response to your question, we say: The principle in fasting is that if the moon is sighted in a certain country that should suffice for the rest of the Muslim countries because of the statement of the Prophet (peace be upon him) : “Start fasting on seeing the crescent (of Ramadan), and give up fasting on seeing the crescent (of Shawwal),” [al-Bukhari (1909) and Muslim (1081)]. This is the Sunnah. This is the opinion held by the Hanafites, the Hambalites and it is the view of a group of scholars.