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  • 1. www.onlyislam.net Ramadhaan A Date with Dr. Zakir Episode 28 Sighting of the Moon (Duration 45 minutes)Yusuf Chambers: Dear Brothers and sisters in Islam and Humanity,Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh. May the peace, themercy and the blessings of Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) be on all ofyou. Welcome to the show Ramadhaan - A date with Dr Zakir. I amyour host, Yusuf Chambers, and today we will be discussing Sightingof the Moon. Dr Zakir, Assalamu Alaikum!Dr. Zakir: Walaikum Assalamu Wa Rahmatullahi Wa BarakatuhYusuf Chambers: Dr. Zakir, could you first explain to us how is thebeginning of the Islamic month determined?Dr. Zakir: Alhamdulillah was salaatu was salaam ala rasoolillah wa alaaalihi wa ashaabihi wa ajmaeen. Amaa BaadAuzu billahi minash shaytan nir-rajeem,Bismillah hirrahman nirraheem,Rabbish rahli adri Wa Yassir Li Amri Wa Ahlul `Uqdatan Min LisaniYafqahu QawliWe find that whenever the blessed month of Ramadhaan approacheswe find there are a lot of concerns, debates, arguments and differenceof opinions as far as when does this month begin and end. And wehave different people giving their own opinion etc. but as far as thebeginning of the Islamic month is concerned Allah (Subhanahu waTaala) is very clear in the Quran that it is based only and only on thesighting of the moon. The moment you sight the new moon, theIslamic month begins. And Allah says in the Quran inSurah Baqarah ch. no. 2 verse no. 189 www.onlyislam.net 1
  • 2. www.onlyislam.netThey ask thee concerning the new moon. Say these are signs,marked, fixed for a period of time for the affairs of men and forpilgrimage.Allah is very clear that the moment you sight the new moon, theIslamic month begins. And Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam)has made it clear in various Sahih Hadith, its mentioned inSahih Bukhari Vol. no. 3 in the Book of Fasting Hadith no. 1909Abu Hurraira (may Allah be pleased with him), he said ProphetMuhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam), Abul Qasim that wasanother name, (may Allah be pleased with him), he said thatFast when you see the crescent of RamadhaanFast when you see the new moon i.e. of Ramadhaan and you stopfasting when you see the crescent i.e. the new moon of Shawwal and ifthe sky is overcast, that means you cannot see the moon thencomplete 30 days of ShabaanAnd Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) was very particular tocount especially the days in the month of Shabaan so that he could besure that when is Ramadhaan going to begin and its mentioned inSunan Abu Dawud Vol. no. 2 in the Book of Fasting Hadith no. 2318,Hazrat Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her), she says thatMuhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) was the most careful incounting the days of the month of Shabaan and whenever he saw thenew moon of Ramadhaan, he used to start fasting and if he could notsee the new moon because of cloudy weather etc. then he used tocomplete 30 days of Shabaan.Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) was particular in counting thedays of Shabaan so that he could know exactly when does the monthof Ramadhaan start.And as far as witness is concerned whether the moon is sited or not,the beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said, itsmentioned in www.onlyislam.net 2
  • 3. www.onlyislam.netSunan Nasai Book of Fasting Hadith no. 2118, the Prophet Muhammad(Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) saidWhen 2 just Muslims site the moon, when they give Shahadah thenfast or stop your fast.That means when 2 just Muslims, give their verdict you can start yourfasting start the month of Ramadhaan or stop your fasting and endthe month of Ramadhaan.Therefore 2 witnesses are required for testifying that the month ofRamadhaan has started or ended.But there are other group of scholars who say that one witness issufficient to start the month of Ramadhaan based on the Hadith ofSunan Abu Dawud Vol. no. 2 in the Book of Fasting Hadith no. 2335whereAbdullah Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) he said thatwhen people were seeing the moon, trying to find the new moon ofRamadhaan, I told to the Prophet that I had seen the new moon, theProphet fasted and he commanded all the people to fast.So based on this one witness alone, most of the scholars, they saythat for the beginning of the month of Ramadhaan, one witness issufficient, if 2 then its preferable but 1 is sufficient and for the end ofthe month of Ramadhaan then 2 witnesses are required.Yusuf Chambers: Dr. Zakir, you mentioned the issue of witnesses,what kind of a persons testimony will be accepted for the sighting ofthe moon?Dr. Zakir: As the beloved Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) said as I mentioned earlier, its mentioned inSunan Nasai Book of Fasting Hadith no. 2118, the beloved Prophetsaid thatIf 2 just Muslims, just Muslims, if they site the moon then you canstart fasting or you can stop fasting. www.onlyislam.net 3
  • 4. www.onlyislam.netSo here the criteria is it should be 2 just Muslims, that they should beAadil, the Arabic word used here is Aadil it comes from the root wordAdal which means straight, which means upright, its opposite of acrooked person and Aadil is a person who does all his obligatory actsall his Faraiz and he does not commit any major sins and hepersistently does not commit any minor sins, completes all hisobligatory acts includes, he fasts, he prays, he gives Zakaat etc, etc.and does not do any major sins which we discusses earlier in theprevious episode of major sins, does not slander, does not backbite,etc. the person should be of a good character and should have goodeyesight, being Aadil is a must, the person besides being Aadil, theperson also should have a good eyesight because only if he has a goodeyesight, can he sight the moon. If he doesnt have a good eyesight,only being Aadil is not sufficient because then he may be deluded. Sobesides being Aadil he also has to have a god eyesight and the criteriathats always laid down by Allah (Subhanahu wa Taala) in the Quran,the person should be strong and should be trustworthy as Allah says inthe Quran inSurah Qasas ch. no. 28 verse no. 26The criteria for such type of people are that they should be strong andthey should be trustworthy.Allah says in Surah Qasas ch. no. 28 verse no. 26 speaking aboutnarration of the story of Musa (Alaihe Salaam) when one of the 2daughters of Shuiab (Alaihe Salaam) say that you should employ Musa(Alaihe Salaam) O my dear father, employ him on your wages thatmeans hire Musa (Alaihe Salaam) because you truly require a man toemploy who is strong and trustworthy.So strength and trustworthiness these are 2 criteria which are requiredand a similar message which is repeated inSurah Naml ch. no. 27 verse no. 39 whenIfreeth one of the Jinns when he is asked to get the thrown of queenSheba, then he says that truly indeed I have got strength and may beyou can trust me. www.onlyislam.net 4
  • 5. www.onlyislam.netMeans once the job is entrusted to him, he has got strength and youcan trust him. so trustworthiness and strength are the 2 criteriarequired so witness should be Aadil that he should be trustworthythats whats important.Yusuf Chambers: Okay, thank you for the answer Dr. Zakir. Id liketo further ask you regarding the sighting the moon. Is one allowed touse astronomical evidence to sight the moon? After all isnt thatmore accurate than using a human witness.Dr. Zakir: As far as using astronomical evidence, astronomicalcalculation or computation for the sighting of moon as far as Islamicmonth is concerned and this suggestions have been given very often,its mainly given by those people who have lack of knowledge of Islam.Because as far as astronomical calculation is concerned they werethere even at the time of the Prophet and this suggestion was notgiven only lately, it has even been given at the time of the Prophetand when we read the Hadith we come to know what the Prophet saidabout it. Its mentioned inSahih Bukhari Vol. no. 3 in the Book of Fasting Hadith no. 1913 whereIbn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), he says that the Prophet(peace be upon him) said that We are an illiterate nation and we donot calculate and do not do accountsMainly relating to the month of fasting indicating that we do not useastronomical calculation or computation as far as calculating theIslamic month is concerned and he said that its only so and so andhe did thrice 123 and third time he pressed his thumb indicating itseither 29 days or it is, he did thrice like that so and so indicating its30 days.Now he said that we dont use astronomical evidence, astronomicalcalculations or Computation and immediately there is one more Hadithwhich is mentioned inSunan Abu Dawud Vol. No. 2 in the Book of Fasting Hadith no. 2313where www.onlyislam.net 5
  • 6. www.onlyislam.netIbn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), it is said that he fastedalone, along with the people and did not rely on the astronomicalevidence, on the astronomical calculation.From here we come to know that we have to rely only on sighting ofthe moon with your eyes, thats important.And Shaikh Ibn Tamiya, he says when the Prophet Muhammad(Sallallahu alaihe wa sallam) said that we are

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