Respected Ulama of Darul Ifta,
Assalamu Alaykum wa-Rahmatullahi wa-Barakatuh.
Please see the attached PDF file link for an Istiftaa about the UK Moon Sightings Review.
It would be great to see Muslims in the UK united over one method of moonsighting and starting Islamic months at the same time. We commend you for taking on this task to try and achieve a united position on the issue of moonsighting.
We would like to advise that there are a variety of factors which need to be taken into consideration in order to reach this objective.
Firstly, if the community agreed to follow local sightings, the question that will be raised is what happens if we do not see the moon and another country does claim to have seen the moon. Will we restrict ourselves to local sightings only? What will be the process of determining which sightings are accepted and which are not?
From what we understand, it seems that it will be difficult to restrict ourselves to a local only sighting without consideration for other sightings from around the world especially when there is juristic precedence to take sightings from other locations with some opinions stating that it is compulsory to do so in scenarios where certain conditions are met.
Secondly, there are a variety of groups in the UK that all follow different systems. These could be based on religious/juristic differences, or could even be due to differences in ethnicity and so on. For example, some groups today follow Saudi, whilst others follow Morocco or South Africa. Some follow Turkey and others only go by local sightings. To unite all groups under one system where sightings across the globe are not taken into consideration seems to be a very ambitious task and we are not sure how well received this will be across the communities.
These are just our initial thoughts on the issue and are open to discuss further.
We will however, encourage organisations like yourselves to continue developing the field of local sightings as this will always be of benefit going forward.
Ifta Research Fellow
Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel