Variance in the appearance of the new moon in different countries

Question: We hope you will advise us concerning the times of Imsaak (time of day that marks the beginning of the Fast) and Iftaar (breaking the Fast) with regard to us, may Allaah protect you!

Answer: There is a statement issued by the Council of Senior Scholars in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on explaining the beginning and ending of the time of a day of fasting, the text of which is as follows:

First: The difference in moon sighting is something which is well known, and there is no difference among the scholars concerning this. Rather the difference of scholarly opinions has to do with whether the difference in moon sighting matters or not... read more here.

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Verifying the sighting of the new moon

Question: We are writing to you from the island of Andaman and Nicobar located in the Bay of Bengal 1200 km far from Calcutta which is the nearest city to this group of islands in India. Our brothers, the Hanafee’s begin Sawm (fasting) according to crescent sighting in Calcutta, although the difference in the time of sunset between our islands and the city of Calcutta is fifteen minutes.

As for the Shaafi`ee’s, they begin Sawm depending on sighting the crescent in any of these islands, and each of them has their own evidences. Please, Your Honor, give a satisfactory answer. May Allaah bless you and help you serve Islam and the Muslims.

Answer: You should verify the sighting of the crescent, whether in Calcutta or in your islands, as there are many related Hadeeths concerning this matter. It was related by Al-Bukhaaree from Aboo Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) stated... read more here.

A traveler to a foreign country following his homeland in fasting

Question: The question sent by Shaykh `Uthmaan Al-Saalih from a group of Saudi students living outside The Kingdom in America and other countries. Some of the students followed Egypt, Kuwait, and other countries considering Sunday as the first day of `Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast) while others fasted with this country, Saudi Arabia, and other countries in which Monday was the first day of `Eed-ul-Fitr. What is the religious ruling in this regard?

Answer: This question has to do with the issue of the different times of moonrise, and either considering the differences in times of moonrise to be of significance, or not as far as breaking Sawm (Fast) and other Shar`ee (Islaamic legal) rulings pertaining to the moon rising are concerned.

The Council of Senior Scholars discussed this issue in one of its sessions and issued a decree explaining that scholars differed with regards to this question and there are two opinions: read more here.

A traveler starting to fast with his home country and ending fast with the country he travels to

Question: A man fasted in Morocco on Monday, the 1st of Ramadaan, 1403 A.H. which corresponded to June 1983, then he traveled to Allaah’s Sacred House to offer `Umrah on Thursday, the 11th of Ramadaan. When he finished his `Umrah, he decided to continue fasting the rest of Ramadan in Makkah. When Ramadaan ended in Makkahon Monday, the 11th of July 1983, he broke his fast like the other people of Makkah, but the problem was that the people of Makkah fasted for 30 days while he had only fasted for 28 days. Is his fasting complete? Should he not break his fast with them until he completes the 30-days fast? What is your opinion in this regard?

Answer: It is correct that this man started offering the Sawm (Fast) of Ramadaan with his people and that he broke his fast with the people of Makkah at the end of Ramadaan during his residence there. However he should make up for an extra day of fasting, for the Lunar Month is never less than twenty nine days. Therefore, he is to be bound by the minimum limit, for the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him): The beginning of Ramadaan is the day on which you start fasting, while the end of it is the day on which you finish fasting, and ‘Eed- ul-Ad-ha is the day on which you sacrifice.read more here.

A traveler starting to fast according to the country from which he sets out and ending his fast according to the country to which he travels

Question: If a person continues the Sawm (Fast) of Ramadaan for thirty days, will he be obliged to abide by the Sawm he started in Saudi Arabia according the sighting of the moon of Shawwal in the Kingdom even after his arrival in India? Or should he continue Sawm with the Muslims there and fast 31 or 32 days? If he breaks his Sawm during the interval days on his journey, is he obliged to make up for the missed days after `Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast), or it is enough for him to fast these days with the Muslims in India after his arrival there? Kindly, give us your Fatwaa’. May Allaah reward you, and provide you with good health!

Answer: A person should start Sawm according to the country from which he sets out and ends it according to the country to which he travels. If the total number of days that he fasts is twenty-eight, then he must make up for one day, because the lunar month cannot be less than 29 days... read more here.

A Muslim fasts when the country in which he resides fasts

Question: What is the ruling on a man who started Sawm (Fast) after the confirmed sighting of the new moon of Ramadaan in his country, then he traveled to another country where he fasted the twenty-eighth of Ramadaan, but the people of that country sighted the new moon of Shawwaal. Should he offer with them Salaat-ul-‘Eed (the Festival Prayer), although he only fasted twenty-eight days?

Answer: The decisive factor in beginning the Sawm of Ramadaan is seeing its new moon at the sighting location and direction while present in one’s country. The same applies to ending the Sawm of Ramadaan; the decisive factor is sighting the new moon of Shawwaal in the country to which one has traveled... read more here.

A traveler following the country in which he resides in fasting

Question: Ramadaan came while I was in Sudan. I observed Sawm (fasting) on Saturday and then traveled to a neighboring country, where people began Sawm on Sunday. People in Sudan broke their Sawm after twenty nine days, whereas the other country completed Sawm for thirty days. What is the ruling on this, given that I observed Sawm for thirty days in the other country?

Answer: You take the same ruling as the country you traveled to. Thus, it is impermissible to break your Sawm, rather you should complete Sawm with them, as you are included in the ruling with them. However, if you have only observed Sawm for twenty eight days, you should fast the other days after `Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast) to complete twenty nine days, as a month cannot be less than twenty nine days, or more than thirty days... read more here.

Taking intravenous injections and ending Sawm according to a sighting place in another country

Question: A person was in Egypt at the end of Ramadaan in the year 95 A.H. At this time, Egypt followed Kuwait in announcing the time of `Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast) one day before Saudi Arabia and Qatar. This day became a day of `Eed in Egypt. The inquirer is asking: Should they make up for this day? They also ask whether or not intravenous injections break Sawm (fast) when they have it?

Answer: Regarding the first question about people breaking their fast in Egypt based on the establishment of the `Eed following Kuwait, knowing that the inquirer was in Egypt at that time, it seems to us that there is no harm in this act [breaking fast for `Eed in Egypt] and that they do not have to make up for this day, for they followed the ruling of the country where they were present after being certain of the beginning of the month of Shawwaal... read more here.

Ending Sawm according to a sighting place in another country

Question: Some nomads broke their Sawm (Fast) on the last day of Ramadaan before the day of `Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast). This day was Sunday. They did so because certain radio stations broadcasted that Sunday was the day of `Eed-ul-Fitr. They thought that these radio stations were those of the Saudi Kingdom. They did not know that the Kingdom was observing Sawm except after the radio station of Riyadh announced that Monday was the day of `Eed-ul-Fitr. Should they make up for that day or make Kaffaarah (expiation)?

Answer: If the reality is as you have mentioned, then the person who broke his Sawm on Sunday should make up for that day as it was one of the days of Ramadaan. This is because the new moon of Shawwaal was not seen in the Kingdom except on Sunday evening. There is no expiation for those who broke their Sawm on that day as they had an excuse. Moreover, they have to investigate and make sure of the sighting of the new moon in the Kingdom in the future in order to guard their Sawm... read more here.

A traveler and the different places of sighting the new moon of Ramadaan

Question: A citizen called Khuwaylid Al-Jada`y Al-Matiry submitted the following question:

On the eve of the thirtieth of Sha‘baan this year, he was in Kuwait when the radio of Kuwait announced their confirmed sighting of the new moon of Ramadaan on Tuesday night which, according to the calendar of Umm Al-Quraa, would fall on the thirtieth of Sha‘baan. Shortly after this he heard on the radio the announcement broadcasted on the radio of Riyadh on the authority of the Higher Judiciary Council that the new moon of Ramadan was not sighted by them on Tuesday night, corresponding to the thirtieth of Sha‘baan, according to the calendar of Umm Al-Quraa. Accordingly, he, as well as the people of the country where he was present during the sighting of the crescent, observed Sawm (Fast). After a couple of days, he came back to Saudi Arabia where Ramadaan had begun one day later and the people had been fasting for two days, whereas he had been fasting for three. This may cause a problem for him at the end of the month if the thirty days of Ramadaan have been completed.

Is he obliged to fast with the people in Saudi Arabia or to stop fasting when Kuwait announces on the thirtieth of Ramadan that sighting the crescent of Shawwaal is confirmed? The questioner thinks that the moon sighting announced on the radio of Riyadh is more correct. He said that he fasted with the people of Kuwait only out of appreciating the sanctity of time. Please clarify this matter!

Answer: If a person is present in a country where people have already started Sawm, he must fast with them. Anyone present in another country under such a situation will come under the same ruling as its own citizens. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Sawm (Fasting, i.e. Beginning of Ramadaan) is the day when you fast; Fitr (Breaking the Fast, i.e. End of Ramadaan) is the day when you end the fast, and Al-Ad-haa (the Festival of the Sacrifice) is the day when you sacrifice. (Reported by Aboo Daawood with an authentic Sanad [chain of narrators]; there are supporting reports for it narrated by Aboo Daawood and others)... read more here.

Fasting on the last day of Sha`baan

Question: What is the ruling on fasting the last day of Sha‘baan, if the scholars in a certain country did not reach an Ijma‘ (consensus of opinion) on confirmed sighting of the new moon of Ramadaan, but later discovered that it was truly the first day of Ramadaan? This happened in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the year 1404 A.H. Some people fasted on sighting the new moon of Ramadaan or being informed of it by reliable witnesses. Their Sawm turned out to be valid, as was confirmed later. They started and ended Sawm based on the sighting of the new moon. Yet, some shaykhs issued Fatwas saying that the Sawm of those who did not see the new moon is invalid, as they acted contradictory to the majority of Muslims, even if they were wrong. The Fatwas went on to say that only the Muslim scholars of each country are entitled to confirm the sighting of the new moon. It also says that the Sawm of a person who relies upon opinions issued concerning sighting the new moon by scholars other than those of their residence country is invalid, and they have to make up for it.

Answer: Anyone who sights the new moon of Ramadaan on the night before the thirtieth of Sha‘baan or gets informed of it by a reliable witness and so fasts accordingly, their Sawm will be sufficient for them and they do not have to make up for it... read more here.

Fasting on the Day of Doubt does not make up for a missed day in Ramadaan

Question: The Sawm (Fast) of Ramadaan began this year on Friday. Some people already observed Sawm on Thursday. You gave a Fatwaa’ that the missed day of Ramadaan should be made up for, as it was confirmed that Thursday was the first day of Ramadaan. Should those who observed Sawm on Thursday also make up for this missed day of Sawm? Would observing Sawm on Thursday, at the beginning of the month, be sufficient for them?

Answer: Anyone who observed Sawm on Thursday should make up for the day missed at the beginning of Ramadaan, as they did not observe it intending it to be part of the month of Ramadaan. Moreover, they observed Sawm on this day believing it was the Day of Doubt (so called because there is doubt concerning it – is it the last day of Sha‘baan or the first day of Ramadaan). It is not permissible to observe Sawm on the Day of Doubt. Fasting the Day of Doubt is not sufficient if it is later discovered that this day was part of Ramadaan... read more here.

Prohibition of fasting on the Day of Doubt

Question: Dear Shaykh, please give us a ruling on the Sawm (fasting) of Ramadaan, because people are still differing over this in our African countries. Some of them perform the Sawm on seeing the crescent moon and break their Sawm on seeing it, acting in accordance with the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him), “When you see it (the new moon of Ramadaan) fast, and when you see it (the new moon of Shawwaal) stop fasting; but if the clouds obstruct your sighting of the new moon, then calculate it (thirty days).” (Agreed upon by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim) Some of them perform the Sawm before seeing it and their Sawm coincides with the day the new moon of Ramadaan appears, even though this contradicts the literal meaning of the Hadeeth. We are confused about this matter, would you advise us?

Answer: Anyone who fasts on the 30th of Sha‘baan, without the confirmed sighting of the new moon of Ramadaan prescribed by Sharee‘ah (Islaamic law), and their Sawm coincides with the first day of Ramadaan, it will not count for them as validly sufficient Sawm, as they did not base their Sawm on the Islaamic basis and also because that is the Day of Doubt. The authentic Sunnah gave evidence for the prohibition of fasting on that day, so anyone who did this must make up for that day... read more here.

A Muslim starting and ending Sawm according to his country

Question: A person was listening to the radio of Cairo and Kuwait when they announced that Sunday was the first day of `Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast) and he accordingly stopped fasting on this day. Knowing that the radio of Riyadh announced that Monday was the first day of `Eed-ul-Fitr, what is the ruling on the actions of this person?

Answer: If the questioner was residing in Saudi Arabia during the night and day of Sunday, he is obliged to adhere to what is followed in this country. Sunday was not proved to be the first day of Shawwaal in Saudi Arabia, rather it was the last day of Ramadaan. Accordingly, he must make up for this day, ask Allaah’s Forgiveness for deviating from the conduct of Muslims in this country and not to repeat this act... read more here.

Starting to fast in a village far from the capital city based on the moon-sighting in the capital city

Question: Is it permissible to begin the Sawm (fasting) in a village far from the capital based on the moon-sighting in the capital or is it obligatory to wait for a moon-sighting in my village?

Answer: If the sighting of the crescent is confirmed in the capital, the people in the village you mentioned can depend on that moon-sighting and begin observing the Sawm with the Muslims... read more here.

Length of a day in Ramadaan

Question: The Muslim World League received a message from Shaykh Muhammad Dayr Manja, its envoy in Copenhagen, Denmark, saying that in some parts of the Scandinavian countries, the day is much longer than the night, depending on the time of year. The night may be only three hours long, while the day is twenty-one hours. If Ramadaan comes in the winter, the Muslims fast for only three hours, but if it comes in the summer, they do not fast because they are not able to, as the day is too long. Shaykh Dayr Manja asked for a Fatwaa’ fixing the time of Iftar (breaking the Fast), Suhur (pre-dawn meal before the Fast), and the period during which the Sawm (Fast) of Ramadaan is due to make it known to the Muslims in these countries.

I ask you to issue a legal statement to this effect so that I can provide him with the right answer.

Answer: After studying the matter in question, the committee answered as follows:

Islaam is perfect and comprehensive. Allaah (Exalted be He) says, This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islaam as your religion. And said, Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): “What thing is the most great in witness?” Say: “Allaah (the Most Great!) is Witness between me and you; this Qur’aan has been revealed to me that I may therewith warn you and whomsoever it may reach… read more here.

Establishing a committee responsible for sighting the new moon of Ramadaan

Question: Is it permissible for Muslims who are living in a non-Muslim country to form a committee to confirm the sighting of the new moon of Ramadaan, Shawwaal, and Dul-Hijjah?

Answer: It is permissible for Muslims living in non-Muslim countries to form a committee consisting of Muslim members to take on the responsibility of confirming the sighting of the new moon of Ramadaan, Shawwaal, and Dul-Hijjah… read more here.

Muslim division due to sighting the new moon of Ramadaan

Question: We are Muslim students in the United States and Canada. Each year, we face a problem with the beginning of Ramadaan that results in being dividing into three sects:

1.  One sect observes Sawm (Fast) when they sight Ramadaan new moon in the state where they live.

2.  Another sect observes Sawm with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

3. A third sect observes Sawm when receiving such news from the Muslim Students’ Association in USA and Canada, which sights the new moon at several places in USA and publicizes the news in various centers upon sighting the crescent. Accordingly, all Muslims living in USA start observing Sawm on the same day in spite of the vast distances separating between the various states.

Which of these three sects should one follow and observe Sawm with? Please advise us, may Allaah reward you!

Answer: The Council of Senior Scholars in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has investigated this matter and issued an important statement on this topic, the text of which is as follows: Firstly: Difference in moon sighting is Ma`loom minad-deen bi-ddaroorah (well-established and known Islaamic principles)and there is no difference among scholars concerning this. Rather, the difference of scholarly opinion has to do with whether the difference in moon sighting matters or not… read more here.

Making up for the missed days of Ramadaan based on the difference of sighting places

Question: I underwent an operation during the month of Ramadan. People differed in our city concerning the end of the month. Some of them followed Saudi Arabia and did not observe Sawm (fast) of the thirtieth day of Ramadaan. Others followed the example of other states as Algeria and completed 30 days of Sawm. Moreover, Algeria depends upon astronomy in determining the beginning and end of the month. How many days should I observe of Sawm in order to make up for these days 29 or 30 days?

Answer: Astronomy can not be used as a legal means to determine the beginning and end of the month of Ramadaan. The valid means of determining it is sighting the new moon. If they do not sight the new moon of Ramadaan during the twenty ninth night of Sha`baan, then they have to complete Sha`baan as thirty days… read more here.

Sighting the new moon as the criterion in determining the beginning and end of Ramadaan

Question: There is a great difference among Muslim scholars over determining the beginning of the Sawm (fast) of Ramadan and the day of `Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast). Some act upon the following Hadeeth: Start fasting on seeing it (the new moon of Ramadaan), and break your fast on seeing it (the new moon of Shawwaal). Others act upon the opinions of astronomers believing that the latter have reached the peak in the science of astronomy and can know exactly the beginning of lunar months. Consequently, these scholars fast according to the calendar.

Answer: First: The correct view which should be acted upon is that based onthe saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him), Start fasting on seeing the new moon (of Ramadaan), and break your fast on seeing the new moon (of Shawwaal), and if the sky is overcast (and you cannot see it), complete the term (thirty days of Sha`baan.) So the criterion in determining the beginning and end of the month of Ramadaan is sighting the new moon. The Sharee`ah of Islaam which Allaah sent with our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is general and will last until Doomsday… read more here.

Counting on astronomical calculations to decide the beginning and the end of Ramadaan

Question: Is it permissible for a Muslim to count on astronomical calculations to decide the beginning and the end of Sawm (Fast) (in Ramadaan)? Or should we depend on seeing the crescent?

Answer: The Sharee`ah (Islaamic law) is a lenient one; its rulings are generic and comprehensive to both (Human and Jinn) alike, regardless of their ranks; whether they are scholars or illiterate people, rural or urban… read more here.

People in Africa fasting according to sighting Ramadaan’s crescent in Makkah

Question: Can people living in Africa, fast according to the sighting of the crescent in Makkah ?

Answer: The Council of Senior Scholars in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has issued a decree concerning the question that reads: Firstly, the fact that the new moon appears at different times in different places is a well-established fact; no scholar disputes this… read more here.

The difference of the timing of Muslims’ religious festivals

Question: What is the ruling on the difference of setting the beginning of Muslims’ religious festivals like `Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast), and `Eed-ul-Adha (the Festival of the Sacrifice)? It is worthy to mention that this results in people fasting a day which is prohibited to fast such as the day of `Eed-ul-Fitr or breaking their fast on a day that should be observed. I need a decisive answer regarding this matter please. If Islaam rejects this difference, how can Muslim festivals be unified?

Answer: Scholars agree that the sighting of the crescent causes differences. However, they held different opinions regardingwhether the difference in sighting the moon matters or not in the beginning and the end of Ramadaan. Some Fuqahaa’ (Muslim jurists) held the opinion that the difference in sighting the moon does matter in the beginning and end of Ramadaan while others see that it does not… read more here.

Permissibility of using meteorological tools to sight the new moon

Question: It is impossible to see the new moon with the naked eye before 30 hours of its birth. After this period, it is impossible to see it because of weather conditions. Taking this into consideration, is it permissible for the inhabitants of England to use astronomical data in calculating the probable time of sighting the new moon and the outset of Ramadaan, or must we see the new moon with the naked eye before starting to fast the blessed month of Ramadaan?

Answer: It is permissible to make use of observation instruments to sight the new moon, but it is not permissible to rely on astrological sciences in confirming the beginning or end of the month of Ramadaan. Allaah has not legislated it either in His Book or in the Sunnah of his Prophet (peace be upon him). Rather, Allaah has legislated for us to establish the beginning and end of Ramadaan through sighting the new moon, and accordingly to begin Sawm (Fast) by seeing the new moon of Ramadaan and to end Sawm by seeing the new moon of Shawwaal and to gather to perform Salaat-ul-`Eed (the Festival Prayer)… read more here.

Taking different sighting places into account when determining the beginning of Sawm

Question: Sometimes we hear on the radio that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has started Sawm (fasting), whereas we have not seen the crescent in the Ivory Coast ,Guinea , Mali or Senegal, although we carefully follow this issue. Therefore, we disagree and a few people begin Sawm depending on what they hear on the radio, and others wait until they see the crescent in our countries, according to Allaah’s statement, So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadaan i.e. is present at his home), he must observe Sawm (fasts) that month and the Prophet’s statement, Start Sawm on seeing it (the crescent of Ramadaan), and break Sawm on seeing it (the crescent of Shawwaal) and “Each country has its own crescent.” Controversy has arisen between the two parties, so please advise accordingly.

Answer: The variance in the appearance of the crescents in different countries is one of the matters which are known instinctively. No disagreement has ever taken place among the Muslims on this fact. The disagreement among Muslim scholars is whether we should depend on the difference regarding the appearance of crescents in the beginning and the end of Sawm in Ramadaan or not. This is one of the theoretical issues which are subject to Ijtihaad (juristic effort to infer expert legal rulings)… read more here.

Disagreeing with the Muslim consensus regarding the sighting of Ramadaan’s new moon

Question: A group of Multazims (practicing Muslims) here in our town disagree with us in some matters, such as the Sawm (fasting) of Ramadan. They do not fast until they see the crescent with the naked eye. Sometimes they begin Sawm a day or two after us, and they break their Sawm a day or two after `Eed-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast).Whenever we question their Sawm on the day of the `Eed, they insist that they will not break their fast nor fast until they see the crescent with the naked eye, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated, Begin Sawm on seeing it (the crescent of Ramadaan), and break your Sawm on seeing it (the crescent of Shawwaal). They are not convinced with the modern devices which are used to see the crescent. They also offer Salaat-ul-`Eed (the Festival Prayer) after the end of the `Eed, according to their sighting. On `Eed-ul-Adha (the Festival of the Sacrifice), they also slaughter the Ud-hiyah (sacrificial animal offered by non-pilgrims) and stand on the mountain of `Arafaat two days later. They also offer Salaah (Prayer) in Masjids (mosques) where there are graves, and they claim that it is not prohibited. May Allaah reward you!

Answer: These people should observe Sawm and break Sawm with the rest of the people, and offer Salaat-ul-`Eed with the Muslims in their countries, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated, Begin Sawm on seeing it (the crescent of Ramadaan), and break your Sawm on seeing it (the crescent of Shawwaal). If the sky is overcast (and you cannot see it), complete the term (thirty days of Sha`baan). Agreed upon by Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim. What is meant here is Sawm and breaking the Sawm if the crescent is seen with the naked eye or with modern devices which are an additional aid, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated, The beginning of Ramadaan is on the day when you begin Sawm; the end of Ramadaan is on the day when you end it; and `Eed-ul-Adha is on the day when you sacrifice.read more here.

Each person sighting Ramadaan’s crescent

Question: What is the ruling on a person who does not fast according to the first sighting of the new moonof Ramadaan, but waits until he sees it for himself depending on the following Hadeeth, Start fasting on seeing it (the new moon of Ramadaan), and give up fasting on seeing it (the new moon of Shawwaal) ? Is this understanding correct?

Answer: It is obligatory to fast when the sighting of the new moon is confirmed, even if only one trustworthy Muslim sees it. The Prophet (peace be upon him) issued orders to fast when a Bedouin testified that he had seen the new moon… read more here.

Following astronomical calculations in acts of `Ibaadah

Question: Is it permissible to follow the calculations of astronomers in the acts of `Ibaadah (worship), such as Sawm (fasting) and others?

Answer: It is impermissible to follow astronomers in these matters; we should depend on sighting the new moon, as it is stated in the Saheeh (authentic) Hadeeth, Observe Sawm when you see it (the crescent of Ramadaan) and break your Sawm when you see it (the crescent of Shawwaal). If the weather is cloudy, complete thirty days of Sha`baan.read more here.

Fasting on the thirtieth of Sha`baan

Question: If one observes Sawm (Fast) or breaks Sawm on the thirtieth day of Sha‘baan without sighting the new moon, would their Sawm be valid? Please support your answer with evidence.

Answer: It is not permissible for a Muslim to fast on the thirtieth of Sha‘baan if sighting the new moon has not been confirmed on the eve of that day. An exception to the prohibition of Sawm on the thirtieth of Sha‘baan is made if it coincides with a day that someone habitually fasts, such as Sawm on Monday or Thursday… read more here.

The method of verifying the beginning of lunar months

Question: What is the method of verifying the beginning of lunar months?

Answer: The authentic Hadeeths of the Prophet (peace be upon him) have indicated that whenever the crescent is observed by a trustworthy person after sunset, on the night of the thirtieth of Sha`baan or Ramadaan, then the vision should be recognized… read more here.

Sighting and verifying the sighting of Ramadaan’s crescent

Question: How can we sight the new moon of Ramadaan in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia? I would like to know the way of sighting the new moon. Who is officially responsible for announcing the sighting of the new moon?

Is the radio broadcast among the Shar‘ee (Islaamic legal) means that one can rely on to begin Sawm (Fast) when it announces such news? Does the radio broadcast meet the legal conditions required in the witness who confirms the sighting of the new moon in order to commence observing Sawm based on the information he provides?

Are telephone and telegraphs considered official Shar‘ee means of communication that can be trusted in this regard, although one does not know the person who is talking or the person sending the telegraph?

Answer: Due to the importance of knowing the first day of Sha‘baan for subsequent reliance of Ramadaan on it, the Ministry of Justice notifies all courts during Rajab that all judges must inform people to try to sight the new moon of Sha‘baan. During the last days of Sha‘baan, the supreme judicial authority in the Ministry of Justice convenes to examine the testimonies submitted to it concerning sighting the new moon of Sha‘baan. After investigation, the judicial authority issues a decree based on what has been legally confirmed concerning the first day of Sha‘baan. Accordingly, we can determine the night on which we can sight the new moon of Ramadaan, which is the night before the thirtieth of Sha‘baan… read more here.

Fasting some days and nights as a substitute of fasting the entire month of Ramadaan

Question: Is it permissible for someone to fast continuously day and night, for three days during the month of Ramadaan instead of fasting the whole month?

Answer: It is not permissible to do so and none of the scholars have ever said that it is permissible to do so, as night is not a time of fasting. Anyone who does so is in violation of Islaamic law, and has innovated a new legislation that was not ordained by Allaah. Additionally, they will be breaking their fast during the month of Ramadaan without a legal excuse… read more here.

A Muslim proving his ability to overcome needs and desires through Sawm

Question: Does a Muslim prove his ability to overcome needs and desires through Sawm (fasting)? How does a Muslim see the reality of the world?

Answer: Allaah obligates the Sawm of Ramadaan for the interest of His servants to discipline their spirit to promote them to human perfection… read more here.

Salmaan’s Hadeeth on the excellence of Ramadaan

Question: In one of his Friday Khutbahs (Sermons), a Khateeb (preacher) mentioned the Hadeeth narrated by Salmaan who reported that Allaah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) gave them (his Companions) a sermon on the last day of Sha`baan etc. At that point, one of the attendees of the sermon went against the Imaam publicly telling him that the Hadeeth narrated by Salmaan is a Mawdoo` (fabricated) Hadeeth. From among what he (the Khateeb) mentioned, “Whoever feeds a fasting person, Allaah will make him drink from my Hawd (Prophet’s lake in Paradise) a drink that quenches his thirst until he enters Paradise” and “Whoever relieves his slave, will be forgiven by Allaah and protected from Hell-fire.” The objecting person said that these sayings are falsely ascribed to Allaah’s Messenger and whoever ascribes lies to Allaah’s Messenger, will have his abode in Hell-fire etc. I hope your Eminence will explain whether what he has said is true or not. May Allaah protect you!

Answer: The Hadeeth reported by Salmaan is recorded by Ibn Khuzaymah in his Sahih. He said: “Chapter on the merits of the month of Ramadaan, if the narration is authentic”, then added: `Alee ibn Hujr Al-Sa`dee reported that Yoosuf ibn Ziyaad reported that Hammaam ibn Yahyaa reported from `Alee ibn Zayd ibn Jud`aan from Sa`eed ibn Al-Musayyib from Salmaan that he said… read more here.

Small Mahr like a ring

Question 14: Is it permissible to marry with a small amount of Mahr (mandatory gift to a bride from her groom), such as a ring?

Answer: There is no minimum or maximum limit for Mahr. It might be a ring, its value or more. However, it is impermissible to exaggerate in the value of Mahr, as it leads to many evils... read more here.

The Mahr limits

Question 13: Is there a certain limit for a woman’s Sadaq (Mahr, dowry to a bride from the groom)? What is meant by the phrase “the easiest in their dowry” mentioned in the honorable Hadeeth?

Answer: A Woman’s Sadaq has no definite limit. Whatever is permissible to own, whether a large or small amount, is permissible to be given as a Sadaq for women. As for the Hadeeth narrated by Aboo Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) stated: The most blessed marriage is the easiest in costs and dowry.(Related by Ahmad) It means that paying the dowry should be made easy... read more here.

Paying Mahr proper to that paid to a girl of the same social status

Question 12: I married one of my daughters to a man whom I did not ask to pay a Mahr (mandatory gift to a bride from her groom). One year after their marriage my son-in-law gave me a Toyota (car) though I did not ask him to do so. What is the ruling on this?

Answer: It is permissible for you to take the car from your son-in-law. If he gave it to you as a Mahr, it should go to your daughter. However, if he gave it to you as a gift; you may take it for yourself but your son-in-law has to pay a proper Mahr to your daughter if he did not do so at the time of the conclusion of the marriage contract... read more here.

Mahr as working for the father-in-law for a certain period

Question 11: I am poor and cannot afford marriage. A man offered to give me his daughter in marriage provided that I work for him for a one month period, and this shall be her Mahr (dowry to a bride from the groom).The man’s daughter agreed to this offer, is this permissible in Islaam? Could this be a valid marriage?

Answer: If the matter is as mentioned, it is permissible to work for this man for one month and consider this the Mahr for his daughter; and the marriage would be valid... read more here.

Man’s intention not to pay off Mahr

Question 10: Please be advised that I am a young man about to graduate. I proposed to a girl six months ago, and her father agreed to our marriage. I agreed with them to pay her 100,000 Rupees as Mahr (mandatory gift to a bride from her groom). Our customs are that the mentioned sum of money is written in the contract, but only half of it is paid in the form of jewels and clothes. Due to myfinancial situation, I do not have this sum of money, so I cannot pay it. I have read in some books that if a man marries while owing part of the Mahr (mandatory gift to a bride from her groom), while he does not intend to pay it, he will be resurrected on the Day of Judgment as an adulterer. Please advise concerning the following:

First: Is this Hadeeth Saheeh (authentic)?

Second: If it is Saheeh, what should I do? Should I break the engagement or continue? Please note, that the marriage has not yet taken place.

Third: Given the situation, does the previously-mentioned Hadeeth apply to my case? Please advise. May Allaah guide you.

Answer: First, it was mentioned by Al-Mundhiree in his book entitled “Al-Targheeb wa al-Tarheeb”, on the authority of Suhayb Al-Khayr (may Allaah be pleased with him) that he said, “The Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) said... read more here.

Husband’s responsibilities

Question 9: Is the groom responsible for meeting all the marriage requirements alone? Is the bride’s family allowed to impose conditions concerning these requirements?

Answer: The basic ruling is that it is obligatory upon the groom to pay Mahr (mandatory gift to a bride from her groom) to the bride. They should mutually agree to state its amount. If any excess is needed, it should be settled according to mutual agreement. It is noteworthy that the agreement should conform to the purified Shar` (Law) as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said... read more here.

Registering everything the husband offers in a list

Question 8: What is ruling on the so called Qa’ymah (list) of all house items, whether bought by the groom or anyone else that is attached to the marriage contract? It is noteworthy that such a Qa’ymah is claimed to be among the public interests especially in this age with the spread of fraud, and that it is a similar document to the marriage contract itself.

Answer: If the matter is exactly as what is mentioned in the question, there is no impediment to include such a Qa’ymah with the document of the contract of marriage. Both the bride and the groom may sign it to define for sure what the husband has bought in case that a dispute between the two sides arises and a Khul` (divorce at the request of the wife in return for compensation to the husband) is to take place... read more here.

Husband’s in-laws giving him money

Question 7: According to the traditions of Muslims in India, when contracting a marriage the bride’s family presents a large sum of money to the bridegroom’s family. This causes a lot of problems; for example young men find it difficult to choosethe right wife, as the families of brides who may not seem suitable enticingly pay large amounts of money. Besides, poor Muslim families find themselves obliged to borrow money in order to marry their mature daughters. This hinders the Muslims’ progress in this state. In the state of Kerala, there are many Islaamic societies, but none of them care about this matter. I hope you will clarify this question in the light of the Islaamic creed. If this tradition violates the Sharee`ah, I hope you will point this out.

Answer: When contracting a marriage the woman should receive Mahr (mandatory gift to a bride from her groom) that is payable by the husband on the spot or deferred, whether it is little or much. Allaah (Exalted be He) says... read more here.

Stipulating `Umrah as Mahr

Question 6: I wish that Allaah blesses me with performing `Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) or Hajj. Since the financial conditions of my family do not allow me to perform Hajj or `Umrah, I had an idea; namely to stipulate for the man who may propose to me and whom I hope will be a righteous man to make my Mahr (mandatory gift to a bride from her groom) enough money to allow me to perform `Umrah if possible. Is this condition against any of the rulings of the Sharee`ah pertinent to marriage?

Answer: There is no harm if you stipulate for the potential husband to make your Mahr enough for your performance of `Umrah. It is authentically reported in the Two Saheeh (authentic) Books of Hadeeth (i.e. Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim) that... read more here.

Husband offering the Mus-haf as Mahr

Question 5: Is it permissible for a person to give a copy of the Qur’aan as a Mahr (mandatory gift to a bride from her groom) to his wife? What should be done if he divorces her in this case?

Answer: First, It is permissible for the person to make teaching the Qur’aan to a woman her Mahr (mandatory gift to a bride from her groom) at the time of concluding the marriage contract if he does not have money. It is authentically reported in the Two Saheeh (authentic) Books of Hadeeth (i.e. Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim) on the authority of Sahl ibn Sa`d (may Allaah be pleased with him) that... read more here.

Obligation of husband giving Mahr

Question 4: A man here in Kashmir has to spend huge sums of money on his daughter’s wedding; he has to give gifts, home appliances, and a car or a refrigerator, for example, to the groom, based on what they ask for. These have become almost a custom. The father also has to willingly give him jewelry and expensive clothes sometimes, and bear the costs of the wedding, which can amount to hundreds of thousands of Rupees. This man may also face problems if he does not offer these requirements, as engagement or marriage break-up.

The question is: Can the money spent on a daughter’s wedding be deducted from her share in the inheritance, and is it lawful for a woman’s share in inheritance to be relinquished?

Answer: In marriage contract, it is obligatory for the Mahr (mandatory gift to a bride from her groom) to be paid by the husband, as Allaah addresses husbands saying: And give to the women (whom you marry) their Mahr (obligatory bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) with a good heart; but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it, and enjoy it without fear of any harm (as Allaah has made it lawful).... read more here.

Offering Mahr in the form of commodity

Question 3: A man married a woman promising to give her a golden anklet, two camels, and two rings as Mahr (mandatory gift to a bride from her groom). Then his wife died. He says that the value of these golden items has changed. Should he pay their value according to their price at the time of concluding the contract or according to today’s price?

Answer: If the reality is as mentioned, that he promised to give his wife golden anklets, two camels and two rings, he must fulfill the promise regardless of the value of these items before or after the time of fulfillment. He has to hand them to the rightful inheritors of his wife or to their authorized agents. If they agreed upon estimating the value justly according to today’s price, there is no harm in that... read more here.

Marrying a woman without paying Mahr (mandatory gift to a bride from her groom)

Question 2: A man who worships Allaah alone gave his beautiful daughters in marriage without receiving a Mahr (mandatory gift to a bride from her groom). He did not even receive clothing, money or anything else. Is this marriage valid?

Answer: Mahr is a prerequisite for marriage. The texts of Qur’aan and Sunnah and Ijmaa` (consensus of scholars) indicate that it is required and obligatory. Allaah (Exalted be He) says: And give to the women (whom you marry) their Mahr (obligatory bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) with a good heart which means: give them their dowry out of free will according to the obligation prescribed on you by marrying them... read more here.

Fixing Mahr (mandatory gift to a bride from her groom)

Question 1: What is the maximum and the minimum limits of Mahr (mandatory gift to a bride from her groom)? Is it Haraam (prohibited) to increase it?

Answer: There is no evidence in the Qur’aan or the Sunnah on the recommended amount of Mahr. Some of the evidence mentioned in the Qur’aan allow the payment of a large Mahr, while others are general and include both large and small. The first type includes Allaah’s saying (Exalted be He)... read more here.