Not starting to fast when Ramadaan commences claiming that a Shaykh has not commanded

Question: I have some relatives who do not start their fast with us when Ramadaan commences, claiming that one of their Shaykhs in Makkah has not commanded them to start the fast. Thus, they may delay their fast for one or two days after us. They have been approached with advice in order to follow the community in the beginning of the fast, but they still insist on their practice. Their excuse is that their Shaykh has not yet commanded them to start fasting and he has not sighted the new moon.

My question, Your Eminence, is: Can the sighting of the new moon be established by the witness of one man, two men, or more? What is the ruling on the fast of those people? Should I maintain good relations with them or desert them? And what is the ruling on my dealing with them and keeping good relations with them? Please give us Fatwaa’ regarding this, may Allash reward you with the best, and may Allaah benefit everyone with your knowledge!

Answer: The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: Observe the fast when you see it (the new moon), and break the fast when you see it (the new moon). If the sky is overcast, then calculate it (the months of Sha’baan or Shawwaal as thirty days.) In another narration, he (peace be upon him) said… read more here.


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