SIGHTING OF THE MOON
As Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuhu
What is the verdict of the Learned Ulama and the Muftis in the following case:
Every year in Durban, the Sunni Ulama take a telephone message from Cape Town which is about 1700 kilometres away from Durban, to commence Ramadaan or Eid. This year the very same procedure was followed. Our Jamaat, however, does not follow this system and thus relies on proper Shahaadat. When we heard that the moon was sighted, we began to investigate where it was sighted, so that we may attain proper Shahaadat if possible.
On investigation we found out that the moon was not seen in Cape Town, but was seen in Johannesburg. After speaking to some Sunni Ulama there, we were informed that the Shahaadat procedure did not take place in front of any of them but that they had only heard that the moon was seen and thus announced Eid.
As for the Sunni Ulama in Durban, they took the telephonic message of the sighting in Johannesburg from Cape Town and also announced Eid on this message. After making contact with the Cape Town Hilaal Committee, we were sent a fax to say that the moon was not seen in Cape Town, but was seen in Johannesburg. The names of the witnesses were present on the fax and all three witnesses were Wahabi Molvis (according to the information on the fax) from Mias Farm, a famous Wahabi institute. We also confirmed that those who gave testimony in Johannesburg were Wahabi and the person to whom they gave Shahaadat and who announced the Shahaadat was also a Wahabi.
When this information surfaced, then between 11.30 p.m. and 12.30 p.m., a reputable Sunni Aalim from our Jamaat called various Ulama and informed them that they had announced Eid on the message from Shahaadat from Wahabis. They replied by saying, that they had already announced that the following day was Eid, and there was nothing that they could do as retracting will case umume balwa. Another reputable Sunni Aalim was called various times and the Aalim from our Jamaat asked his permission to present the fax to him. He answered by saying that he had no need to see the fax, as he had already made the announcement and the next day would be Eid.
May Allah Bless you with Jaza-e-Khair.
Durban Hilaal Committee
[Mufti] Hadrat Allama Mufti Mohammad Akhtar Raza Khan Qadri