Fiqh of Siyaam: Testimony of a witness determines sighting

3. Testimony of a witness determines sighting

Sighting is determined by the process of testimony of a witness. If no new moon is sighted then Sha’baan/Ramadhaan is deemed to be 30 days and is continued. On the 29th day of the month the Muslim goes out to sight the moon. If he sees the new moon the next month has began and the next day will be the first day of the month. And if he doesn’t then the next day will be the 30th.

The question arises that what if one cannot see the moon because the sky is clouded over? The issue of clouding over is irrelevant today because the Muslims are so many and widespread that the moon can be spotted in different parts of the world. It isn’t possible for the whole world to be clouded over. And in our times long distance communication is fast. Unlike in the past it was limited to a 20-30 mile radius because this was the furthest a horse could travel in a single night. And it was possible for that area to be clouded over completely.

So in this case when the moon is not sighted due to it being clouded over then one must complete thirty days of the month and either start or finish his fasting. Even if scientific information and astronomical calculations say that the moon is there, if it is not sighted by a witness then one should complete the thirty days.

One must also understand that the beginning and ending of Ramadhaan is a legal process and not an astronomical process. It depends on the sighting of the moon by a reliable witness. We see that the Prophet (sall Allahu’ alayhi wa sallam) took the testimony of a reliable witness, even though there could’ve been the possibility of the person hallucinating or just thinking that he saw the moon when in reality he didn’t or he saw something else. Ramadhaan does not necessarily have to coincide with the moon coming and going. Therefore the important matter here that is relevant to the beginning or end of Ramadhaan is the testimony of the witness who saw the moon. We base this on the proof that the Prophet (sall Allahu’ alayhi wa sallam) said “…fast when you see it…” [Muslim Book 6 #2318] and he (sall Allahu’ alayhi wa sallam) did not say “….fast when the moon is there…”

Related Posts:
Prologue
Introduction
Chapter 1: Fasting in Ramadhaan

1. A pillar of Islam
2. Obligation of Fasting
3. Sighting of the Moon for start of Ramadhaan
4. One reliable witness’ presence is sufficient
5. Conditions that make Ramadhan Obligatory for an Individual
6. Expiation for the inability to fast due to age or illness
7. Requirements of a valid fast
8. Obligations to fulfill during fasting
9. Recommended acts of fasting

Chapter 2: Conditions in which breaking fast is Permissible, Impermissible, or Recommended
Chapter 3: That which Invalidates Your Fast
Chapter 4: Repayment of Missed or Broken Fasts
Chapter 5: Recommended, Disliked, and Impermissible Days of Fasting

(Chapter 4 & 5 – Insha’Allah comming soon around Eid al Fitr)

 

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Fiqh As Sawm

Islamic Rulings Surrounding Ramadhan and Fasting. Based on “Manar As Sabeel Fi Sharh Ad Daleel” Of Shaykh Ibraheem ibn Duwaiyan (d. 1353 AH) as explained by Br. Salim Morgan. Transcribed and Edited By Ibn Al Hyderabadee

Prologue Introduction

Chapter 1: Fasting in Ramadhaan
1. A pillar of Islam 2. Obligation of Fasting 3. Sighting of the Moon for start of Ramadhaan 4. One reliable witness' presence is sufficient 5. Conditions that make Ramadhan Obligatory for an Individual 6. Expiation for the inability to fast due to age or illness 7. Requirements of a valid fast 8. Obligations to fulfill during fasting 9. Recommended acts of fasting

Chapter 2: Permissions and Prohibitions

1. Impermissible to break fast during Ramadhan 2. Prohibited to fast for a woman in her menstrual or post-partum bleedin 3. Obligatory to break it when it is required to save a person’s life 4. Recommended to break fast for one who is ill and fears harm from fasting. 5. Recommended to break fast when one is traveling 6. Permissible for one to break fast who begins a journey while fasting 7. Permissible for a pregnant or nursing (breast feeding) woman 8. Change of condition of a person doesn’t obligate one to refrain from eating and drinking the rest of the day. 9. Prohibited to fast a voluntary fast instead of an obligatory one.

Chapter 3: That which Invalidates Your Fast

1. Intentional Intake of anything into the abdomen 2. Intention to break fast 3. Fluctuating Intention to fast 4. Vomiting intentionally 5. Menstruation or Post Partum Bleeding 6. Masturbation 7. Marital Relations 8. Cupping for both parties 9. Death 10. Apostasy 11. Above are Exempted in some cases

Chapter 4: Repayment
1. Missing a day of fast in Ramadhan
2. When does one make up a missed fast
3. If missed fast are not made up until few dats before next Ramadhan
4. Missed fasts first or voluntary?

Chapter 5: Recommended, Disliked, and Impermissible Days of Fasting
1. Recommended Every Other Day Sawn Dawood
2. The three white days of every Islamic month
3. Six days of Shawwaal
4. Month of Muharram and the 10th
5. Ten days of Dhil Hijja and that of Arafat
6. Disliking of the month of Rajab
7. Disliking of the day of Friday
8. Disliking of the 30th of Shabaan
9. Impermissibility of fasting on the two Eids
10. Completing of a voluntary fast is not Wajib

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