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When do We start Fasting?

When Do We Start Fasting (Opinion #1)?

Shaykh Saalih ibn Muhammad al-Luhaydaan

Reference: Tape: Istiqbaal Shahr Ramadaan (Welcoming the Month of Ramadaan), Side B 21st of Sha’baan, 1425

Category: Fasting

It is well known to your eminence the presence of Muslim minorities in some non-Muslim countries and the disputing that occurs between some of them as it relates to the beginning of the fast of Ramadaan. So what is the best way to unify them and eliminate any splitting and differing amongst them? May Allaah reward you with good.

My advice to those minorities in the other countries is that they call the Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia]. And they do [in fact] call: they call the Higher Judiciary Council in the Kingdom from France, Britain and America. They ask about the sighting of the crescent and are informed about it. So they should strive to do that.

Also, from the things that are well established and undoubtedly known is that if the crescent is sighted in an eastern country, the possibility of sighting it in a land west of that country is even more likely… Hence, if it is seen in the Kingdom, the likelihood of seeing it in America is greater. However, they may not spot it, or they may not be skilled at sighting it, or they may be busy with other things. So they should call the Kingdom. If it is announced that the fast has started in the Kingdom and it’s broadcasted through the media – visual and audio – then whoever hears it should follow it.

The problem is when it’s sighted in the Kingdom and it hasn’t been sighted in the Far East, since [the difference in time zone] between us and the Far East is almost a whole night. So if we [in KSA] have sighted it at the time of sunset, it will be the end of the night or the time of Fajr in the Far East. Thus the countries of the Far East are not bound to fast according to our sighting. Rather, those bound to follow our sighting are the ones who are west of this country.

Translator: Tahir Wyatt, Abu Abdur-Razzaaq

Categories: Fiqh issues
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