There is disagreement among the Muslims in our country whether we should follow calculations, a local sighting, or a global sighting. Which group should I follow?
I hold the opinion that Muslims should fast with the people of the country wherein they reside whether they rely on calculations, use both calculations and a crescent sighting, or rely exclusively upon a sighting. Allah likes people to be together and dislikes separation.
Muslims should avoid looking absurd in front of other nations, particularly in highly visible matters such as fasting, `îd, and the pilgrimage.
Clarification from the IslamToday Research Committee:
The decision on which sighting to follow (a local one, an international one, or a calculation, as mentioned by Sheikh Salman) must ultimately be made by the scholars in your country. When that decision is made, everyone must follow it. There is no excuse for different communities within the same region to begin Ramadan and to celebrate `îd on different days.
The issue at hand is based on ijtihâd and differences of opinion are allowed in this case. However, when it comes down to implementation, the community must be united. Whoever goes against the majority decision and divides the community is wrong. Therefore, even if you disagree with the ijtihâd that is reached by the majority of the scholars in your country, you must abide by their decision for the sake of Muslim unity.
And Allah knows best.
Fatwâ Department Research Committee of IslamToday.net chaired by Sheikh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî
Source: Islam Today
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