Q&A: The Convoluted Global Eid Unification Scheme

Q. One night as the Imam and I were speaking on the Hilaal issue he mentioned something that I have rarely heard of and know little about. Although we have agreed that local moon sighting will be the only correct method he mentioned that we may start to possibly consider global moon sighting. I’ve heard of this, however, I’ve never heard it been discussed or fought over.

He mentions that there is strong daleel for it and many great sheiks now are saying it may be a possibility; that no matter where the moon is spotted in the world we can accept it and have Eid together as one world. That in fact was the opinion of Imam Shaafi’ (Rahmatullahi alaih), but because of no possibility of communicating worldwide it was brushed to the side. Now with modern technology it is very much possible.

He says that there are some draw backs though, because Saudi Arabia will never accept anyone’s sighting and the 13hour difference of some countries will cause problems in the sightings, but it’s possible. I was hoping if Mufti Sahib could enlighten me on this topic and what is our stance on it.

A. “Global Moon Sighting” is a convoluted concept of the modernists. The claim that this is allowed by Imaam Shaafi (Rahmatullahi alaih) is baseless. In fact, Imaam Shaafi’s view is the narrowest on the issue of hilaal-sighting. The Shaafi’ Math-hab does not accept sightings from far off places.