Q&A: The Error of This Year’s (1435/2014) Eidul Fitr Announcement

Q. People in the UK who reject Saudi moon sightings made Eid after accepting SA sightings. There are now claims that the sightings were not in accordance with Shariah and Qadha roza has to be kept. Please clarify the situation.

A. The announcements made of Eidul Fitr this year were based on incorrect evidence — evidence which is dismissed by the Shariah of Allah Ta’ala.

In spite of clear skies in the Gauteng Province, on the basis of the sighting of 22 persons scattered in several locations the decision was taken by some Ulama Bodies to announce Eidul Fitr for Monday the 28th July.

In such clear visibility the Shariah instructs that large crowds of people (Jamm-e-Ghafeer) report their sighting. In the absence of Jamm-e-Ghafeer the sightings of lone individuals and small groups are inadmissible and Eid, therefore, cannot be celebrated.

Thus, the Jamiatul Ulama of Guateng declares that Eid was celebrated by error on the 30th of Ramadhaan this year, 1435/2014.

All Muslims who followed the erroneous announcements made from certain quarters in South Africa and ended their Fast on Sunday, 27th July are required to keep one day Qadha and those who terminated their I’tikaaf on the 27th are also required to fill in a day and night of I’tikaaf. The I’tikaaf could be with the Qadha of the missed fast.

And Allah Ta’ala knows best.