Moon Sighting – The Baatil Fatwa of the New York Darul Ifta

[By Majlisul Ulama]

QUESTION 

Please study the fatwa captioned:  

A VIABLE SHARIA BASED SOLUTION ON THE ISSUE OF RAMADHAAN AND EID MOON SIGHTING. 

This fatwa was issued by Al Muneer Foundation Inc. Darul Ifta Khatm-e-Nubuwwat of New York, U.S.A. in the year 2011. The fatwa, not only promotes global moon-sighting, but actually decrees that it is incumbent (Waajib). It in particular states that it is compulsory for  all Muslims of the world to  follow the declaration of Saudi Arabia on the  beginning and celebration of  Ramadhaan and Eid respectively. Kindly comment on the veracity of this Fatwa. Is it correct? 

ANSWER by the Taufeeq of Allah Azza Wa Jal 

The fatwa is egregiously  erroneous. 

(1) Islam is more than fourteen centuries in existence, and so is it with Ramadhaan and Eid. Moon-sighting and determining the Islamic months are not  new issues which have developed in this belated age in close proximity to Qiyaamah. The ludicrous scenarios stemming  from disputes regarding  the commencement of Ramadhaan and the celebration of Eid are the effects of  the jahl of the awaam (masses). Adding to the confusion is the flabby attitude  of  the Ulama  who  are  bending  too  far  backwards to  accommodate  the  ignorant  demands  of  the  ignorant masses  for  a  false  ‘unity’  based  on  their  vain  desires. Far from  solving  the issue  in  terms  of  the  Shariah,  the taqleed of  the  Ulama  to  the  desires  of  the  ignorant  masses,  only exacerbates the  confusion and  problem.

The  squabbling  over  the  moon  even  after  fourteen centuries  is  the  height  of  absurdity,  especially  when  Rasulullah  (Sallallahu  alayhi  wasallam)  has  clearly  laid down the principles and the laws in this  matter.

(2)  The  concept  of  global  moonsighting  never  existed  in Islam nor  is  there  any  indication  in  the  Shariah  for  the adoption  of  this  concept  spawned  just  a  couple  of  years ago by  juhala and fussaaq.

(3)  The emphasis  of    kow-towing  to  the  Saudi  regime  is  the  effect  of  bootlicking  by  the  Ulama,  which  in  turn  is  the effect  of  Saudi   monetary  and  other  perks  doled  out  to  the Ulama,  including to  the  current  breed  of   Deobandi  Ulama who  have  increasingly  become  liberals  and    bedfellows  with  the  corrupt,  fussaaq,  Saudi Salafis  of  the  Saudi regime,  hence  they  participate  in  the  Saudi-initiated conferences,  and  in  the  process  bootlick  and    submit to whatever  anti-Shariah  ‘fatwas’  are  disgorged  by  the  Saudi Salafi Ulama who are all on the payroll of  the  regime.

The  Saudi  regime  is  never  in  the  category  of  an  Ameerul Mu’mineen  who  has  sway  and    rights  over  the  Muslim Ummah  of  the  world.  The Wilaayat of  the  faasiq  Saudi regime does not extend beyond  the borders of Saudi Arabia. The decrees and proclamations of the Saudi regime are  not hujjat for the Muslims of the world. There is absolutely no Shar’i grounds for  the  baseless attempt to hoist Saudi hegemony on the entire Ummah of the world. The Saudi regime is currently in the process of destroying the Shariah, even the  extreme brand initially introduced by the first kings of the Saudi family. The current Saudi regime is bereft of any Islamic or Shar’i credentials. 

(4) The Darul Ifta of New York has simply lumped together numerous names of senior Ulama in a bid to steamroll its view of global moon-sighting and submission to Saudi Arabia. It has  quoted  the names of many kutub  to browbeat those who lack in sound  Shar’i knowledge.  The Darul Ifta has failed to apply its mind constructively. A close examination of the  masaa-il from the kutub will establish  the error of the Darul Ifta. 

The Darul Ifta simply lumps together names of kutub and names of Ulama without presenting the actual  statements of the  Ulama and  the kutub nor  discussing the contexts  to which the masaa-il are applicable. They have merely written an article which lacks Ilmi expertise. 

(5) The bootlicking of the authors of the fatwa is quite conspicuous from the following facts:

(a)  The emphasis on submitting to the fussaaq Saudi regime which has abandoned even the original Salafi’ism of its founders.

(b) Currying favour with the Barelwi Qabar Pujaaris, hence  the liberalized Deobandi  Molvis of the New York Darul Ifta say: “The respectable Ala-Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Raza Khan…” Drawing support from the Barelwi Molvi who had branded all our Akaabir Ulama of Deoband as ‘kaafir’, speaks much for the bootlicking tactics of the Darul Ifta. 

(c) Their failure to understand that global-moonsighting is a recent development  spawned by  juhala, and that nowhere in  the Shariah  is there the slightest evidence for  this new phenomenon.  

Let us now examine their claims and arguments. The Darul Ifta alleges:

“In terms of Fiqah considering difference of horizons is absolutely non-credible. In layman’s terms it means that, global moon sighting is the exact requisite of Shariah and Sunnah.” 

In substantiation of this fallacy, the Darul Ifta cites Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunan Abu Dawood, Sunan Kubra Baihaqi  and Fatawa Shami.  Nowhere in any of these kutub is there even the remotest reference to ‘global moon-sighting’. The Darul Ifta has conveniently abstained from citing the actual narrations from these kutub. We therefore understand that their claim in this regard is  designed to hoodwink the unwary and ignorant.

The claim that Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’ — “difference of horizons” is absolutely non-credible is erroneous. They have attributed Qat’iyyat (Absolute Certitude) to their view which is a figment of their opinion. Qat’iyyat is the effect of  Qur’aan and Ahaadith Mutawaatirah. It is  highly improper and arrogance for any Mufti to  claim that his  opinion or  the Fatwa of even a Mujtahid Imaam or the majority view is in the category of Qat’iyyat when there exists Ikhtilaaf, and even major difference of opinion,  on the issue among the Fuqaha of the same Math-hab as well as the Fuqaha of the other Math-habs. Furthermore, on this confounded issue of global moon-sighting there is not even a remote reference in the Shariah in terms of all Math-habs.  

The Darul Ifta has further compounded its error by equating the issue of Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’ to global moon-sighting whilst there is no relationship between these two issues. The meaning of difference in horizons being invalid, simply is the validity of  the sighting of one place for another place if  the information  reaches in a manner acceptable to the Shariah. It does not mean the compulsory imposition of the sighting of one place (city, town, country) on another region. Those who make this preposterous claim have failed to present their Shar’i evidence. They merely interpret Ahaadith and statements of the Fuqaha in terms of their own opinions.  

Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Shafi’ (Rahmatullah alayh), in his Jawaahirul Fiqh, Vol.1, whilst discussing the feasibility of having Eid on one day in the entire Pakistan to placate the whims of the  public, says:    

“……Though in terms of the Shariah, there is no significance in having Eid on the same day in the entire land. During the initial eras  of Islam, the  then current means of communication were not utilized for this purpose to  arrange Eid on the same day. Furthermore, due to  vast difference in Mataali (horizons) of a country, severe  difficulties can develop (in the pursuit to have Eid on the same day in the whole country).” 

On the issue of Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’ Hadhrat Maulana Yusuf Binnori (Rahmatullah alayh) whom the Darul Ifta has awarded the lofty title of “Ustaazul  Muhadditheen” said:   

“Sometimes the distance is so great that in reality, difference in horizons is possible, e.g. Peshawar and Dhaka. Therefore the (following) condition should be added: ‘On condition that the  distance between the two lands is not so great as to result in the reality of difference of horizon.”    
The validity of Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’ relative to distant lands is an Ijmaee mas’alah (on which there is Consensus) as  Ibn Abdul Barr and others have explicitly stated. (Bidayatul Mujtahid of Ibn Rushd, Fathul Baari of Ibn Hajar). Even according to the Hanafiyyah, in distant lands Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’ is valid, Refer to Badaai’, Al-Ikhtiyaar Sharh Al-Mukhtaar and Tabyeenul Haqaaiq of Az-Zailaee. When Ijmaa’ is established then the other marjooh view is automatically negated.    

The statement of the Aimmah, namely: ‘Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’ is not valid’, is exclusive with such cities where such distance cannot be covered from the centre or end of the city (for difference of horizons to develop in reality).  The latitude adopted by the Muta-akh-khireen Hanafiyyah does not accord with the intention of the Aimmah nor is it factually correct.”  

Why is the Darul Ifta ignoring this explicit view of ‘Ustaazul Muhadditheen’? 

Since  Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’ is a contentious issue among the Fuqaha, and since this was not an issue among the Sahaabah, it is palpably ludicrous to predicate Qat’iyyat to it. The Fuqaha have not attributed Qat’iyyat to this issue which the New York Darul Ifta has attempted to elevate to the status of Wahi.  

Besides the Shaafi’ Fuqaha rejecting the validity of the claim of Iktilaaf-e-Mataali being ghair mu’tabar (not valid), even Hanafi Fuqaha accept it as valid. Imaam Al-Kaasaani states in his Badaaius Sanaai’:     

“………..This ruling is when both cities are near to each other at such a distance that  there is no Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’ between them. However, if the distance is great, then the hukm of the one city will not be incumbent  on the other city because the horizons of cities when the distance between them is great differ. Then the  horizon  for people of every city  will be valid for  them, not for  those of another city.

Although according to Zaahirur  Riwaayat the  view  of  Invalidity  of Ikhtilaaf e Mataali’, and  this  is the  majority    view  of  the  Ahnaaf  which  we  accept,  it  is  utterly  fallacious  to  attribute Qat’iyyat  to  it,  and  to  pretend that  this  is  the  only  view  of  the Hanafi  Fuqaha.  What aggravates  the  pretence  is  that  the  Deen  is  being manipulated  to  serve  the  political  and  nafsaani  objectives of  the  corrupt, Faasiq  Saudi regime so desirous of imposing its  hegemony on the Ummah.  It  is  a  fallacy  and falsehood  to  deny  the  existence  of  the  valid  difference  of opinion  among  the  Ahnaaf  on  this  issue.  The  following appears in Al Ikhtiyaar  Li Ta’leel  Mukhtaar:

“When  the  sighting  of  the  hilaal  is  established  in  a  city, then  it  becomes  binding  on  all  the  inhabitants,  and there  is no  consideration  for difference  of  horizons. So has Qaadhi Khaan  narrated. This  is  Zaahirur  Riwaayat,  and  it  has  been narrated  from  Shamsul  Aimmah  As-Sarakhsi.  It  has  been said: (The hukm) differs with Ikhtilaaf- e-Mataali’.

It is  narrated in  Fataawal- Husaamiyah: ‘If  the people of a city after sighting the  hilaal fast for thirty days while the people  of another city fast  29  days  having  sighted the hilaal, then  upon them is the Qadha of one  day. (This ruling  applies) if  the  two  cities  are  so  near (to each  other) that their horizons are  the  same. If they are so far (from each other) that their respective  horizons differ then the hukm of  the one city does not apply  to the other city.”

In Tabyeenul Haqaa-iq of Az-Zailaee, the following appears:     

Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’ is not valid. And, it  has been said that it is valid.” (More or less the same  is narrated in Tabyeenul Haqaa-iq as mentioned above). It is more appropriate that it (i.e. Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali) be valid. ……..The daleel for the validity of  Mataali’ is the narration of Kuraib………” 

The aforegoing have been mentioned not in refutation of Zaahirur Riwaayat, but in refutation of the utterly baseless contention  of the attribution of Absolute Certitude (Qat’iyyat’ – the status of Wahi –) to  the   Zaahirur Riwaayat view. 

On the issue of the different horizons, there are two conflicting  views with conflicting effects. The one view is that of the invalidity of Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’  and the other view is  the validity of Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’. The former is the Zaahirur Riwaayat version to  which the majority of the Hanafi Fuqaha  subscribe while the latter  is the view of  the vast majority of the Shaafi’ Fuqaha and of some Hanafi Fuqaha. Ibn Abdul Barr  reports Ijmaa’ of the Maaliki Fuqaha on the validity view. “Ustaazul Muhadditheen”, Allaamah Binnuri upholds this Ijmaa’.  

Those who subscribe to the invalidity view are of the opinion that irrespective of distance and differences in horizons,  the sighting of one place is valid for another place. However, they do not claim that acceptance of the sighting of distant places is incumbent. Hadhrat Mufti Rashid Ahmad (Rahmatullah alayh), author of Ahsanul Fataawa, who subscribed to the view of  invalidity of difference in horizons, interpreting the fatwa of  Imaam Al-Kaasaani (Rahmatullah alayh), the illustrious author of Badaaius Sanaai’, one of the most authoritative Hanafi works, says:  
“Reflecting on the full text of Badaai’ it becomes clear that at this juncture (of the specific mas’alah under discussion), the objective is not to discuss the issue of validity or invalidity of Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’. On the contrary, the objective is to explain that if two cities are so near to each other to preclude the possibility of difference in horizons, then both these cities will be in the same category, i.e. the confirmation of the sighting of the one city will be Hujjat-e-Mulzimah (a decree which is binding) on the inhabitants of the other city. There is no need for an independent hujjat for the other city. It is just as the sighting is confirmed for the entire city and for even its suburbs.  

On the contrary, if the Matla’ (horizons) of both cities are different, then despite this Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’ not being valid in terms of Zaahirur Riwaayat, the sighting of the one city will not be Hujjat-e-Mulzimah for the other city. The other city will require independent evidence (Hujjat) such as Shahaadat  or Shahaadat alal Qadha or Istifaadhah.”  (Ahsanul Fataawa, Vol.4, page 469)

It is abundantly clear from Badaai’ and also from the above explanation of Mufti Rashid Ahmad, that regarding places of  differing horizons, the sighting of one city is not Hujjat-e-Mulzimah for  other cities despite the invalidity of Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’ in terms of Zaahirur Riwaayat which is the majority view. Thus, the announcement made by the corrupt Saudi regime is not Hujjat-e-Mulzimah for the Muslims of the world. But the objective of the Darul Ifta of New York is to supersede the Shariah and to hoist Saudi hegemony on the Ummah by fallaciously claiming the incumbency of following the Saudi announcements, and by attributing Qat’iyyat to the validity view. 

Mufti Rashid Ahmad has attempted to show that Imaam Al-Kaasaani in Badaai’ is not discussing the issue of Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’ and its consequence. We do not agree with his opinion.  Imaam Al-Kaasaani explicitly mentions the consequence of Iktilaaf-e-Mataali’. He says with clarity:  
   
“This (i.e. the applicability of the hukm of one city for the other city) is when the distance between the two cities is such that the horizons do not differ. However, if the cities are far apart, then the hukm of the one city will not be binding on the other city because the Mataali’ of cities in the case of great distance differ. Thus, for every city, its horizon will be valid, not the horizon of the other city.”

Then, Imaam Al-Kaasaani fortifies this view with the Fatwa of Shaikh Abu Abdullah Bin Abi Musa Ad-Dhareer. Stating the Fatwa, Imaam Al-Kaasaani says:  

“Abu Abdullah Bin Abi Musa Ad-Dhareer was asked about the people of Iskandariyya (Alexandria in Egypt). When the sun sets for the people on the ground, it remains visible for those on high towers for a considerable time. He said that for the people on the ground breaking fast is permissible, not for those on the towers because the setting of the sun differs in accordance with its different horizons, hence for the people of every place will be its horizon.” 

Imaam Al-Kaasaani has cited this fatwa as an analogy to fortify the view of the validity of differing horizons for the purpose of moon-sighting. On the basis of this analogy, it is quite clear that according to Imaam Al-Kaasaani, the sighting of one city is not valid for another distant city where the horizon differs just as it is not permissible for those on the towers to break fast despite the people in the very same place on the ground breaking their fast. Thus, Mufti Rashid Ahmad’s conclusion is in conflict with the logical conclusion stemming from the analogy proffered by Imaam Al-Kaasaani. From his analogy it is obvious, that the  confirmation of a sighting  of a city will not be Hujjat-e-Mulzimah for another distant city regardless of  the sighting being confirmed by Shahaadat, etc. as Mufti Rashid Ahmad has  claimed on the basis of his interpretation of  the text in Badaai’.

The Darul Ifta has quoted also Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Rahmatullah alayh) in an abortive bid to bolster its fallacy of global moon-sighting and the hallucinated incumbency stemming therefrom. In this regard, Hadhrat Thanvi (Rahmatullah alayh) states in his Imdaadul Fataawa, vol.2, page 99: 
Question: “In a city because of cloudy conditions the moon is not sighted on the night at the end of 29th Sha’baan or Ramadhaan. Are the people obligated to  make effort to  obtain news from other places?” 

Answer:  “No (Shar’i) Hukm is established  without daleel. For this act (of  acquiring news from other places) there is no daleel, hence this act is not incumbent.” 

Note that Hadhrat Thanvi (Rahmatullah alayh) subscribes to the Zaahirur Riwaayat version, nevertheless, he is averse to the  act of embarking on unnecessary effort – an effort which the Shariah does not require. 

Further advising a gentleman who was of the view of  striving  to have  Ramadhaan and Eid on the same day  throughout the Indian subcontinent which at that time comprised of only India, Hadhrat Thanvi said:    

“Now I shall present my opinion by way of advice………..Even if the fatwa of other Ulama confirms the validity of implementing this (arrangement), and if the Ulama of your Anjuman give it preference, then too, this arrangement (for one Eid in the whole country) is not appropriate…….” See the full Fatwa in Imdadul Fataawa, Vol.2, page 98.

Not a single one of the Akaabir Ulama whom the Darul Ifta has mentioned and attempted to eke out support for its corrupt view, is of the opinion that it is incumbent on all Muslims of the world to have Ramadhaan and Eid on the same day. Not a single one of them has claimed the incumbency of global moon-sighting. Not a single one of them is of the opinion that it is incumbent on the people of one city to institute measures to acquire news of  the sightings of other cities and countries. 

In Fataawa Taataarkhaaniyah, Vol. 2, page 355, the difference in horizon with its effect is stated as follows:    

“The people of a city saw the hilaal. Is this  binding on the people of another city? The Mashaaikh differ in this regard. Some said: ‘It is not binding. The sighting of every city is binding on its people.’ In Al-Muntaqi……………     

In Az-Zaheeriyyah is mentioned that it is narrated from Ibn Abbaas (Radhiyallahu anhu) that  for every city is its sighting. In Qudoori it appears: If the difference (in the distance) between two cities is such that there is no difference in horizons, then the sighting of the one city will be incumbent on the  other city… However, if the distance is such that there is difference in the horizons, then the hukm of the one is not incumbent on the other city.”   

The other view of invalidity of Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’ which is the Zaahirur Riwaayat view is also stated in Taataarkhaaniyyah. The objective for mentioning the other view is to show that many  Hanafi Fuqaha subscribe to it, and this is adequate for debunking the Qat’iyyat which the Darul Ifta has predicated to the invalidity view. 

The illustrious author of Hidaayah states in Mukhtaarun Nawaazil:   

“The people in one city fasted 29 days after having (their) sighting. The people of another city fasted 30 days after (their) sighting. If the mataali’  of the two cities do not differ, then the people of the one city have to make Qadha of one day. However, if  there is a difference in the Mataali’ then there is no Qadha on them.” 

Hadhrat Muhaddith Dahlawi Shah Waliyullah (Rahmatullah alayh) states the very same ruling in Musaffa Sharh Muwatta. He too subscribes to the validity of Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’

Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (Rahmatullah alayh), partially accepts the validity of Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’. Thus, he states in his Fataawa Rashidiyyah:  

“According to Zaahirur Riwaayat, Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’ is not valid for Saum and Iftaar. The sighting of the east will be established for the west if it is confirmed by Shar’i Hujjat. However, for Qur’baani, Eid of Zil Hajj and Hajj, it is valid (i.e. Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’ is valid).”

The maximum capital which could be extravasated from the  invalidity of  difference of horizons view (La ibrata li ikhtikaaf mataali’) is that if news of the moon-sighting from another place reaches by  Tareeq-e-Moojib, then the Hukm will apply to that place as well where the moon was not sighted. This does not necessitate the institution of elaborate methods to acquire the sightings of  other places, nor does it require global moon-sighting, nor is it incumbent on all places on earth to institute measures for  Ramadhaan and Eid on the same day, nor does the Shariah require  the institution of such unnecessary  measures, nor was there any such system in the annals of Islam’s 14 century history. 

In terms of the validity of  Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’ view, it is not  even permissible to accept the news from places of different horizons. As mentioned earlier, this is the view of the Jamhur Shaafi’ Fuqaha, and of some Ahnaaf among whom is Imaam Al-Kaasaani (Rahmatullah alayh), and not forgetting “Ustaazul Muhadditheen” Allaamah  Binnuri, albeit as far as the latter is concerned, if the news reaches by Tareeq-e-Moojib, acceptance  will be permissible. The Darul Ifta of New York due to the paucity of its research, appears to be unaware of the view of Allaamah Binnuri whom they themselves have appointed as “Ustaazul Muhadditheen”.  

Furthermore, for the edification of the New York Darul Ifta, news of moon-sighting from Saudi Arabia  is not by  Tareeq-e-Moojib. Besides  the inhabitants of Saudi Arabia, no one is under Shar’i obligation to accept the announcements  of  the Saudi  regime.  The Saudi regime is never in the category of an  Ameerul Mu’mineen who has to  be incumbently obeyed  and  whose over the Ummah.  

It  should  be  abundantly  clear  that it is Wilaayat extends not  a  Shar’i  requisite to  have    Ramadhaan and Eid all  over  the  world  on  the same  days. There  is no substantiation for this    modernist juhala craze in the  Shariah a craze of the  juhala  which even the liberal molvis  are  making taqleed of.

For the further edification of  the  Darul Ifta’s Muftis,  it will be  appropriate to remind them  that  when approaching practical  situations,  the  mind  should  not operate from within the    confines of a straitjacket. This generally  is the case  when  the  Mufti seeks to peddle  only  his    view, being motivated by unholy  objectives such as bootlicking  the Saudi regime and    submission to the juhala. It is salubrious that they  understand that Zaahirur Riwaayat is not in  the  category  of Wahi. The lack  of Qat’iyyat  permits latitude  for  adoption  of   Ghair  Zaahirur  Riwaayat. There are innumerable  examples of  this adoption by  the  Fuqaha. Some examples  shall be briefly mentioned for  better understanding.

*    “When  a  woman  contracts  her  own  nikah  in the ghair  kuf, nikah is  valid  in  terms  of  Zaahirur Riwaayat  according to  Imaam Abu Hanifah  (Rahmatullah alayh). This is also the final view of Imaam Abu  Yusuf (Rahmatullah alayh) and  Imaam Muhammad (Rahmatullah  alayh). However Imaam Al Hasan  (Rahmatullah alayh) narrated  from Imaam Abu Hanifah  (Rahmatullah alayh) that the  Nikah is not valid. Numerous of our Mashaaikh have adopted this view (which is in conflict with Zaahirur Riwaayat). – (Al-Muheet). The view for Fatwa in our age is the narration of Al-Hasan.   

Ash-Shaikh Al-Imaam Shamsul Aimmah As-Sarakhsi (Rahmatullah Alayh) said that the narration of Al-Hasan is closer to Ihtiyaat (caution). So does it appear in Qaadhi Khaan.”  

* “A woman contracts her nikah in ghair kuf. Does she have the right to abstain (from consummation) until her aulya (guardians) are satisfied (with her choice)? Faqeeh Abul Laith  (Rahmatullah alayh) issued the fatwa that she has this right despite it being in conflict with Zaahirur Riwaayat, and numerous of our Mashaaikh issued fatwa in accordance with Zaahirur Riwaayat. (Al-Khulaasah) 

* Masah of a quarter of the head being fardh is in terms of Ghair Zaahirur Riwaayat, and the fatwa is on this view whereas according to Zaahirur Riwaayat the Fardh is the extent of three fingers. 

* Bismillaah when beginning Wudhu is Mustahab in terms of Zaahirur Riwaayat. However, Imaam Tahaawi (Rahmatullah Alayh) and other Mutakkhireen Fuqaha hold the view that it is Sunnat

* According to Qaadhi Khaan, the perspiration of a donkey in terms of Zaahirur Riwaayat is taahir. However, according to the Jamhur, its perspiration is mashkook.

* If someone forgets to sit in Qa’dah Ula, then if he is closer to  the sitting position, he should sit in Qa’dah. In this case Sajdah Sahw is not Waajib. If he is closer to Qiyaam, then he should stand, not revert to sitting, and Sajdah Sahw is Waajib. This is in terms of Ghayr Zaahirur Riwaayat, and the fatwa is on this view. In terms of Zaahirur Riwaayat, he should sit  as long as he is not completely in Qiyaam

* If nomads make niyyat of  Iqaamat (of 15 days or more) in the wilderness, the fatwa is that their niyyat is  valid. This is in terms of Ghayr Zaahirur Riwaayat. According to Zaahirur Riwaayat, niyyat of Iqaamat in the wilderness is not valid. 

* According to Ghayr Zaahirur Riwaayat, after the first Takbeer in Janaazah Salaat, only Thana is recited, and this is the adopted view on which is the Fatwa. However, in terms of Zaahirur Riwaayat, Surah Faatihah also has to be added. 

* In terms of Zaahirur Riwaayat it is not permissible to nullify a Nafl fast without valid reason. However, according to Ghayr Zaahirur Riwaayat it is permissible, and the fatwa is on this view. 

* For the fear of losing Janaazah SalaatTayammum is permissible whether the one who fears losing the Salaat is the Wali or someone else. This is the Zaahirur Riwaayat view. In terms of Ghayr Zaahirur Riwaayat, Tayammum will be permissible for  someone other than the Wali.

*  The mas’alah of Mafqoodus Zauj adopted by the Akaabir  Ulama of Deoband is not even  from the Hanafi Math-hab. On the contrary, it is in conflict with the explicit Fatwa of the Ahnaaf. But, necessity dictated the adoption of the Maaliki view. 

There are numerous instances of the Fatwa being issued on Ghayr Zaahirur Riwaayat and which have been upheld by the Fuqaha of all ages. Thus, the  arbitrary claim that “difference of horizons is absolutely non-credible” is palpable bunkum. And how can it be “absolutely non-credible” when “Ustaazul Muhadditheen” propagates it? Just as the Hanafi Fuqaha have issued Fatwa on Ghayr Zaahirur Riwaayat on numerous masaa-il, so too have  some Ahnaaf  issued Fatwa on the Ghayr Zaahirur Riwaayat view pertaining to Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’.   Furthermore, the  difference of opinion pertaining to Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’ exists in all Math-habs

The Darul Ifta states:

Therefore, it is a great disparity and unethical, especially for a Hanafi scholar to bring forth the Hadith of  Quraib, and advocate for the Shafee opinion. Doing so is not only against the consensus of the majority, but against the edicts of the top scholars of Deoband and Baralwi. None the less a Hanafi scholar has no justification for presenting this argument.”  

The muftis of the Darul Ifta are implying that “Ustaazul Muhadditheen” was ignorant of this  ‘fact’ and that he had acted unethically, and that he was advocating the Shaafi’ Math-hab, and that he was in conflict with the edicts of the top scholars of Deoband, and that he had no justification for his Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali view. We fail to comprehend the logic which condemns a scholar, yet awards him the awe-inspiring lofty title of “Ustaazul Muhadditheen”. 

The argument of the Darul Ifta is baseless. Firstly, there is no need to present the Baralwi view. Qabar Pujaaris should not be cited as daleel. Secondly, we are not aware of any Hanafi Ulama currently or at any earlier time advocating the Shaafi’ view of the validity of Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’. It is thus misleading to aver that “a Hanafi scholar  is bringing forth the Hadith of Kuraib to advocate the Shaafi’ opinion”. This premise is baseless. Those  who reject the so-called ‘global moon sighting’, the objective of which is pure submission to Saudi designs, do not tender the Hadith of Kuraib to justify their stance, nor do they proffer the viewpoint of the Shaafi’ Math-hab in refutation of the Zaahirur Riwaayat which is in conflict with the validity of horizons view. The sole claim of those who reject global moon sighting is their rejection of Saudi announcements. They claim that the announcement of the Saudi regime is not Hujjat for those beyond the territorial  boundaries of  Saudi Arabia.  

The Darul Ifta is misleading Muslims by obfuscating the issue with unnecessary  Fiqhi technicalities. Those  who do not accept the modernist concept of global moon-sighting, do accept news of moon-sightings from all regions of  the country of their residence.  This is our  practice in South Africa. We accept reliable news which conforms to Tareeq-e-Moojib from any part of the country. In view of the absence of Tareeq-e-Moojib, we do not accept  news from beyond  the borders of South Africa. This rejection is not based on  the Shaafi’ view nor on Ghayr Zaahirur Riwaayat. We subscribe fully to Zaahirur Riwaayat, but without fossilized brains. Where there is a valid need, we shall depart from Zaahirur Riwaayat and adopt the Ghayr Zaahirur Riwaayat propounded by very senior and illustrious Hanafi Fuqaha. But on the issue of moon-sighting we are on the course of Zaahirur Riwaayat. Therefore, the  talk of  advocating the Shaafi’ opinion is obfuscating  drivel disgorged by the New York Darul Ifta in its abortive endeavour to impose Saudi bootlicking on the Ummah.  

In places like South Africa, those who are propagating a false and baatil ‘unity’ are constrained to set aside  the Jamhur Ahnaaf’s view of Zaahirur Riwaayat to toe the Shaafi’ line. In South Africa half the Muslim population is Shaafi’, hence those who clamour for a stupid and false ‘unity’ have to wait for the declaration of  the Shaafi’ maan-kykers (moon-sighters) whose declaration arrives generally hours after the  Hanafi pronouncement.

Furthermore, there is absolutely no need to  negate the valid Shaafi’ view based on the Hadith of Hadhrat Ibn Abbaas (Radhiyallahu anhu) as reported by Hadhrat Kuraib (Radhiyallahu anhu).  Senior Hanafi Fuqaha have upheld the veracity of  the view  propounded on the basis of  that Hadith, and Fuqaha of all Math-habs acknowledge the correctness of the validity view  although they are in a minority in the Hanafi Math-hab.  

The Hanafi Fuqaha who sometimes subscribe to a view which coincides with the Shaafi’ Math-hab or any other Math-hab, do not advocate the other Math-hab. They base their fataawa on  solid dalaa-il of the Shariah. Consider the Hanafi view of  masah of the head. Although the Fardh extent of masah of the head during Wudhu according to Zaahirur Riwaayat is just three fingers, only a Haatibul Lail, jaahil mufti maajin will contend that these Hanafi Fuqaha were advocating the view of some other Math-hab

The same applies to the Asr Salaat time. Among our recent Akaabir,  Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (Rahmatullah alayh) is of the view that the Qawi (strong)  view is after the shadow has reached once its length  (Mithl) despite the fact that  the Mash-hoor Fatwa of the Hanafi Math-hab is Mithlain (two lengths). It  will be highly improper to say that Hadhrat Gangohi was advocating the Shaafi’ view. Hadhrat Gangohi had his dalaa-il on the basis of which he  stated his fatwa

Another example of departure from Zaahirur Riwaayat is Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi’s fatwa on the end of Maghrib and beginning of Isha’. Whilst the official Fatwa of the Ahnaaf is that Maghrib ends with the disappearance of Shufuq Abyadh, and this is the commencement of Isha’ time, according  to Hadhrat Thanvi it is with the disappearance of Shufuq Ahmar (the red glow in the western horizon), and this is also the Shaafi’ view. But, it is stupid to contend that Hadhrat Thanvi was promoting the Shaafi’ view. He had his dalaa-il  on the basis of which he felt justified to depart from the Jamhoor’s view. 

Furthermore, despite Mithlain being the  Mufta Bihi version of the Ahnaaf for Asr, Hadhrat Gangohi contends that this is the weaker view and the Mithl is the stronger view although this is the Shaafi’ view, not that of the Ahnaaf. Commenting on the Asr time, Hadhrat Thanvi says in Imdaadul Fataawa, Vol.1, page 96:     

“The riwaayaat (narrations) of the Mutoon are of Mithlain, and the  Asl (actual) Math-hab is the Mutoon. This has been explicitly stated, although some (Fuqaha of the Ahnaaf)  such as  Durr-e-Mukhtaar, etc. have  given preference to the Mithl view. However, the Muhaqqiqeen have not preferred this view. Allaamah Shaami has elaborated on this issue in Raddul Muhtaar.    Furthermore, discharge of the obligation (of Asr Salaat) is with certainty in  the (Mithlain) view. This is  the most cautious view.  The validity  of  Asr  at one mithl is contentious………When the views of the Ulama of the same Math-hab  differ and when  both views are held by  Akaabireen, then to claim certitude is difficult….” 

Yet, Hadhrat Gangohi as well as other seniors differ and have adopted the ‘Ghayr Mufta Bihi’ view of Imaam Abu Yusuf and Imaam Muhammad, describing it as the stronger view. But this does not mean that these great Fuqaha and Ulama had advocated the Shaafi’ viewpoint.

Allaamah Yusuf Binnuri after presenting an elaborate discussion on the issue of Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali, states in Ma-aarifus Sunan, Vol.5, page 340:  

“Ibn Abdul Barr  said: ‘They  (the Fuqaha) have adopted consensus that the sighting of  distant cities such as Khuraasaan and Andalus will not be considered.’  Stemming from the narration of Ijmaa’, is the Ijmaa’ of the Ulama of the Math-habs, not only of the Maalikiyyah as is imagined. Thus, the statement of the Aimmah, (namely, Laa ibrata li-ikhtilaaf-e-mataali’) is Mujmal (concise). It is exclusive with nearby places where there is no great difference in horizons.” 

This should be salubrious for those who have awarded the title of “Ustaazul Muhadditheen”  to Allaamah Binnuri. 

Therefore to claim that the Hanafi Ulama such as Allaamah Kashmiri, Allaamah Binnuri, and others are advocating the Shaafi’ Math-hab on this issue, is a fallacy of the New York Darul Ifta designed to promote submission to  the announcements of the corrupt, anti-Shariah Saudi regime. The argument which the Hanafi Fuqaha base on the Hadith of Kuraib are  valid and may not be  discarded. 

The Darul Ifta alleges:
   
“It is a fact that the Saudi scholars of Mecca and Medina adopt the exact method of the Sunnah for declaration  moon sighting.”

This ‘fact’ is the hallucination of the Darul Ifta. The genuine Saudi scholars have no say in the matter. The decision is made by the Saudi regime and the scholars of the regime. In recent days we have received queries by non-Saudis residing in Saudi Arabia who state that the regime follows its own calendar, hence they are in a quandary regarding Ramadhaan, Eid and Hajj. In Ahsanul Fataawa, Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmad states clearly:

“The declaration of Saudi Arabia is not a hujjat for Pakistan”.

He presents a number of reasons for the unreliability of Saudi declarations which are most certainly not in accordance with the Sunnah as alleged by the Darul Ifta of New York. In Ahsanul Fataawa, Vol.4, page 426, Mufti Rashid Ahmad states: 

“The news of sighting of the moon in Saudi Arabia is not HUJJAT for Pakistan 

(1) There is trepidation regarding the news of moon-sighting in Saudi Arabia having reached the degree of Istifaadhah.      

(2) In addition to the decision of moon-sighting in Saudi Arabia being in conflict with the Hanafi Math-hab, it is also in conflict with simple logic, hence it is not a Hujjat for Pakistan.” 

In a letter to the Minister of Justice, Muhammad Bin Ali Harkaan, the Mufti Sahib wrote:   

“Your decision regarding sighting of the moon is in conflict with reality. The factors for this are:

(1) When the skies are clear, nothing preventing the sighting of the hilaal, then sighting by only one or two persons only in the entire land is normally impossible. 

(2) Over there (i.e. in Saudi Arabia) even after acceptance of testimony, the moon is not visible the next day. The moon is not visible to the public at large even on the next night. 

(3) It is incumbent for the moon to be full on the 14th/15th night. However, in terms of the shahaadat (i.e. the testimony on the basis of which the declaration is made), the full moon is only on the 16th or 17th night. 

(4) The day when the moon is visible in the east during the morning, in fact even a day thereafter, sighting the moon is an impossibility because on these days the moon sets even before sunset. However, frequently, in Saudi Arabia the declaration of the sighting is made the very same day, i.e. the day the moon is visible in the east during the morning. 

(5) Even after the shahaadat of a sighting in Saudi Arabia, nowhere else in the world is this corroborated by a sighting, not even in the furthest western lands. 

(6)  According to the testimony (on the basis of which the declaration is made), the 1st of the month is on the very day of the birth of the moon. This is manifestly baseless. This leads to the conclusion that the moon  can be visible even prior to its birth.

No response to this came from  Saudi Arabia.”

Besides  the  above,  over  the  years  others  too  have  raised valid  doubts  and  made  valid  allegations  of  discrepancies perpetrated  by  the  Saudi  regime  regarding  moon sighting. The  very  bottom  line  is that the  news  and  declarations emanating  from  Saudi  Arabia  are baatil.  Therefore, even if  it  is assumed  that  the  news  attains  the  degree  of Istifaadhah, it  is  devoid  of  Shar’i  substance. It remains baatil. The  corruption  and damage are at the very  source.

The  Darul Ifta in its attempt to  ‘prove’ the validity of Saudi  declarations, have lumped  together the names of an array  of Deobandi Ulama who  allegedly uphold the news emanating   from the Saudi regime. Without   delving too much in the category  of some of the names  mentioned by the Darul Ifta, it will suffice to  say that we are not their muqallideen. Furthermore, some  of the seniors mentioned by  the Darul Ifta are submissive to  the Saudi regime which sponsors  some of their projects. These  seniors by the error of mingling and associating with the    agents of the regime have  become desensitized of the Haqq and are promoting submission  to the misguided, fussaaq,  corrupt Saudi Salafi regime – a regime that has betrayed even   its own religion of Salafi’ism.  Thus, this claim of the Darul Ifta  is devoid of Shar’i substance. It  is never a Shar’i daleel for which  we have to fall into prostration.

Referring to Allaamah Subki’s view of permissibility of accepting astronomical calculations (he was a Shaafi’), the Darul Ifta says:   

More so, Ustad-Ul-Muhaddiseen Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Yusuf Binori (RA) and Grand Mufti of Pakistan Mufti Wali Hassan (Hasan!) Tonki (RA), have described the Subki’s judgement as wrong and figment of  imagination in the face of existing Shariah based ways.” 

It goes without saying that all Four Math-habs are agreed on the butlaan (baselessness and unacceptability) of astronomical calculations  for the purpose of establishing the Islamic months. Allaamah Subki (Rahmatullah alayh) had undoubtedly erred in his opinion. Our purpose for mentioning the above statement of the New York Darul Ifta, is the credence and confidence they repose on Hadhrat Allaamah Muhammad Yusuf Binuri (Rahmatullah alayh). They have awarded him the lofty title of ‘Ustaad-Ul-Muhaddiseen’, i.e. he is the Chief of the Muhadditheen. Yet the Darul Ifta is either ignorant of the Allaamah Binuri’s view pertaining to Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’ or they have conveniently ignored it in their abortive endeavour to hoist Saudi hegemony on the Ummah. We have already explained the view of Hadhrat Allaamah Binuri on this issue. He is of the opinion that the invalidity of  Ikhtilaaf-e-Mataali’ is  restricted to places close to one other, where the horizons do not differ. This is the view of “Ustaad-UL-Muhaddiseen”. 

Brazenly and arbitrarily, the Darul Ifta of New York issues the preposterous directive which is devoid of Shar’i force:

In  conclusion,  Saudi  Arabia  follows  all  rules  laid  down by  the  Sharia  for  the  sighting  of  Ramadan  and  Eid  moon, so  its  declarations  are  valid,  be  it  against  calculations. Therefore,  it  is  incumbent  for  the  Muslims  living  in  USA and Britain  to follow  the decision provided the  decision is conveyed  to  according  to  the    conditions  given  by  Sharia.”

The  claim  is  baseless  as  has  already  been  explained  above. If  it  is  ‘incumbent’  for  the  Muslims  of  the  U.S.A.  and Britain  to  submit  to  the  declarations  of  the  Saudi  regime since  these  are  hallucinated  as  conforming  with  the Shariah,  why  does  the  Darul Ifta  confine  the  acceptance to only  the  U.S.A. and  Britain?  Why  would it  not apply  to the  entire  Ummah  of  the  entire  world?  We  have  no  answer for this sinister conundrum.

As  far  as  calculations  are  concerned,  it  is  agreed  that  this method is haraam  for de termining the Islamic  months, not only Ramadhaan  and  Shawwaal.  Astronomical calculations  are  not  valid  for  determining  any  of  the Islamic  months. However, Darul Ifta has  deceptively confined  the  invalidity  of  calculations  to    only Ramadhaan and  Zil  Hajj  be cause  it  is  aware  that  Saudi  Arabia  does employ    calculations  for  the  determination  of  the  Islamic months.  In  brazen  rejection  of  Rasulullah’s  express  and emphatic  command  to  sight  the  moon,  the  Saudi  regime utilizes calculations  to  suit their own objectives.

Let  it  be  known  that  it  is  Waajib  for  the  Muslims  of  the U.S.A.  and  Britain  to  physically  sight  the  hilaal  just  as it  is  Waajib  for  the  entire  Ummah.  The  Muslims  of these two countries hold no special status to exclude or exempt  themselves  from  this  command  of  the  Shariah. In  a  vast  country  such  as  the  U.S.A.,  there  is  a  100% possibility  of  fulfilling  the  command  of  the  Shariah  to sight  the  moon.  U.S.A.  Muslims  have  no  valid  excuse for discarding this Waajib command.

As  far  as  the  UK  is  concerned,  we are  informed  that  at  all times  the  skies  are  overcast  and  the  possibility  of  sighting the  hilaal  is  almost  nil.  Therefore  it  is  imperative  for  UK Muslims  to  establish  a  link  with  reliable  Muslims  in  a nearby  country,  preferably  Morocco,  for  information  of the  hilaal.  Once  a  reliable  link  has  been  established,  UK Muslims  should  follow  the  news  arriving  from  that  source. Since  the  Saudi  declarations  are,  to  say  the  least,  extremely dubious,  no  reliance  should  be  reposed  on  them.  Regarding  the  Saudi  declarations,  the  contention does  not pertain  to Istifaadhah  of  the  information. Even if  the information  reaches  reliably,  the  problem  is  at  the  source. The  Saudi  method  of  plotting  the  months  is  corrupt  and damaged in conflict  with the Shariah.

The  Saudi  Ulama  whom  the  Darul  Ifta  cites, are  not  a Hujjat. There  is  no  reliance  on  the  Salafis.  Furthermore, the  Saudi  regime  is  firmly  and  incrementally  on  an  anti-Shariah  course  in  its  bootlicking  of  America.  The  ‘grudge’ against  the  Saudi  regime  which  its  critics harbour is  classified  as  Bugdh  fillah  (Animosity/Hatred  for  Allah’s Sake), and this ‘grudge’ is among the most meritorious acts of Ibaadat. The system in Saudi Arabia is HARAAM. The regime now under the  aegis of U.S.-educated fussaaq and fujjaar are  repealing the laws of the Shariah. The  facts on the ground  vociferously  bear testimony for Saudi satanisim.  

Our advice for the Darul Ifta muftis is  that they should rather  execute the obligation of Amr Bil Ma’roof Nahy Anil Munkar  and advise the Saudi regime of its course of fisq and fujoor, instead of bootlicking them. The path of fisq and fujoor adopted by the Saudi regime is not hidden. It is conspicuous as bright as daylight, yet, these muftis are silent despite observing the pillage and plunder of the Deen taking place.

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