Determining Ramadan and Eid

How does the MCA determine the beginning of Ramadaan and the Day of Eid-ul-Fitr?
The beginning of the blessed month of Ramadaan is determined by one of the following two criteria:
  1. Physical sighting of the crescent moon of Ramadaan or Shawwaal.
    • The physical sighting of the crescent is established by the testimony of one or two trustworthy Muslim witnesses.
  2. The completion of month of Shaaban or Ramadaan.
    • The thirtieth day of any lunar month marks the completion of that particular month.
These very criteria apply to determining the end of Ramadan and the day of Eid.

This position is based on following evidences:

  • Allah says in the Qur’an:
شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ

It was the month of Ramadan in which the Qur’an was [first] sent down as a guidance for humanity and a self-evident proof of that guidance, and as the standard by which to discern the true from the false. Hence, whoever of you witnesses the month, shall fast it. [2:185]

  • The Prophet’s (saws) said in the hadith which was related from him by nine of the companions of the Prophet (saws):
صوموا لرؤيته، وأفطروا لرؤيته، فإن غَبِيَ عليكم فأكملوا عدة شعبان ثلاثين‏”‏ ‏(‏‏(‏متفق عليه وهذا لفظ البخاري‏)‏‏)‏‏.‏  وفي رواية مسلم‏:‏ ‏”‏فإن غم عليكم فصوموا ثلاثين يومًا‏
When you see the crescent moon, fast, and when you see it, break your fast, and if it is obscured from your vision, complete the month to thirty days.”
Recorded by Bukhari, Muslim and others.
  • This is also based on the hadith of Abd-Allah ibn Umar (raa) that Allah’s Messenger (saws) said:
الشَّهْرُ تِسْعٌ وَعِشْرُونَ لَيْلَةً، فَلاَ تَصُومُوا حَتَّى تَرَوْهُ، فَإِنْ غُمَّ عَلَيْكُمْ فَأَكْمِلُوا الْعِدَّةَ ثَلاَثِينَ
The month is twenty-nine nights, so do not fast until you see it, then if it is obscured from your vision, complete the month to thirty.”
Recorded by Bukhari. 
  1. The Prophet’s saying (saws) made the obligation of fasting dependent on the sighting of the crescent moon, not on just its presence, and the consensus of the vast majority of the scholars of this Ummah has converged on this point over the centuries.
  2. The Prophet’s saying (saws) did not bind the issue of fasting to the birth of the crescent moon, but rather to it being seen.
Therefore, we in the MCA follow any established crescent moon sighting by the proper authorities in any Muslim country which follows the aforementioned criteria, or any verifiable reliable sighting of the crescent moon by any Muslim in any part of the world:
  • This position is the stance of the majority of the people of knowledge and the view adopted by the authenticating scholars amongst them.
  • This is also closer to Allah’s objective of harmony and agreement, and a step on the path to unitingtheUmmah and speaking with one voice.
    • If one Muslim sights the crescent moon of Ramadan, all Muslims fast.

Moreover, this position does not stir up regional sensitivities, for whichever Muslim country announces the moon sighting, the Muslim communities will follow them; their decision is to be relied on and acted upon.

We hope this clarifies any questions you may have.
JazakumAllahu Khayran for your patience.