Moon Sighting in the UK

السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ

It’s Wednesday 28th July 2021.

Let’s focus upon ‘Moon Sighting in the UK’ today.

Last week we all celebrated ‘Eid ul-Aḍḥā. Unfortunately, our day of celebration was split again. Many Muslims celebrated on Tuesday.  Many celebrated on Wednesday. The million dollar question in the mind of each and every Muslim in the UK is, will we ever achieve unity, where we all observe Ramaḍān together and celebrate both ‘Eids together?

Although it may seem impossible, it really isn’t that difficult. Contrary to the thinking of many, a number of Scholars have exerted substantial effort in trying to unite the Muslims of the UK. However, the responsibility does not only lie on the shoulders of the Scholars.

In my view, our Masjid management committees are just as responsible. Moving forward, we are where we are, and we all need to do our bit so that we all unite on observing Ramaḍān and celebrating both ‘Eids together, اِنْ شَاءَ الَّلهُ. Having researched the issue very thoroughly, the Muslims of the UK are generally split into 4 groups at present.

From the four, two groups are now virtually united in their Moon Sighting criteria, اَلْحَمْدُلِلّه, of taking local Moon Sighting (UK) as the primary source, and if not sighted, then consider reports from Morocco and South Africa. The Muslims of the Barēlwī School of thought and those following Wifāqul ‘Ulamā are unified in this regard, and this subset seems to be in the majority.

Then we have the New Crescent Society (NCS). Formed more recently, they advocate local (UK) sighting only. Nine times out of ten, their Moon Sighting info will coincide with the above groups.

This leaves the Central Moon Sighting Committee (CMSC). A group formed in 1986, comprising of Jam’īat ul-‘Ulamā of Britain (JUB) and Hizbul ‘Ulamā (HB). Their criteria is local sighting and, if not sighted, then taking official reports from Saudi Arabia.

If we take the lowest common denominator from all 4 groups, local sighting unites all of us. This is the criteria we all need to strive towards. Can this work?

We have many people in the UK who go out to try and sight the moon every month without fail. From Muḥarram to Ẓūl Ḥijjah, NCS have 4 years of data to prove that if the Muslims of the UK come out at many different locations, then the moon can, and will, be sighted in the UK.

However, there may initially be a need to have a back up system in place, so that the UK does not fall behind the rest of the world if, for whatever reason, the moon is not sighted for a few months.

The purpose of this message today is to inform the Muslims of the UK that all-out efforts are being made to unite the Muslims on this issue. It is crucial that all stakeholders engage in this discussion, especially the CMSC. For the time being, we need everyone’s Du’ās. If need be, we may request everyone to contact the CMSC, to engage in discussions. Let’s hope it does not come to this.

Almighty Allāh accept all our efforts and unite us all on this issue of Moon Sighting, Āmeen.

My website also has a section dedicated to this subject. Please share this message widely with all your contacts.

جَزَاكَ اللَّهُ خَيْرًا
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وَالسَّلَامُ Hanif Dudhwala