Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education

The Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education (NFIE) is a non-profit, tax exempt, religious and educational organization dedicated to serve Islam with a special focus on Tasawwuf(Sufism),

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Shaykh Muhammad Bin Yahya Al Ninowy:Ramadan 1444H Mubarak رمضان مبارك كريم

Ramadan 1444H. رمضان مبارك كريم

Ramadan Mubarak to all of you, and may this month brings out all the blessings, mercies, love and good to all, and may our lower Nafs and shayateen take a break and yield.
Many of you know my view on the moonsighting or the moonfighting. I don't view the sighting (رؤية) limited to the naked eye sighting, as the Qur'an used (ألم تر) and other similar terms for intellectual and heart sighting.
Announcing Ramadan can be through: 1- sighting, 2- completing 30 days of Sha'ban, 3- estimation (التقدير لهلال رمضان).
1- The sighting; one of three means, is disagreed upon, whether its threshold is 1 person's sighting (Ibn Umar's Hadith), 2 people sighting (al-Husayn b. Hurayth's Hadith), or a group of Muslims (like the Hanafi scholars -only if conditions are clear, and they validate 1 person if unclear).
2- Completing 30 days of Sha'ban requires knowledge of the actual beginning of Sha'ban, if we entertain a possibility of two consecutive 30 day lunar months!!. But most people only pay attention to the three months when it comes to the new born moon; Ramadan, Shawwal, and Dhil Hijjah, for obvious practical reasons.
3- Estimation (اقدروا له) as in Bukhari from Ibn Umar. Estimation is disagreed upon among scholars. Those who oppose it, view that naked eye sighting is the only way because the Hadith provides the reason, which is: we are "Ummah Ummiyyah: unlettered community". so the implying is that we should always be?!! or was it for when the Ummah was Ummiyyah as an eased means?
In fact the Prophet, sallallahu Ta'ala alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam, tried his best to bring the Ummah out of its Ummiyyah (the state of being unlettered) all his life. Or is the stated reason (العلة المنصوص عليها) no longer applicable once the Ummah is no longer Ummayah (unlettered)??. Another Usuli day insha'Allah.
Ibn Suraij among other Shafi'i scholars viewed the obligation of fasting upon those who have definitive/more definitive knowledge than just the naked eye sighting. Similarly, our grand Shaykh the Hanafi jurist Mustafa al-Zarqa (Rahimahu Allah).
Ibn Hajar implies that the naked eye sighting is for the point of ease, wallahu A'lam. In his Fat'h al-Bari 4/108-109 he says:
المراد بالحساب هنا حساب النجوم وتسييرها، ولم يكونوا يعرفون من ذلك إلا النزر اليسير. فعلق الحكم بالصوم وغيره بالرؤية، لرفع الحرج عنهم في معاناة التسيير
Which means: (What is meant by calculation here is calculating the span and orbits of the stars (moon), and they did not know much about that, hence the ruling of fasting hinged on the naked eye sight, to make things easy for them).
So, if the easiest and least definitive means is validated, more complex definitive scientific methods are not!!!!
Anyway, all that were variable means to achieve one objective, which is observing the month of Ramadan.
Sighting (as one means) of the moon is not an objective in the Shar'iah, nor was it reported in any authentic Hadith that the Prophet, sallallahu Ta'ala alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam, ever went out to sight the moon of Ramadan or Shawwal, etc. He, sallallahu Ta'ala alayhi wa aalihi wa sallam, told the people: fast for seeing it and break for seeing. Allah Ta'ala told us: (فمن شهد منكم الشهر فليصمه: whoever among you witness the month, shall fast it).
The objective is fasting the month of Ramadan, not seeing the crescent of Ramadan. Witnessing the month is a wasila (tool), and fasting is the (ghayah) objective, with variable means for one fixed objective.
The new moon will be born, in a definitive scientific way, on March 21, at 8:20 PM or so Makkah time later today insha'Allah. It will most likely not be seen. Yet, by the simple birth of the new moon, the time space is no longer the month of the Sha'ban, and the birth of the only moon globally indicates the actual start of the month of Ramadan, whether some people witness it or not. So, those who are in remote areas, away from communities, etc.. and you are convinced that the actual emergence of the new crescent announces the new month/you have witnessed it: you should fast on the next day which is the 22 of March coinciding to be the first of the blessed month of Ramadan 1444.
Heart/intellectual sighting doesn't eliminate the validity of the naked eye sighting added to it as well.
If you are in communities, follow your Jama'ah, and don't cause a Fitnah.
If you want to fast it for yourself without causing a storm even if your community doesn't, then I do not see a harm in that because I don't find any conclusive authentic evidence in the prohibition of fasting the end of Sha'ban-even if it were Sha'ban-, if any, on the contrary, many interpreted Hadith Muslim about fasting the Surar of Sha'ban, as fasting the end of Sha'ban. So fast the full month of Ramadan, as Ramadan is always a full and a complete month, wallahu A'lam.
But don't worry, the Qur'an is so merciful, and Allah Ta'ala said , which means: (whosoever witnessed the month should fast it), and if you didnt witness it, then follow those who witnessed it, and you may be excused. So Ramadan Mubarak to you all, whether you will fasting on Wednesday or Thursday.
So spare yourself and all discussions around this now that Ramadan begun, and allow yourself and others to heal and seek their Lord's pleasure with their entire hearts and devotion.
Please use this great month to purify thoughts, heart, mind, tongue and actions from all evil.
Do not forget your share in the night prayer.., charity giving, smiling, be good to family, neighbors and community....Lots of good in it.
May your Ramadan, its days and its nights , be an absolute blessings for you and all the Ummah, and a mercy to all the creation.