Sighting the Moon of Eid

Q: Today is the 29th of Ramadhaan. It is waajib for a party to observe the sky for the visibility of the moon according to all schools of thought.  Now it is said by astronomical scientists that tonight it is not possible to see it. Do we go and look for the moon in accordance with the teachings of the Sunnah or abandon this Sunnah? Now suppose a group of 2,3,4,5, of reliable, good Muslims come from the village and they testify that they have seen the moon, tonight what do you do?

A: If the sky is overcast then the sighting of two reliable men or two reliable women and one reliable man will be accepted. If the sky is clear, you will require such a large group of people to sight the moon that one cannot imagine them getting together and fabricating the information.

وإن لم يكن بالسماء علة لم تقبل إلا شهادة جمع كثير يقع العلم بخبرهم وهو مفوض إلى رأي الإمام من غير تقدير هو الصحيح كذا في الاختيار شرح المختار وسواء في ذلك رمضان وشوال وذو الحجة كذا في السراج الوهاج ... وإن كان بالسماء علة لا تقبل إلا شهادة رجلين أو رجل وامرأتين ( الفتاوى الهندية 1/198)

Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)