Sighting the crescents of Ramadan and Shawwal
Sighting the crescent of Ramadan
The Prophet [pbuh] said, "Fast when you sight the crescent and end your fast when you sight it. Should the crescent be obscured by clouds, then complete thirty days of Sha'ban." Based on this hadith, if your country undertakes the sighting, then you are to follow it whether or not the crescent is sighted and it is impermissible to follow the sighting of another country. But if your country depends upon the sightings of another country, then you must follow the crescent sighting of the nearest Muslim country, whether it is Saudi Arabia or any other.
Sighting the crescent for Shawwal
The last day of Ramadan and the first day of Shawwal are determined for Muslims anywhere when one of the following occurs:
1- When the crescent is sighted, following the words of the Prophet [pbuh] who said, "Fast when you sight the crescent and end your fast when you sight it."
2- If the crescent is not sighted on the twenty ninth of Ramadan, then thirty days of Ramadan are completed.
3- If proficient astronomers determine with certainty that the crescent will be born on the twenty ninth of Ramadan and will remain in the sky after sunset of that day long enough to be seen provided no atmospheric conditions prevent its sighting. In this case, one may follow astronomical calculations and the beginning of the month of Shawwal is established according to their calculations.
Based on the above and in reference to the question, the citizens of Mozambique or others must determine the last day of Ramadan and the first day of Shawwal in their country based on the following and in the same order:
- Sighting the crescent of Shawwal due to the words of the Prophet [pbuh] who said, "fast when you sight the crescent and end your fast when you sight it", especially if they cannot sight the crescent clearly in their country.
- Following the sighting of the nearest Muslim country or the sighting of another close country where there are Muslims.
- If astronomers determine that it is the last day of Ramadan.
The matter of sighting the crescent must not be a cause for controversy between Muslims to preserve their unity following the words of Allah,
"Obey God and His Messenger, and do not quarrel with one another, or you may lose heart and your spirit may desert you."
Allah Almighty knows best.