Is it permissible to begin the fast...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

Is it permissible to begin the fast with a country other than the one I am residing in?


Is it permissible to fast based on the sighting of the new moon in a country other than the country in which one currently is?


The residents of a given country should not begin or end their fast based on a moon sighting that differs from that of the country where they reside because this inconsistency divides the unity of Muslims and sows discord and division among them. Furthermore, it is established in Islamic law that the person charged with the affairs of Muslims dispels any disagreement that occurs between people.
Accordingly, if a fatwa is issued stating that the new moon of Ramadan, or any other month for that matter, has been sighted in a given country, it is incumbent upon the Muslims in that country to adhere to that fatwa. It is not permissible for them to disregard it. This is due to the narration according to Karib that Um al-Fadl bint al-Harith sent him to Mu’awiyah in the Levant. He said, “Ramadan started when I arrived in the Levant. I saw the new moon on Friday. Then I arrived in Medina at the end of the month. ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas questioned me and mentioned the new moon. “When did you sight the new moon?” he asked. “We saw it on Friday night,” I told him. “Did you see it?” he asked. “Yes,” I said. “The people sighted it and fasted, and Mu’awiyah fasted.” “But we saw it on Saturday night,” he said, “And we will continue to fast until we complete thirty days or see the new moon.” “Are you not satisfied with the sighting and fasting of Mu’awiyah?” I asked. “No,” he said. “This is what the Messenger of God commanded us to do.” Therefore, the hadith indicates that every country should follow its own sighting, and this is the position we adopt for fatwa.
And God is Most High and Knows Best.

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