How can we sight the new moon of Ramadan
the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?
I would like to know the way of sighting the new moon. Who is officially responsible for announcing the sighting of the new moon?Q 2:Is the radio broadcast among the Shar‘y (Islamic legal) means that one can rely on to begin Sawm (Fast) when it announces such news? Does the radio broadcast meet the legal conditions required in the witness who confirms the sighting of the new moon in order to commence observing Sawm based on the information he provides?Q 3:Are telephone and telegraphs considered official Shar‘y means of communication that can be trusted in this regard, although one does not know the person who is talking or the person sending the telegraph?
(Part No. 10; Page No. 89
Due to the importance of knowing the first day of Sha‘ban for subsequent reliance of Ramadan on it, the Ministry of Justice notifies all courts during Rajab that all judges must inform people to try to sight the new moon of Sha‘ban. During the last days of Sha‘ban, the supreme judicial authority in the Ministry of Justice convenes to examine the testimonies submitted to it concerning sighting the new moon of Sha‘ban. After investigation, the judicial authority issues a decree based on what has been legally confirmed concerning the first day of Sha‘ban. Accordingly, we can determine the night on which we can sight the new moon of Ramadan, which is the night before the thirtieth of Sha‘ban. All judges are notified accordingly, and on the night before the thirtieth of Sha‘ban, they become prepared to receive any witness who comes and testifies to sighting the new moon. After verifying his testimony, making sure that he is truthful, and discussing with him the way, place, and time of sighting the new moon and other questions (Part No. 10; Page No. 90) that confirm that he is truthful, the judge sends a telegraph to the Ministry of Justice about the received testimony. At the same time, the Supreme Judicial Authority holds a meeting in the headquarters of the Ministry of Justice in order to examine what the judges send in this regard. When the board becomes sure of sighting the new moon of the blessed month of Ramadan, it prepares a decree that confirms sighting the new moon. After signing the decree by the royal authority, the decree is reported to all judges in order to notify all people through radio and television. The testimony of one just and upright person is sufficient to confirm the sighting of the new moon of Ramadan. It was reported that
Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
The people gathered to sight the new moon, so I informed the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) that I had sighted it. He (peace be upon him) fasted and commanded the people to fast.
Abu Dawud and
There seems no objection to accepting the news propagated by radio or telegraph about sighting the new moons or confirming the starting or ending of months. Such broadcasting means are related to the state and no one dares to fabricate lies or add or delete any part of the news broadcasted by them. Also, officials usually pay great attention to absolute accuracy of the news conveyed by them. (Part No. 10; Page No. 91) Therefore, we can accept the news broadcasted by these means, even if the broadcaster is not known to us.The telephone needs more verification and investigation about the person conveying the news to us with regard to uprightness of character and accuracy in reporting news. Telephone is not like radio or other reliable means, because telephone is a publicly used device.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.