Alhamdulillah, the month of fasting (Ramadhan) is quickly approaching, and given the situation in which many of us live, we must know what to do to witness the beginning of this sacred month according to the Quran and Sunnah.
It is clear from the Quran and Sunnah that witnessing the beginning of the month of Ramadhan is local in nature. As such, local moon-sighting for witnessing the beginning of Ramadhan should be the priority.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said:
إِذَا رَأَيْتُمُوهُ فَصُومُوا وَإِذَا رَأَيْتُمُوهُ فَأَفْطِرُوا فَإِنْ أُغْمِيَ عَلَيْكُمْ فَعُدُّوا ثَلاَثِينَ
“Observe fast when you see it (the new moon) and break fast when you see it (the new moon of Shawwal), but when (the actual position of the month is) concealed from you (on account of cloudy sky), then count thirty days (of Sha’ban).”
Allah (Most High) says:
فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ
So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it. 2:185
However, we must ensure that the local moon-sighting is conducted by reliable people and not the people of bid’ah (innovation) or kafer groups and organizations with Islamic names and titles.
Allah (Most High) says:
وَلَا تُؤْمِنُوا إِلَّا لِمَن تَبِعَ دِينَكُمْ قُلْ إِنَّ الْهُدَىٰ هُدَى اللَّهِ
And do not trust except those who follow your religion.” Say, “Indeed, the [true] guidance is the guidance of Allah… 3:73
ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَاكَ عَلَىٰ شَرِيعَةٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْرِ فَاتَّبِعْهَا وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءَ الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
Then We put you, [O Muhammad], on an ordained way concerning the matter [of religion]; so follow it and do not follow the inclinations of those who do not know. 45:18
وَاصْبِرْ نَفْسَكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُم بِالْغَدَاةِ وَالْعَشِيِّ يُرِيدُونَ وَجْهَهُ ۖ وَلَا تَعْدُ عَيْنَاكَ عَنْهُمْ تُرِيدُ زِينَةَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَلَا تُطِعْ مَنْ أَغْفَلْنَا قَلْبَهُ عَن ذِكْرِنَا وَاتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ وَكَانَ أَمْرُهُ فُرُطًا
And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance. And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is ever [in] neglect. 18:28
In the absence of reliable people/organizations, one must create a group of reliable people who can conduct local moon-sighting activity. If the new moon cannot be seen (for whatever reason), it is best, according to the Sunnah, to finish the 30 days of Sha’ban, and then start fasting.
Organize yourselves and stop being manipulated by the people of evil!!
And Allah knows best…