Does Wifaqul Ulama rely on calculations and advice of Non-Muslims for Sharia matters?

(Qari) Muhammad Shoyaib Nurgat

Question: Please explain as to why does Wifaqul Ulama rely on calculations and advice of Non-Muslims for Sharia matters such as Moon Sighting?

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh

We would like to begin by extending our gratitude to you for asking this question. May Allah (SWT) give you the best of rewards (Ameen).

In a nutshell and in the most direct manner, Wifaqul Ulama DOES NOT rely on the advice of Non-Muslims in any Sharia matters including Moon Sighting.

We have stated that an alternative route to your query can be taken so here is the alternative position briefly discussed. We don’t believe that there is anything substantially wrong with taking the expert views of Non-Muslims in matter related to Shariah. In fact, there are many examples where Muslims use the opinion of Non-Muslims in (strictly) Sharia matter, for example when comes to calculating Salah times a large number of Muslims (Ulama included) rely on Royal Greenwich Observatory. Once the Salah timings have been obtained, Qiblah direction is also often obtained from using applications and technologies developed by Non-Muslims.

When it comes to our weekly shopping, we read ingredients and trust the listing and the labels such as “Suitable for Vegetarians”.

We trust Royal Greenwich Observatory, we trust compass, Google Maps and navigation system in our car and we trust our local grocery store and products on sale there.

After having briefly elaborated on the legal status of accepting advice from Non-Muslims we would like to now detail a list of Muslims (scholars and experts alike) whom Wifaqul Ulama consults on a regular basis. There are currently no Non-Muslim experts which are consulted by Wifaqul Ulama.

Maulana Yaqoob Qasmi

It is false to assume that the expertise of Astronomical sciences is restricted to Non-Muslims or even “experts”! The forerunner to Wifaqul Ulama is the effort, work and dedication of Ulama who are Giants of Knowledge in their own right. Foremost, amongst them is Maulana Yaqoob Qasmi who is one of the only graduates in the field of Astronomical Sciences from Darul-uloom Deoband.

Here is Maulana Yaqoob Qasmi (himself) explaining his stance clearly and categorically:

Maulana Sameeruddin Qasmi

For over 25-30 years Maulana Sameeruddin Qasmi has produced sighting curves and possibility criteria. He is not only a Muslim but a well known Authentic Scholar of Hanafi Madhab and needs no introduction.

Here is Maulana Sameeruddin Qasmi (himself) explaining his stance clearly and categorically:

Muslim Experts

Wifaqul Ulama also reads the research and expertise of International Astronomical Center which is an International organisation of Muslim scientists and experts headed by Enginner Mohammad Odeh.

The UK branch ICO-UK since 1998 has been run by Engineer Qamar Uddin who has excellent links and contacts with Wifaqul Ulama. Here is a video Interview of Engineer Qamar Uddin from August 2015

Closing remarks:

All of the above should make it abundantly clear that Wifaqul Ulama DOES NOT rely on Non-Muslims for any Sharia related matters at all. All of the above are (MashaAllah) not only Muslims but Muslims of visible signs of following the Sunnah and piety and even Ulama of the highest caliber.

We would like to close the discussion by requesting Ulama and honourable readers to listen to this excellent Arabic discussion on this topic by Maulana Salman Nadwi in London with Ulama.

May Allah (SWT) give us all the ability to understand, obey and propagate the commands of Allah (SWT) and noble Sunan of His Nabi (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) (Ameen).

جزاك اللهُ خيرًا