Mufti Radha Ul Haq endorses Observatory Assistance & Negates Saudi Sighting for Britain

(Mufti) Radha Ul Haq

Introduction

Mufti Raza ul Haq Saheb Damat baraku­tuhum is a very senior Mufti, and Sheikh ul Hadith of Darul ul Uloom Zakaria, South Africa. Hadhrat is a stu­dent of Alla­ma Sayed Muham­mad Yusuf Bin­nori RA, and the for­mer grand Mufti of Pak­istan, Mufti Wali Hasan Ton­qi Saheb RA. After grad­u­a­tion he served the Darul Iftaa at Bin­nori Town and also taught Books of Hadith and Fiqh at Bin­nori Town for a num­ber of years, before Mov­ing to South Africa. Where he is serv­ing the Ummah till today, he is well known as the grand Mufti of South Africa. His stu­dents num­ber thou­sands; many Ula­ma resid­ing here in the UK are from his stu­dents.

Fatawa of Hadhrat Mufti Raza ul Haq Saheb Damat Baraku­tuhum, have been pub­lished at present in three vol­umes, and are wide­ly avail­able here in book­shops in the UK.

The chap­ter regard­ing Moon­sight­ing was of great inter­est to us as it con­sists of Fatawa/Research that is in accor­dance with the Wifaq ul Ula­ma think­ing. We have trans­lat­ed those Ibaaraat/writings that are rel­e­vant to us here in the UK, for those who do not read Urdu. For those who read Urdu, com­plete text/Fatawa could be read by buy­ing the book itself, or parts of it have been load­ed on the Wifaq web­site.

Astronomy can be used to reject false sightings:

The ques­tion of ‘whether Astron­o­my could be used to negate false sight­ing has always been of impor­tance and debate’. Our view was that in this age of Fit­na and mis­chief it should be per­mis­si­ble, as we are observ­ing, that peo­ple for what­ev­er rea­sons are com­ing for­ward with false and ques­tion­able tes­ti­monies of sight­ing. This per­mis­sion would erad­i­cate such lies or mis­takes.

Alham­dulil­lah in the Fat­wa print­ed on Pg 241 in Vol­ume three of ‘Fatawa Darul Uloom Zakaria’ this per­mis­sion is clear­ly given. For the ben­e­fit of the read­er we will trans­late the ques­tion and part of the answer:

Ques­tion Some coun­tries deter­mine and announce the Eid ul Fitr before the end­ing of Ramad­han. They tend to say that through Astron­o­my we can cal­cu­late the dates, what is the rul­ing of the­se cal­cu­la­tions in Shari­ah?

Answer:

In the Mas’alah of Moon­sight­ing, astrologers, and those who have knowl­edge of the stars are not to be relied upon, hence on the basis of their cal­cu­la­tions the Hilal will not be deter­mined. As Shari­ah has deter­mined the Fast and Eid on sight­ing of the Moon, hence the opin­ion of the Astrologer how­ev­er researched it may be can­not be deemed as con­clu­sive. Rather many a times their opin­ions could dif­fer.

Yes, new Astro­nom­i­cal cal­cu­la­tions COULD BE USED TO NEGATE FALSE SIGHTING, but can­not be used to deter­mine a sight­ing. Although those (cal­cu­la­tions) that are con­clu­sive could be used… (Fatawa Darul Zakaria Vol 3 Pg 241)

The testimony of hilal from South Africa is acceptable for the United Kingdom:

The Wifaq ul Ula­ma has list­ed South Africa as one of the coun­tries from where we will get our Hilal infor­ma­tion from. We have a direct link with the Jami­at ul Ula­ma hilal body there. Many peo­ple ques­tion this fol­low­ing, here in the answer below Hadhrat Mufti Raza ul Haq Saheb very clear­ly states that South Africa could be fol­lowed, and the Nizam of sight­ing the Hilal in South Africa is very good. (This per­mis­sion was grant­ed by Darul Uloom Deoband before).

Hadhrat Mufti Saheb writes in a Fat­wa:

Yes; uni­ty (of Hilal deci­sions) of Pak­istan, India, and the Ara­bic coun­tries is easy and pos­si­ble. Rather if South Africa was made the ‘standard/criterion’, as its loca­tion in the South West means that the pos­si­bil­i­ty of Sight­ing (Imkan e Ruy­at) is greater, and also the organ­i­sa­tion and sys­tem of Moon­sight­ing is very pre­cise and strong, the prob­lem of Moon­sight­ing in Africa, EUROPE, India, Pak­istan and the west­ern coun­tries could be solved. ..’ (Fatawa Darul Zakaria Vol 3 Pg 255)

Why the Hilal authority of Saudi Arabia cannot be followed?

In an answer to a ques­tion that ‘can Mad­i­nah Munawwarah, be fol­lowed in Moon­sight­ing, and if not, why?’

Hadhrat Mufti Saheb writes: ‘The rea­son for the non accep­tances of the Saudi tes­ti­mony is that many a times the tes­ti­monies are again­st real­i­ty and log­ic. (Khi­laaf e Zaahir) As the moon is sight­ed in the east and the west on one day, and that is not pos­si­ble accord­ing to the past and present rules of Astron­o­my.

(If the morn­ing the moon is sight­ed on the east­ern hori­zon in the Morn­ing of the 29th of the mon­th, then there is no pos­si­bil­i­ty of sight­ing the hilal on the west­ern hori­zon on the same day. Unfor­tu­nate­ly claims of such sight­ing are made in Saudi Ara­bia, as one can under­stand by a let­ter writ­ten by Hadhrat Sheikh Ul Hadith Moulana Muham­mad Zakaria Saheb RA addressed to Hadhrat Moulana Yusuf Mota­la Saheb DB on 2nd Shawwal 1393AH. Pub­lished in Muhab­bat Naa­may Vol­ume 2 Page 539. Trans­la­tor)

Anoth­er rea­son is that sight­ing is not claimed any­where else. Rather many a times there is no sight­ing even on the next day, despite the hori­zon being clear. Nev­er mind a sight­ing by a large crowd, not even a few peo­ple sight the hilal. (On the Next day. Trans­la­tor). Some­times the moon is five to six hours old and sight­ing is claimed, and some­times even before the birth of the moon a sight­ing is claimed! Hence how can a tes­ti­mony going again­st real­i­ty and log­ic be accept­ed?’

The sec­ond rea­son is that in Saudi Ara­bia, the fiqh of Imam Ahmad Ibn Ham­bal RA is fol­lowed, the tes­ti­mony of one per­son for Ramad­han and two peo­ple for Eid is suf­fi­cient. Where­as in the Fiqh of Imam Abu Han­i­fa RA, when the skies are clear, tes­ti­mony of a large group is essen­tial. Even then it is easy to save our selves from the dif­fer­ence of opin­ion, as when the Ham­bali Qad­hi has accept­ed a tes­ti­mony the Ahnaaf can also accept it, but to accept a tes­ti­mony going again­st real­i­ty and log­ic (Khi­laaf e Zaahir) is dif­fi­cult. The oth­er point is that major­i­ty of the peo­ple are unaware of the details of the tes­ti­mony received. As there is a monar­chy there, to acquire details of the wit­ness­es or tes­ti­monies is very dif­fi­cult. Rather, just about impos­si­ble. Do not think that the Saudi sight­ing is always wrong, rather in the eyes of the Ula­ma it is not very trust­wor­thy…’ (Fatawa Darul Zakaria Vol 3 Pg 259)

 

جزاك اللهُ خيرًا