Mufti Rasheed Ahmed Ludhianwi (RA) negates Saudia Moon Sighting

…It is not known that the number of people sighting the moon in Saudia is of satisfactory quantity. The decision of the Saudi government is not only against the established principles of the Hanafi Fiqh, it is also against common sense therefore it is not applicable to Pakistan. The sighing of a large body is a condition within the Hanafi Fiqh when the horizon is clear however the Saudi government often decides Ramadhan on a single witness and Eid and Dhul-Hijjah on a minimum of two witnesses…(Ahsanul-Fatawa, Volume4/Page 417)

Hazrat Maulana Mufti Rasheed Ahmed Ludhyanwi (RA) subsequently wrote a letter to the responsible officials in the Saudi government regarding this matter and was not satisfied with the reply. He (RA) wrote, “I had clearly stated my reasons for claiming that your criteria for moon sighting are against the obvious; however I have not received a reply. The reasons quoted previously are as follows:

  1. It is unusual in case of clear horizons for just a few people in the entire country to sight the crescent
  2. General sighting is not even observed on the 2nd day of sighting i.e. masses are unable to see the moon even on the 2nd day)
  3. Full moon should be observed on the 14th or the 15th, however according to your sighting it is usually viewed on the 16th or the 17th
  4. It is impossible to sight the crescent on the day (or even a day after) when the moon is sighted in the east at dawn since the moon sets before the sunset in those days. However the Saudi government announces moon sighting sometimes on the very same day when the moon is sighted in the east at dawn
  5. Moon is not sighted elsewhere after the sighing in Saudia even in the west of Saudi Arabia
  6. The first day of the moon (birth) is been often declared the first of the Islamic month, which is illogical because it would mean that the moon can be sighted before its birth (Ahsanul-Fatawa, Volume4/Page 418)