Global Moonsighting and the Hanafi Madhab

Is the opinion of Global Moonsighting Dhahir Riwayah in the Hanafi Madhab?

(Mufti) Muhammad Abdul Malek

Markaz Ad-Dawah Al-Islamiyya, Dhaka (Bangladesh)

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

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh

Note: This translation is ongoing, incomplete and has not been reviewed.

Foreword (Wifaqul Ulama):

This treatise is being translated for the benefit of Ulamā, nevertheless it is inevitable that laymen will read it. We believe that it is beneficial for the laymen to review this short synopsis on the categorisation of the legal rulings of the Hanafi Madhab.

Hanafi legal rulings are divided into distinct categories which are utilized by jurists (fuqaha’) when issuing rulings and identifying superior opinions in case of apparent contradiction. Ibn ‘Abidin mentions three categories of rulings in his Sharh ‘Uqud Rasm al-Mufti and the introduction to his Radd al-Muhtar. (Sharh ‘Uqud Rasm al-Mufti 46, Radd al-Muhtar 1:37, both from Misbah 1:297 1)

Note that the following division is in accordance with well-known categorization of Hanafi legal rulings that was relied upon by ‘Allamah Ibn ‘Abidin. Other categorizations, such as those of ‘Abd al-Hayy al-Laknawi and Shah Waliullah al-Dihlawi, are not mentioned here and have been reserved for another article.

The three categories, according to Ibn ‘Abidin, are as follows:

1. Zahir al-Riwayah: Also called the Usul or Masa’il al-Usul, this collection of the rulings of the imams of the madhhab is contained in six books of Imam Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybani. Ibn ‘Abidin gives them as:

  1. Jami‘ Kabir
  2. Jami‘ Saghir
  3. Siyar Kabir
  4. Siyar Saghir
  5. Mabsut (also called the Asl)
  6. Ziyadat

Some scholars of the madhhab did not include the two Siyar collections amongst the books of the Zahir al-Riwayah. The details of this exclusion as well as the contents of the six books form the content of a future article, in sha Allah.

These books are termed the Zahir al-Riwayah (manifest narrations) because they are narrated from Imam Muhammad through numerous reliable narrators and manifestly established mass-transmitted or well-known chains.

These books were compiled by Muhammad while he resided in Baghdad and were later transmitted through numerous chains from his students in numbers which preclude any possibility of their falsehood or fabrication.

The Zahir al-Riwayah primarily serve as a compendium of the legal opinions of the three preeminent imams of the madhhab, namely Abu Hanifah, Abu Yusuf, and Muhammad (who are also called sometimes Ashab al-Madhhab). The books do not limit themselves to the rulings of these three however, and include the legal opinions of other eminent scholars of the madhhab, such as Zufar ibn al-Hudhayl and Al-Hasan ibn Ziyad al-Lu’lu’i, as well as independent mujtahids outside the madhhab, the likes of Abu Thawr and Awza‘i (may Allah have mercy on them all).

Later, in the late third or early fourth century, Hakim Shahid Abu ‘l-Fadl Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Marwazi al-Balkhi compiled the Kafi, a short, abridged collection of the legal rulings of all six books of the Zahir al-Riwayah. Organized in the conventional order of legal chapters and concise in its presentation, the Kafi (The Sufficing) truly lived up to its name, allowing students of law to easily identify the Zahir al-Riwayah rulings of the Hanafi school without having to pour over all six books and their relatively less-organized contents. Many scholars penned commentaries of the Kafi, the most recognized of them being Shams al-A’immah al-Sarakhsi’s Mabsut.

2. Nawadir: The rulings of this category are those that are not transmitted in the above-mentioned six books of the Zahir al-Riwayah but, like the rulings in them, are also attributed to the early imams of the madhhab. They are either found in the other books of Imam Muhammad, such as the Kaysaniyyat, Haruniyyat, Jurjaniyyat, and Raqqiyyat, or in the books of other imams besides Imam Muhammad, including Al-Hasan ibn al-Ziyad’s Mujarrad and the Amali of Abu Yusuf. The Nawadir also include the singular, scattered legal opinions of the early imams that were recorded by the likes of Ibn Sama‘ah, Mu‘alla ibn Mansur, Hisham, Ibn Rustum, and others.

These books are called Nawadir because they are transmitted through singular rather than mass-transmitted or well-known chains.

3. Fatawa: Also called Nawazil or Waqi‘at, these legal rulings are those that were derived by later Hanafi mujtahids based on enquiries for which no rulings existed in the first two categories. (Sharh ‘Uqud Rasm al-Mufti 9, Tabaqat Saniyyah 1:35)

Amongst these later mujtahids (muta’akhkhirun) were ‘Isam ibn Yusuf (d 210AH), Ibn Rustum, Muhammad ibn Sama‘ah, Abu Sulayman al-Juzjani, and Abu Hafs al-Bukhari, who were all from the second/third century.

After them came Muhammad ibn Salamah (192-278AH), Muhammad ibn Muqatil, Nusayr ibn Yahya, and Abu Nasr Muhammad Qasim ibn Salam[1], all of whom occasionally differed with the Ashab al-Madhhab (Abu Hanifah, Abu Yusuf, and Muhammad) on the basis of various factors or evidences that became apparent to them.

The first collection of these fatawa, according to our limited knowledge and study, is Abu ‘l-Layth al-Samarqandi’s Nawazil. Later jurists added to this category of legal literature, including Kashshi in his Majmu‘ al-Nawazil and Natifi and Sadr al-Shahid both in books entitled the Waqi‘at.

Most of the legal rulings of these three categories are mentioned in the common fiqh texts but are not discernable from one another. Very few later jurists differentiated between the three categories when compiling their legal compendiums. A few works, however, relate the rulings of the madhhab according to their category, amongst them is the still rare but oft-quoted Muhit of Radi al-Din al-Sarakhsi. In this Muhit – to be differentiated from Bukhari’s Muhit Burhani – Sarakhsi first lists the Zahir al-Riwayah, then the Nawadir, and lastly the Fatawa.


It is known that in Bahrur-Raqaiq, Fatawa-Alamgiria as well as in al-Dur al-Mukhtar (and its marginalia) the following is quoted to be Zahir al-Riwayah:

لا عبرة باختلاف المطالع

Differences in horizon are not taken into consideration…

However, as far as I can research this started from a statement of (Fatawa) Khaniya). I was unable to find this statement in the original books of Zahir al-Riwayah or within (original) books which contained the principles of Zahir al-Riwayah.

In this Istiftaa, I have tried to elaborate my query in detail. My reasons for such a detailed query directed towards those (of knowledge) is that if this is Zahir al-Riwayah then it should be referenced from the original books of Zahir al-Riwayah or within (original) books which contained the principles of Zahir al-Riwayah . If it is not then the matter should be corrected. The possibility of oversight exists when quoting secondary sources and the examples can be seen in Sharh ‘Uqud Rasm al-Mufti. Since this (issue) is important, I have decided to write at length and to seek your attention.

It should be noted that it is not my intention to present the Rajih Qawl (with regards to Moonsighting), nor is it my intention to discuss whether the current (prevalent) practise of local Moonsighting should be replaced. This is a universal discussion and merits its own deliberation by those of knowledge. My intention is merely for a correction to be made if this is not found to be Zahir al-Riwayah or to have it correctly referenced as such if it is indeed Zahir al-Riwayah.

Muhammad Abdul Malek

26th of Jumādá al-ūlá, 1438


I had the need to write on the topic of the (sighting of the) crescent and Eid due to local needs. During my writing, I had the need to reference the statement “Differences in horizon are not taken into consideration…” as Zahir al-Riwayah and I looked into the six books of Imam Muḥammad ibn al-Ḥasan al-Shaybānī (RA) . These are actually five books because Siyar Saghir is actually part of Mabsut (also called the Asl).

I did not find it. I then sought the assistance of others and also used “computer searches” and still did not find anything related to it.

In the book “Kitaabul-As’l” and in the chapter “Kitaabul-Istihsaan” it is possible for someone to get doubts from the following passage so it was thoroughly researched

فإن كان في السماء علة من سحاب فأخبره أنه رآه من خلل السحاب، أو جاء من مكان آخر فأخبره بذلك وهو ثقة، فينبغي للمسلمين أن يصوموا بشهادته

The Mas’ala (issue) here is commentated upon by Imam al-Sarakhsi (RA) in Mabsut and Imam Qazi Khan (RA) in (Fatawa) Khaniya and they both have interpreted “Makan Aakhir” to mean external (city) rather then (definitively) another city and this (interpretation) is also contextually sound.

Imam Qazi Khan (RA) in Sharh Jami‘ Saghir has elaborated that in Zahir al-Riwayah there is no difference between “Khairjul-Mas’r” and “Dakhilul-Mas’r”. Imam Kasani (RA) has also written the same in Bada’i al-Sana’i:

فإن جاء هذا الواحد من خارج المصر فكذلك في ظاهر الرواية لا تقبل شهادته، وذكر الطحاوي رحمه الله أنها مقبولة، لأن المطالع مختلفة، والموانع خارج المصر أقل، وكذا لو كان في المصر على مكان مرتفع

Thus we did not find any statement stating “Differences in horizon are not taken into consideration…” or resembling it in books of principles.

The books of principles of Zahir al-Riwayah do not contain this statement “Differences in horizon are not taken into consideration…” and there are many reasons for it. Principally, the books encompassing the principles of Zahir al-Riwayah do not mention it or that we did not find it. The books searched are as follows:

  1. Mukhtaṣar al-Hakim ash-Shaheed (Al-Kaafi)
  2. Mabsut al-Sarakhsi
  3. Al-Muheetul Burhaani
  4. Al-Muheetur Ridhwi (manuscript present at Jamiah Arabia Ahsan-Ul-Uloom Karachi)
  5. Khazanatul-Akmal (we first checked the manuscripts for Ummul-Qura and Raza-Rampur but it has since been printed from Darul-Kutub Al-Ilmiya, Beirut)

In all of these books, this statement is neither present as Zahir al-Riwayah nor as Nawadir al-Riwayah and these compilations are considered the most important for extraction (for Masa’il) of principles after the books of principles.

Secondly, this statement is also not found in the the (text) and summarisations of the works of Mutaqadimeen, for example:

  1. Mukhtaṣar al-Hakim ash-Shaheed
  2. Mukhtaṣar at-Tahawi
  3. Mukhtaṣar al-Karkhi
  4. Mukhtaṣar al-Quduri
  5. Tufatul-Fuqaha
  6. Bidaytul-Mubtadi
  7. Al-Muqadamatul Ghaznawiyyah
  8. Al-Hawial-Qudsi: It is not considered a text but even then this statement is not found
  9. Al-Fiqhun Naf’e
  10. Al-Wiqaya (compiled after Imam Qazi Khan (RA)
  11. An-Niqaya (compiled after Imam Qazi Khan (RA)

We did not find this Mas’ala in any of these compilations.

Thirdly, this statement is present in (Fatawa) Khaniya and its summarisations and in so following it has also emerged in al-Dur al-Mukhtar, Kanz al-Daqa’iq fi’l Fiqh and Multaqa. Due to its presence in these books it became famous in the whole world as Zahir al-Riwayah. To the best of our knowledge this statement is not present in any books (as Zahir al-Riwayah) in any books previously, in fact it is hard to imagine it being mentioned (Zahir al-Riwayah) in any books before it.

Allamah Tahir Ibn Abdur-Rasheed Bukhari (RA) compiled Khulasatul-Fatawa after (Fatawa) Khaniya and he considers Imam Qazi Khan (RA)  as his teacher. His compilation contains references to (Fatawa) Khaniya. The date of passing away of Allamah Tahir Ibn Abdur-Rasheed Bukhari (RA) should not put the readers in doubt, but his biography and that of Imam Qazi Khan (RA) should be studied in detail. When Khulasatul-Fatawa is studied in detail, the matter of this statement i.e. becomes manifest and clear.

Now let’s look at the context of this Mas’ala as mentioned in (Fatawa) Khaniya:

عن محمد في النوادر: إذا صام أهل مصر شهر رمضان على غير رؤية ثمانية وعشرين يوما ثم رأو هلال شوال، قالوا: إن كانوا عدوا شعبان لرؤية ثلاثين يوماً، وغم عليهم هلال رمضان قضوا يوما واحدا، وإن صاموا تسعة وعشرين يوما ثم رأوا هلال شوال فلا قضاء عليهم لأنهم قدأكملوا الشهر.
ولو صام أهل بلدة ثلاثين يوما للرؤية وأهل بلدة أخرى تسعة وعشرين يوما للرؤية، فعلم من صام تسعة وعشرين يوما فعليهم قضاء يوم، ولا عبرة لاختلاف المطالع في ظاهر الرواية، وكذا ذكر شمس الأئمة الحلواني رحمه الله تعالى، وقال بعضهم: يعتبر اختلاف المطالع

  1. This Mas’ala as noted by Imam Qazi Khan (RA) as Zahir al-Riwayah is from Nawadir al-Riwayah. In (Fatawa) Khaniya itself, by saying عن محمد في النوادر it is linked to the previous Mas’ala and thus it is Nawadir al-Riwayah by deduction and because
    1. This Mas’ala is not present in the books of Zahir al-Riwayah
    2. This Mas’ala is present in Al-Muntaqa of Hakim Ash-Shaheed (RA). The subject of Al-Muntaqa is Nawadir al-Riwayah.   The Khutbah of Al-Muntaqa is in Kasfudh-Dhunoon and it explains the matter. Allamah Ibn ‘Abidin (RA) has stated that Al-Muntaqa is a book of Zahir al-Riwayah but this seems to be contradict reality
    3. This Mas’ala is present in Al-Muntaqa of Hakim Ash-Shaheed (RA) (as present in Al-Muheetul-Burhaani) under the heading of Bishr Ibnal-Waleed (RA) and Ibraheem (RA) from Muhammad (RA). Bishr Ibnal-Waleed (RA)  from Abu Yusuf (RA) and Ibraheem Bin Rustam (RA) from Muhammad (RA) are both contextually Nawadir al-Riwayah. Zahir al-Riwayah are tranmitted via Istifaadah from Imam Muhammad (RA) and the two famous narrators for them are Abu Hafs Kabeer (RA) and Abu Suliman Jauzjani (RA).
    4. This Mas’ala is also narrated in Uyoonul-Masa’il of Abu Layth Samarqandi (RA) on the authority of Aamaali Abu Yusuf (RA) and it is also a book of Nawadir al-Riwayah
    5. This Mas’ala is also narrated in Khazatul-Akmal from Al-Muntaqa as Nawadir al-Riwayah
    6. This Mas’ala is also narrated inAl-Muheetur-Ridhwee under the heading Hishaam (RA) as Nawadir al-Riwayah narrates from Imam Muhammad (RA)
    7. Al-Jaṣṣās(RA) has interpreted this Mas’ala (literally) and quoted it under the Tafseer of [185:2] in Aḥkām al-Qur’ān and rigourously backed it but he has also quoted it from narrators of Nawadir al-Riwayah
  2. Thus there remains no doubt that this Mas’ala is from Nawadir al-Riwayah. Why is it that Imam Qazi Khan (RA) in (Fatawa) Khaniya has narrated it as Zahir al-Riwayah? How can the matter be reconciled? How is it to be interpreted? If reflected upon, it becomes clear that the Zaahir (apparent) meaning of the legislating for those who fasted for 29 days need to make Qadha (due to others completing 30 days of fasting) is that differences of hoirzons should not be considered, in other words he is trying to say this:

ولا عبرة لاختلاف المطالع في ظاهر هذه الرواية التي نقلتها من النوادر فإنها حكمت بالقضاء من غير تفصيل بين القريب والبعيد

He did not write هذه in his statement as he thought that ال the in الرواية sufficently conveys the meaning. If he had thought that the words ظاهر الرواية would be interpreted (as a technical definition) he would have explained further. Imam Qazi Khan (RA) commented on this Mas’ala from Nawadir al-Riwayah because those before him had interpreted this Mas’ala to ony apply when locations were close (i.e. horizons were united). Imam Qazi Khan (RA) perhaps doesnot agree with the interpretation and he says that the Zaahir (apparent) meaning of this narration is that differences of horizons should be not be considered.


If this explanation appears farfetched then we say that Imam Qazi Khan (RA) has committed an oversight. The later scholars (despite) their grandeur and stature did not have access to books of Zahir al-Riwayah. Allamah Ibn ‘Abidin (RA) and Ibn Nujaym (RA) have quoted their sources in their works but books of Zahir al-Riwayah are absent. These scholars quote Zahir al-Riwayah through an intermediary.  Consider the words of Imam Qazi Khan (RA) when he says:

وكذا ذكر شمس الأئمة الحلواني

And in the summary he states:

وبه كان يفتي شمس الأئمة الحلواني

He had to say that that Allamah Shamsud-deen Halawani (RA) used to give Fatwa according to it. Why would he need to back a Zahir al-Riwayah in this manner?

Zahir al-Riwayah not known to earlier Scholars?

It should be reflected upon as to why this Zahir al-Riwayah is not only missing from the six books of Zahir al-Riwayah but also missing from the books which were compiled with the Mas’ail from Zahir al-Riwayah. The (theoratical) possibility exists that perhaps it is present in some manuscripts of the six books of Zahir al-Riwayah. We say did  (Imam) Tahawi (RA), Al-Jaṣṣās(RA) , Imam Abul-Hasan Karkhi (RA), Imam ibn Hamdan al-Qudūri (RA), Hakim Ash-Shaheed (RA), Allamah Shamsud-deen Halawani (RA), Imam Sarakhsi (RA). Imam Jurjani (RA),  Abu Layth Samarqandi (RA),   Imam Kasani (RA) and Imam al-Marghīnānī also not have access to manuscripts of Zahir al-Riwayah because they have all distinguished between near and far (i.e. implied that this is a difference in horizon).

What did scholars before Imam Qazi Khan (RA) say?

The scholars before Imam Qazi Khan (RA) have interpreted the Mas’ala that who fasted for 29 days need to make Qadha (due to others completing 30 days of fasting) as follows:

وهذا إذا كان بين البلدين تقارب، بحيث لا تختلف المطالع، فإن كان يختلف لا يلزم أحد البلدين حكم الآخر

We welcome the research of Shaykhul-Islam (Mufti) Taqi Usmani (RA) in Buhooth and In’aamul Bari that this Mas’ala (of making Qadha) is not applicable to locations, which are distant (in horizon) but applicable to locations which are closer (in horizon) but this is an astronomical definition of horizon. The Fuqaha have interpreted horizons colloquially. The definition of horizon (colloquially) is given in the famous book (of Sha’afes) Al-Anwaar as follows:

وهو أن يتباعد البلدان بحيث لو رؤي في أحدهما لم ير في الآخر غالباً

An even clearer statement is made in Sharh Muhadibh:

وضابط القرب أن يكون الغالب أنه إذا أبصره هؤلاء لا يخفي عليهم إلا لعارض

This matter can also be interpreted to mean that those locations who have (local) sighting and yet their dates remain the same can be considered to be united in hoirzon and where the date differs can be considered to be distant in hoirzon. This is written by (Maulana) Burhanuddin Sunbhuli in Tajweez Majlis-e-Tahqeeqat-e-Shariah (Lucknow). 

The interpretation of horizon should be taken as atsronomical horizon is also mentioned by Imam Jamaluddin Yazdi Hanafi (RA) in Jawahirul-Fiqh and Imamul-Harmain Ash’shafae (RA) has mentioned the same in Nihayatul-Matlab Fi Dirayatil-Madhab.

The following Fuqaha have commented on this Mas’ala of Nawadir al-Riwayah:

  1. Imam ibn Hamdan al-Qudūri (RA): It is mentioned in the Sharh Mukhtasar Karkhi, in the statement of al-Qudūri (RA) in Muhit Burhani. It must be mentioned that it is not mentioned by al-Qudūri (RA) in At-Tajreed because according to him this Mas’ala is agreed upon between Hanafees and Shaf’aees.
  2. Imam Hisamud-deen Ash-Shaheed (RA): In Fatawa Al-Hisamyah mentioned under his statement الاختیار شرح المختار
  3. Imam Najmuddeen Yusuf Bin Ahmed Al-Khassi (RA): He is the student of Ash-Shaheed (RA) and he mentions it in Fatawa Al-Kubra which is based upon the works of his teacher entitled “Al-Fatawaa”. In his book, chapter Kitabul-Saum in the fifth corollary, he writes هذا إذا كان بين البلدتين تقارب بحيث لاتختلف المطالع، وإن كان تختلف لا يلزم أهل أحد من البلدتين حكم الآخر
  4. Imam Abdur-Rasheed Laulualjee (RA): He has also mentioned it in Fatawa Laulualjee
  5. Imam Radhiud-deen Srakshi (RA): He mentions it as Nawadir of Hishaam and notes وهذا إذا كان بين البلدين بعد بحيث لا يختلف فيه مطلع الهلال، لأن الرؤية لا تفاوت ولا يختلف، فيلزم أحدهما حكم الآخر، وإن كان بينهما مسافة مزيدة بحيث يختلف فيها المطالع لم يلزم أحدهما حكم الآخر. A manuscript is available at Jamiah Arabia Ahsan-Ul-Uloom Karachi and also checked in the manuscript at Maktaba Faizullah (Istanbul), a copy of Ash-shubka can also be checked.
  6. Imam Jamaludeen Al-Yazdi Al-Mutahhar Bin Hussain (RA): He is the famous teacher of Muhammad Bin Abdur-Rasheed Ruknuddeen Kirmani (RA) who passed away in 565 (AH). Kirmani (RA) has recorded his Fataawa in the second chapter of his books in Jawahirul-Fatawaa . A ta’leeq from Jamaluddin Yazdi (RA) about this Mas’ala from Nawadir al-Riwayah is recorded in the same book and we will quote it later
  7. Alauddin Al-Ismandi (RA) [448-552 AH): His comments from Sharh Uyoonal Mas’ail is recorded in the marginalia “At-Tajnees wal-Mazeed” and it is the same as mentioned by Radhiud-deen Srakshi (RA)
  8. Ruknud-deen Abul-Fadhal Abdur-Rahman Bin Muhammad Kirmani (RA) [d 543 AH]: The author of Khulasa has refernced his book “At-Tajreed” and Jamia Ummul-Qura did research work on his work. It is written, “ولو صام أھل مصر ثلاثین یوما للرؤیة، وصام أھل بلد تسعة وعشرین یوما للرؤیة فعلى ھؤلاء قضاء یوم واحد، وھذا إذا كان بین البلدین تقارب لا تختلف المطالع، فإن كان یختلف لم یلزم أحد البلدین حكم الآخر“. It must be noted that Mulla Ali Qari (RA) [d 1605/1606] has referenced an opinion of the author of “At-Tajreed” that differences in horizon are not taken into consideration in Sharh Al-Lubaab but this doesn’t appear to be correct as evident from the statment just quoted. This Mas’ala is not quoted in “At-Tajreedul Qudoori”. The opinion of al-Qudūri (RA) has been mentioned before in the discussion about Sharh Mukhtasar Karkhi.
  9. Imam Kasani (RA) : His famous statement about this Ma’ala from Nawadir al-Riwayah from Bada’i al-Sana’i is coming and this is considered to be the opinion of Imam Kasani (RA) and Imam Zail’ee (RA) and a far-fetched explaination has been given in Ahsanul-Fataawa and it appears from it that Imam Zail’ee (RA) is alone in the (Hanafi) Madhab who supports this view

Thus these are the scholars who have written about the Mas’ala of Nawadir al-Riwayah about which Fatawa) Khaniya has noted:

لا عبرة باختلاف المطالع

Differences in horizon are not taken into consideration…

The Ta’leeq by the scholars (above) states that this is valid in the case of Ittihadul-Matale (joined horizon) and there is a different injunction in the case of Ikhtilaaful-Matale (different hoirzons). In other words in their opinion differences in horizon is taken into consideration. The injunction of Nawadir al-Riwayah according to these scholars is not absolute but applicable in the case of actual (close) horizons or contextual in terminology (i.e. in terms of definition the horizons are close).

Then there are other scholars who have not only stated Ta’leeqan but actually written that differences in horizon is taken into consideration, for example:

  1. Imam Jurjani (RA) [d 388 AH]: He is the teacher of Imam ibn Hamdan al-Qudūri (RA) and student of Al-Jaṣṣās(RA)  It is written in Al Arf Al Shaazzi and I’laas-Sunnah that Imam Jurjani (RA) had the same opinion as Imam Zail’ee (RA). The Arab scholar Abdullah Bin Hameed in Tibyaanul-adillah Fi Ithbatil-Ahillaa has also stated this as “وقال الزیلعي شارح الكنز: إن عدم عبرۃ اختلاف المطالع إنما ھو في البلاد المتقاربة لا النائیة. وقال كذلك في تجرید القدوري، وقال به الجرجاني”. I don’t know the source of the authors ascribing this Mas’ala to Imam Jurjani (RA). It should be noted that Jurjani (RA) who authored Khazantul-Akmal is not meant here because this Mas’ala is not elaborated in his book, he has merely quoted it as a Mas’ala of Nawadir al-Riwayah from Al-Muntaqa of Hakim Ash-Shaheed (RA). However in  Al Arf Al Shaazzi and Tibyaanul-adillah Fi Ithbatil-Ahillaa the ascription to “At-Tajreedul Quduri”  appears to be oversight. In Khulasatul-Fataawa the Tajreed which is mentioned (with regards to differences in horizon not taken into consideration) is “At-Tajreedul Rukni” which deals with Mas’ail which are differed between the Hanafees and the Sha’afees. However in this Mas’ala the dominant and the apparent opnion of both Hanafees and the Sha’afees is the same therefore it is not a topic dicussed in “At-Tajreedul Quduri”. The reference of “At-Tajreedul Rukni” is given previously.
  2. Abu Ibraheem Ismail Bin Ahmed As-Saffar Ash-shaeed (RA) [d 461 AH]: Imam Abu Bakr Al-Haseeri (RA) [d 500 AH] who is the student of Imam Sarakhsi (RA) has stated in his book “Al-Hawi Fil-Fatawaa” from the reference of “Fatawaa Ma Waraun-Nah’r” and said “وسئل الفقیه أبو إبراھیم: بلدۃ رأوا الھلال یوم الأربعاء، وفي بلدۃ یوم الثلثاء، قال: یحكم كل أھل بلدۃ بما رأوا، ولا ینظر إلى ما رأوہ أھل بلدۃ أخرى، وعن ابن عباس أنه سئل عن ھذا، فقال: لھم ما لھم، ولنا ما لنا، وعن عائشة رضي اللہ عنھا قالت: فطر كل بلدۃ یوم یفطر جماعتھم وأضحى كل بلدۃ یوم یضحى جماعتھم”. Manuscripts of Al-Hawi are available and we have a picture of the manuscript from Maktaba Faizullah Aafindi (Istanbul) . This Fatwaa of As-Saffar (RA) on the reference of Al-Hawi is mentioned by the author or Hidaayah in “At-Tajnees wal-Mazeed” and he has noted, “وھذا إشارۃ إلى ما ذكرنا أنه لا یلزمھم حكم قاضي بلدۃ أخرى، إلا أن یمضي قاضي بلدتھم قضاء حكم قاضي بلدۃ أخرى  وھذا إذا تقاربت مطالع البلدتین، أما إذا تباعدت لیس للثاني أن یمضي قاضي الاول في أھل مصرہ، مطالع سمرقند وبخارى قریب، فیمضي قاضي أحدھما قضاء قاض أخر“. However, the author of Hawi has considered the Fatwaa of As-Saffar (RA) as unconditional and even when they close he has issued a Fatwaa that differences of horizons are not be considered and this is the reason he has added “قال مولانا: علیھم قضاء یوم آخر، سئل عن أھل بلدۃ رأوا الھلال في بلدتھم، ھل یحكم برؤیتھم في بلد آخر، قال: بلى یحكم، لأنه روي مثله في المنتقى“. Who is this Maulana? I could not understand after considering the context. My intention was to highlight that even that even a great scholar such as As-Saffar (RA) has considered difference of horizons and Al-Haseeri (RA) has (in opposition to it) knowledge of the of Nawadir al-Riwayah from Al-Muntaqa
  3. Shams al-A’immah Mahmood Al-Auzjandi (RA) narrates in Bahrur-Raqaiq (4/416) from Kitaabul-Eemaan of Zaheerud-deen Bukhari (RA) [d 619 AH], “وسئل الأوزجندي عمن قال لصاحب الدين إن لم أقض حقك يوم العيد فكذا فجاء يوم العيد إلا أن قاضي هذه البلدة لم يجعله عيدا ، ولم يصل فيه صلاة العيد لدليل [ ص: 399 ] لاح عنده ، وقاضي بلدة أخرى جعله عيدا قال إذا حكم قاضي بلدة بكونه عيدا يلزم ذلك أهل بلدة أخرى إذا لم تختلف المطالع كما في الحكم بالرمضانية” . It is mentioned on the authority Al-Fawaid of Shams al-A’immah Mahmood Al-Auzjandi (RA) in Khulasatul-Fatawa (2/173) and also mentioned without reference to the source on the authority of Shams al-A’immah Mahmood Al-Auzjandi (RA) in Al-Muheetul Burhaani (6/293) and on the authority of Al-Muheetul Burhaani in Fatawa-Alamgiria (2/138). It is also mentioned without reference to Shams al-A’immah Mahmood Al-Auzjandi (RA) in Fatawa Al-Bazaziyah (Indian marginal commentary) (4/329-330).
  4. Majidush-Sharia by Sulaiman bin Hasan Al-Kirmani (Qadhi) Muhammad in Jawahirul-Fatawa (Kitaabus-Saum, chapter 5), “أهل بلدة عيدوا يوم الاثنين و أهل بلد آخر عيدوا يوم الثلاثاء لا يجب عليهم قضاء يوم, أهل بلد رأوا هلال رمضان وأعلموا أهل البلد الآخر بذلك وهم لم يروا, فهذا على وجهين, إن كان المطلع في حقهما متحدا يلزم كل واحد منهما حكم الآخر, فإذا أعلمهم عدلان منهم يلزمهم حكم الصوم والفطر, وإن كان بين البلدتين مسافة يختلف المطالع في حقهم فلا يلزم واحدا حكم الآخر”. It should be made known that the the fifth chapter of each book in Jawahirul-Fatawa is exclusively for Fatawa from Majidush-Sharia.
  5. Ruknuddeen Muhammad bin Abdur-Rasheed Kirmani [d 565 AH] is the author of Jawahirul-Fatawa, it is mentioned in the foreword of Kafwa (RA)’s Alam al-Akhyaar “ركن الملة والدين بهاء الاسلام والمسلمين أبوبكر محمد بن أبي المفاخر عبد الرشيد الكرماني , صنف جواهر الفتاوى في سنة سبع و خمسين و خمس مائة, وله كتاب “غرر المعاني في فتاوى فتاوى ابي الفضل الكرماني””, it is also mentioned on the reference of Kafwa (RA) “كتاب جواهر الفتاوى من مشاهير كتب الفتاوى الذي رتب الصدر السعيد ركن الدين الكرماني”.  Radd al-Muhtar has mentioned this book as a reference in the discussion on differences of horizons on the authority of Imam Qahastani (RA) [d 953 AH] but it is summarised to such an extent that it is hard to discern the full meaning of the entire discussion.  Ruknuddeen Muhammad bin Abdur-Rasheed Kirmani [d 565 AH] has deliberated on this issue in many chanpters of Kitubus-Saum, we have discussed the fifth chapter but in the third chapter it states, “لو شهد شاهدان عند قاضي مصر (ما) أهل الهلال على أن قاضى مصر كذا شهد شاهدان عنده برؤية الهلال وقضى به واستجمع شرائط صحة الدعوى, فإن القاضى يقضى بهذا” and after stating this Allamah Kirmani (RA) writes, “هكذا ذكر, وهذا إذا كان بين البلدتين (تقارب) لا يختلف المطالع, بحيث يلزم أحدهما حكم الآخر”. In the second chapter of Kitubus-Saum which is exclusive for the Fatawa of Imam Jamaluddin Yazdi Hanafi (RA), Kirmani (RA) writes, “لو صام أهل بلدة تسعة و عشرين يوما و اهل بلدة ثلاثين, إن كان يختلف المطالع لا يلزم احديهما حكم الآخر, وإن كان لا يختلف المطالع يلزم, قال شيخنا وسيدنا جمال الدين: لم يذكروا في ذلك حدا, بل أطلقوا, وأنا اقول: يجوز أن يعتبر فيه مإ يعتبر في الغيبة المنقطعة في حق الولي, قلت له: تحديدك في الغيبة المنقطعة لا يوجب زيادة في البيان, فأنهم اختلفو فيها, قال: مالأ يصل القوافل في السنة غالبا إلا مرة, و أقله مسيرة شهر, ألا يري إلى قصة سليمان بن داود عليهما السلام, ولسليمان الريح غدوها شهر ورواحها شهر, وكان انتقاله من اقليم إلي اقليم, و قدره بشهر, فعرف أن بين الاقلمين المنجممة من زيادة الدرجة مي العرض والطول فلا يعتبر”. The last part of the statement of Imam Jamaluddin Yazdi Hanafi (RA) is important because it implies that the earlier scholars did not discuss the differences of horizons from the (astronomical or Geographic coordinate system point of view) but they disucss it from the Urf (point of view), although because this Mas’ala is Ghair-Mansoos he has not been able to present an agreed upon measure of it and it is similar to Massail of “Maun-Katheer, Amalun-Katheer, number of attendeed for Friday etc. It must be mentioned that what Imam Jamaluddin Yazdi Hanafi (RA) has written is also mentioned by Imamnul-Haramain (RA), “وذكر الأصحاب: أن البعد الذى ذكرناه هو مسافة القصر, ولو اعتبر مسافة يظهر في مثلها تفاوت المناظر في الاستهلال لكان متجها في المعنى, ولكن لا قائل به”. In short, I wanted to point out that there have been many major scholars before Imam Qazi Khan (RA) who have alluded to near and far (in terms of horizon) and articulated difference (in horizons) without alluding to Dhahir Riwayah, lets continue.
  6. Sirajuddeen Ali Ibn Muhammad Al-Aushi (RA) [d 569 AH] and his book Fatawa-Sirajia has been published (see pg 169 of Darul-uloom Zakariyya, South Africa).
  7. Najamuddeen Al-Nasafi (RA) [d 537 AH]’s opinion could not be determined by an exact quote but Al-Muheetul Burhaani (3/346) has quoted a Fatwa and then recorded “وكأنه مال إلى أن حكم إحدى البلدتين لا يلزم البلدة الأخرى أصلاً وعيد اختلاف المطالع، وعلم أن المطالع مختلفة إلا أن تلك المسألة مختلفة، وقد مضى بقول البعض، فارتفع الخلاف، فلم يتضح لنا وجه جواب نجم الدين”. Qawwamudden Kaaki (RA) [d 749 AH] in Mairajud-Daariya Sharhal-Hidaaya and Ibn Abdaul-Aal in his Fataawa have writtern with “Jazam” that this Fatwa of Najamuddeen Al-Nasafi (RA) is an indication that differences in horizons are to be considered.
  8. Imam Ahmed bin Muhammad bin Mahmood Al-Ghaznavi [d 593 AH] writes, “هذا إذا لم يكن بين البلدتين تفاوت يختلف فيه المطالع,فإن كانت يختلف فيه المطالع لم يلزم أحد البلدتين حكم الآخر”. These were scholars who were before Imam Qazi Khan (RA) or his contemporaries but when we look at scholars after him, we see that they have not accepted his statement on face value but many have looked into the reality and researched in depth.
  9. Burhanuddeen Mahmood Al-Bukhari (RA) [d 616 AH] has started the discussion in Al-Muheetul Burhaani stating that Ulama have differed on the matter, “أهل بلدة إذا رأوا الهلال هل يلزم ذلك أهل بلدة أخرى؟ اختلف المشايخ فيه، بعضهم قالوا: لا يلزم ذلك به وإنما المعتبر في حق كل بلدة رؤيتهم وبنحوه ورد الأثر عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما. وفي المنتقى: بشر عن أبي يوسف، وإبراهيم عن محمد: إذا صام أهل بلدة ثلاثين يوما للرؤية وصام أهل بلدة تسعة وعشرين يوما للرؤية، فعليهم قضاء يوم. وفي القدوري: إذا كان بين البلدتين تفاوت لا تختلف فيه المطالع لزم حكم إحدى البلدتين حكم البلدة الأخرى. فأما إذا كان تفاوت تختلف المطالع فيه، لم يلزم حكم إحدى البلدتين حكم البلدة الأخرى، وذكر شمس الأئمة الحلواني: أن الصحيح من مذهب أصحابنا رحمهم الله: أن الخبر إذا استفاض، وتحقق فيما بين أهل البلدة الأخرى، ويلزمهم حكم أهل هذه البلدة”. It is clear that the author in Al-Muheetul Burhaani has grasped the statement of (Fatawa) Khaniya) and reverted to the original (sources) and not been affected by the error (or ambiguity of) Imam Qazi Khan (RA). It also appears that as per the previous sources he also considers the differences in horizons to be valid which is why he has quoted Nawadir and then immediately brought the statement of Imam Quduri (RA). It also appears that Sharus-Saum of Allamah Shamsud-deen Halawani (RA) is in front of him as he has quoted the original statement. In the summary the full context of the discussion about East and West from Allamah Shamsud-deen Halawani (RA) should be searched. It must be noted with regret that in Fathul Qadeer this personal statement of Allamah Shamsud-deen Halawani (RA) has been quoted as Dhahir Riwayah when in summary, it has merely been noted as personal statement. It should also be noted that in Al-Ikhtiyaar Shamsul-Aimma Halawani (RA) got corrupted to Shamsul-Aimma al-Sarakhsi (RA) when Shamsul-Aimma al-Sarakhsi (RA) has nothing to do with the opinion of Imam Qazi Khan (RA) (about disregarding the differences in horizons). In fact, Allamah Badruddeen Aini (RA) in Sharal-Kanz has attributed Shamsul-Aimma al-Sarakhsi (RA) to accepting differences in horizons.
  10. Zaheeruddeen Abu-Bakr Muhammad Al-Bukhari (RA) [d 619 AH] made a statement in this regards in his “AlFawaqiduz-Zahiriyyah” which has been presented previously and there is confirmation of it in (Fatawa) Khaniya), 3/365). However, it was later discovered that in Kitaabul-Saum within “Jamiul-Mudhmiraat” this Mas’ala from Nawadir is mentioned and the disregarding of differences of horizons is attributed to Dhahir Riwayah but it is the end which matters. In the end it is mentioned “عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنه أنه يعتبر في حق كل بلدة رؤية اهل ذلك البلد” and “Jamiul-Mudhmiraat” mentions whatever is present in Al-Muheetul Burhaani. Imam Qahastani (RA) [d 953 AH] in Jamiur-Rumooz has attributed “Jamiul-Mudhmiraat” to be of the opinion that differences in horizons has to be regarded.
  11. Shaykh Nizamuddeen (son of author of Hidaayah) writes in Jawahirul-Fiqh “ولو صام اهل بلدة ثلاثين يوما للرؤية و اهل بلدة تسعة و عشرين يوما للرؤية, فعلى هولاء قضاء يوم, وهذا إذا كان بين البلدتين تقارب لا تختلف المطالع, فإن كان يختلف المطالع لم يلزم أهل بلدة حكم الأخرى
  12. Zaynuddeen Razi (RA) [d 666 AH) whose book “Tuhfatul-Mulook” was published in 1436 writes, “ولا يلزم أحد المصرين روية المصر الآخر إلا إذا تحدث المطالع”. It’s commentary “Minhatas-Sulook FiSharhTuhfatul-Mulook”was published in 1428 and Allamah Badruddeen Aini (RA) has agreed with the (main text) and not writted a word disagreeing with it. In the marginilia of the commentary, a comment is present from Ibn Malik (RA) which opposes this view, the commentary is not in front of me but a manuscript in “Majma’al-Bahrain” is present of the commentary of Ibn Malik (RA) and in it he has agreed that the differences of horizons are to be considered. It is possible that in “Minhatas-Sulook FiSharhTuhfatul-Mulook” the opinion of Ibn Malik Al-Ibn (RA) is recorded rather than the opinion of Ibn Malik Al-Ab (RA). Besides, what we have mentioned, there are many other Ulama who went against the apparent quoting of “Differences in horizon are not taken into consideration” by (Fatawa) Khaniya being Dhahir Riwayah and sided with the opinion that differences in horizons are to be considered.
  13. Abdullah bin Muhammad Al-Mausali (RA) [d 683 AH) in his commentary “Al-Ikhtiyaar” appears to agree with the opinion of the Mutaqadimeen in opposition to the opinion mentioned in al-Mukhtar which agrees with (Fatawa) Khaniya
  14. Allamah Abul-Abbas As-Saruji (RA) [d 710 AH] writes in “Al-Ghaya Fi Sharhil-Hidaayah”, “هذا اذا كان بين البلدين تقارب بحيث لا تختلف المطالع , فإن كان تختلف لا يلتزم احدا من اهل البلدين حكم الآخر, هكذا ذكره في المحيط والذخيرة, عن القدوري, والواقعات, ومنية المفتي والتجريد و شرحه للكردي, والبدائع و عمدة الفتاوى: … ثم نقل كلام الحلواني والظهيرية منا الحنفية, و كلام ابن عبد البر المالكي, والنووي الشافعي, والقرافي المالكي, و رجع القول باعتبار اختلاف المطالع , وقال فيما قال:” وتؤكدها أنه لم ينقل عن عمر, ولا عن غيره من الخلفاء انهم كانو يبعثون البرد (ويكتبون) إلى الأقطار, بأنا قد رأيناه فصومو, بل كانو يتركون (الناس) على مراقبهم, فيصير هذا كالمجموع عليه …” و ذكر أيضا حدبث كريب”. We can see in this statement as to how many books of Hanafi Madhab have been referenced with the opinion that differences of horizons is to be regarded.
  15. Imam Zail’ee (RA) in Tabbayanul-Haqaiq Sharh Kanzud-Daqaiq
  16. Allamah Ameer Kaatib Itfaani (RA) [d 758 AH] writes in his commentary “Ghaayatul-Bayan Wa Naadiratul-Aqran”, “ثم المعتبر في كل قوم مطالع بلادهم, لا بلاد غيرهم, فإن البلاد تختلف أقاليهما في الارتفاع والانخفاض, فربما يرى في بعضها ولم يرفي بعض, و قيل: لا اعتبار لاختلاف المطالع, حتى لو أرى اهل المغرب هلال رمضان يجب برؤيتهم على أهل المشرق, و عليه فتوى الفقيه ابي الليث رحمه الله, ولا نأخذه, لما روي الترمذى في كتاب الصوم, باب لاهل كل بلد رويتهم (وفي آخرة) قال ابو عيسى: حديث ابن عباس رضي الله عنه حديث حسن صحيح غريب, قال: والعمل على هذا الحديث عند أهل العلم أن لكل أهل بلد رؤيتهم”
  17. Ibraheem bin Abdur-Rahman Al-Qahiri (RA) [d 923 AH] has been mentioned in Radd al-Muhtar as “واعتمد الزيلعي و صاحب الفيض” and when he checked the manuscripts of Al-Faidh it clearly states,  “والصحيح اعتبار اختلاف المطالع” and this statment is also recorded by Kahiruddeen Ramli (RA) in the marginilia of Bahrur-Raqaiq. These two statements are present in some manuscripts of Radd al-Muhtar
  18. Shah Waliullah (RA) [d 1176 AH] in Al-Mussafa Sharh Mauta
  19. Allamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri (RA) [d 1352 AH] in Al-Arfush-Shadhi and Ma’arifus-Sunun
  20. Mufti Muhammad Shafi (RA) in his Rouyat-e-Hilaal and Imdadul-Muftiyeen
  21. Maulana Yusuf Binnori (RA) [d 1397 AH] in Ma’arifus-Sunun
  22. Mufti Faizullah (RA) [d 1396 AH] who was part of Darul-uloom Haad-Hazari (Bangladesh) also preferred the opinion that differences in horizons have to be regarded, “حكاو لي والدي, حفظه الله تعالى و رعاه, و هو من تلامذة المفتي رحمه الله تعالى ”

In my humble opinion if we consider the facts that Qudoori, Mabsut and Hidaaya all three of the books are devoid of the قضاء يوم and لا عبرة اختلاف المطالع and on the other side we have Qudoori, Kasaani and Hidaaya have encapsulated Nawadir and are amongst the “Ashabut-Tarjeeh”, this alone should make us reconsider the statments of (Fatawa) Khaniya) and Khulasatul-Fatawa. We now have access to the original sources of Dhahir Riwayah, its secondary quotations and commentaries and we do not find this Mas’ala in them so how can we accept that all the scholars before Imam Qazi Khan (RA) were unware of this Dhahir Riwayah?


Translation incomplete and being updated!

جزاك اللهُ خيرًا

  1. Sharh ‘Uqud Rasm al-Mufti, Kashf al-Zunun, Sharh al-Biri, and Radd al-Muhtar give the name as Abu ‘l-Nasr Qasim ibn Salam, which is incorrect. In fact, he is Abu Nasr Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Salam al-Balkhi, sometimes called Abu Nasr ibn Salam or Abu Nasr Muhammad ibn Salam. He was amongst the famed jurists and hadith scholars of Balkh. He passed away in 305AH. Ibn ‘Abidin gives the correct name on page 130 of his Nashr al-‘Arf fi Bina Ba‘d al-Ahkam ‘ala ’l-‘Urf (Mashayikh Balkh min al-Hanafiyyah 1:53, Tabaqat Saniyyah 267, from the unpublished marginal commentary of Shaykh Husain Kadodia on Sharh ‘Uqud).