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Sighting of Moon in the month of Ramadhan.

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)



One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

When all muslims believe in one Allah . Why in Ramadhan, we dawoodi bohras go on calenders whereas all other muslims start their month by sighting the moon.



One of our brothers/sisters has a similar question:

Dear Mr. Burhanbhai,

Re:  Sighting of Moon during Ramazan and Shawaal (Idd).


There has been lot of controversies on the above and all over the world the majority of Sunni Muslims and some Shiites still believe and follow the above procedure with the only exception of the Dawoodi Bohras.


To enlighten more and to give the true picture, can you pls advise us which is the correct way to determine the lst of Ramazan and the lst of Shawaal (Idd), and is it compulsory to sight the moon?  We always have arguments with our fellow Sunni Muslim brothers and they say that it is in the Holy Quraan that the Islamic month is to be determined by sighting of the moon and one has to fast by seeing the moon and celebrate Idd ul Fitr accordingly and not the modern geographic calendars.  We are really confused and shall be obliged if you give us a correct and true answer of the same and the Islamic calendar set by the Dawoodi Bohras is correct.


Urgently and anxiously awaiting your reply by return.


Thanking you in advance.




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Sighting of Moon in the month of Ramadhan.

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and who-ever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Al Anam verse 95: He (Allah) causes the dawn to appear out of the curtain of night. He(Allah) ordained the night for tranquility, and the sun and the moon for the reckoning (of time and days).


In an authentic narration, the Prophet (saws) mentioned Ramadan, and said, "Do not fast unless you see the crescent of Ramadan and do not give up fasting till you see the crescent of Shawwal, but if the sky is overcast, then act on estimation and count Sha'baan as 30 days.”


In another authentic narration the Prophet (saws) said, “The month can be 29 days, so do not fast till you see the moon, and if the sky is overcast, then complete Sha'baan as thirty days.”


In light of the Quran and the traditions of the Prophet (saws), the muslims at the time of the Prophet (saws) always determined the number of days of every Islamic month, including Ramadan through the sighting of the moon. That Sunnah of the Prophet (saws) is still followed today by the majority of muslims who follow the Quran and the traditions of the Prophet (saws), and even today the Islamic dates are determined by the sighting of the moon by the believers worldwide.


The Dawoodi Bohra sect of Islam claim to see the so-called “haqiqi” moon to determine the days of Ramadan and every other Islamic month according to their published calendar. They must be able to see their ‘haqiqi’ moon months in advance, as their Islamic calendar is published at the beginning of every Islamic year! Brother, I really do not have any knowledge of this so-called “haqiqi” moon! It would be best to ask this question to one of the Bohra scholars to get a reply regarding this innovation in the method of the Prophet (saws).


What we do know from the Prophet’s (saws) authentic traditions that He (saws) certainly determined the days of Ramadan and every other Islamic month through the sighting of the ‘actual’ moon. Thus the people who follow the Prophet (saws), even today, and until the end of time, Insha Allah, will start their reckoning of the months by the same method as used by the Prophet of Allah (saws).


The ‘haqiqi’ moon must have appeared after the Prophet’s (saws) death, because He (saws) never saw or mentioned anything regarding the ‘haqiqi’ moon! That is because even the Bohra scholars will agree that the Prophet (saws), during his life, always started the Islamic months by sighting the actual moon.


Any changes in the way or tradition of the Prophet (saws) is known as a ‘bid’a’ or innovation.


It has been reported by Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (r.a.) that the Prophet (saws) said: If anyone introduces an innovation (in religion), he will be responsible for it. If anyone introduces an innovation or gives shelter to a man who introduces an innovation (in religion), he is cursed by Allah, by His angels, and by all the people.


It has been reported by Jabir ibn Abdullah (r.a.) in another authentic narration that the Prophet of Allah (saws) said in a sermon: “The best speech is that which is embodied in the Book of Allah, the Al Quran; and the best guidance is the guidance given by me, Mohamed (saws). The most evil affairs are the innovations, and every innovation is an error.”


Thus, whoever wants to follow the tradition and way of the Prophet (saws), must do as He (saws) did, and start their reckoning of the Islamic months, by sighting the moon. Those who do not want to follow the tradition of the Prophet (saws), are the ones who determine their months through the ‘haqiqi’ moon! The choice is entirely upto you … whether you want to follow the Prophet (saws) or you want to follow somebody who changed His (saws) ways and introduced an innovation!


This leads us to another more serious and important question that should naturally arise from this: How many other traditions and ways of the Prophet (saws) have these people changed?


Allah Alone knows Best, and He is the Only Source of Strength.


May Allah guide you and us all to the Siraat al-Mustaqeem


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.


Your brother and well wisher in Islam,









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