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A Statement by Muslim Scholars in the West About the Fiqh of Announcing Ramadan

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In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Ramadan Mubarak. May Allah accept from us this month— this month of Mercy, this month of the Quran. We can understand how difficult and confusing the debates leading up to the start of Ramadan have been and wanted to address a few points. Sadly, in some communities, some of the serenity and sweetness that comes with embracing this month was lost in the fire of disagreement of the beginning of Ramadan.

The matter of the beginning of Ramadan was never historically left to public discussion. This major decision was made by the Qadhee (High Judge) of the locality, under the auspices of the Haakim (Ruler). In Muslim majority countries, such decision is made by the appropriate sector/office in the government. In our communities in the West, matters of Fiqhi debate that affect the general public are made by various scholars across the country, after confirmation with the appropriate authorities in astronomy. Whether they follow the global or local sighting opinions, follow scientific calculations, or the various shades of those positions, they are the primary and ultimate reference in regards to the beginning of Ramadan.

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The beauty of Ramadan and the fruits associated with perfecting its acts of worship are too bountiful and rewarding to be minimized due to a Fiqhi disagreement. The main Fiqh councils and organizations across North America adopted different positions, so it is best to begin and end Ramadan with your local masjid and community. The unity and harmony of the family and of the Muslim community at the local level has more priority than adopting one opinion or the other in these matters of legitimate difference of opinion. The prayer, fasting, and zakat in this month will not be affected by whether your fast began on Wednesday or Thursday.

Our advice is to spend your time in the remembrance of Allah and in the Ihsan (perfection) of your servitude to him and you will find this to be a rewarding and fulfilling month, Inshallah. As individuals and communities across the world, Ramadan is the most unifying time of the year. Do not look for dissension and disconnect in a month that is all about selflessness, unity, and felicity. The difference in opinion has inherent wisdom and it is addressed by your ulema’ (scholars). We are one Ummah with one Ramadan. May Allah bless your Ramadan and ours, and may it be a cause of blessings in this Dunya and the Akhirah (this life and the hereafter).

We strive to ensure that Ramadan in America will be met with clarity and excitement in the future.

Wassalam Alaikum warhmatullah wa barakatuh’.

Signed By:
Fiqh Councils
The Fiqh Council of North America
The Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America

Scholars
Dr. Zainab Alwani
Dr. Hatem AlHaj
Shaykh Abdur Rahman Khan
Imam Khalil Abdur-Rashid
Dr. Muhammad Adam Elshiekh
Dr. Zulfiqar Ali
Ustadha Zaynab Ansari
Dr. Jasser Auda
Dr. Jamal Badawi
Shaykh Nomaan Baig
Imam Abdur Rahman Bashir
Dr. Abdullah Bin Hamid Ali
Shaykh Joe Bradford
Shaykh Yasir Fahmy
Anse Tamara Grey
Imam Aamir Nazir
Dr Yasir Qadhi
Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi
Shaykh Omar Suleiman
Mufti Ikram ul Haq
Imam Suhaib Webb

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Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. 3abdu

    May 22, 2018 at 2:59 PM

    ‘The prayer, fasting, and zakat in this month will not be affected by whether your fast began on Wednesday or Thursday.’

    How would one be sure of the odd nights in the last 10 days of Ramadan if they are not sure on which day to start?

  2. Abdul Rehman

    May 30, 2018 at 12:24 PM

    Unless you use the scientific data correctly, you are making a fool of yourself in the name of science. Data is available for visible crescent formation on US horizons. Why go by your archaic method of birth of new moon that is invisible invariably for 16 to 30 plus hours. There was no crescent formed when you declared the 1st. of Ramadan

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