Latest Rulings on Crescent Sighting from Syed Seestani (HA)

In: TAIA (Team for Advice on Issues of Astronomy)

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The Foundation submitted the above to His Eminence.


In The Name of The Almighty

The accepted criterion that marks the beginning of the lunar calendar month in any country is the appearance of the new crescent in the horizon of that country, such that it can be seen by the naked eye, if there were no physical impediments like clouds or fog etc… Therefore the possibility of a sighting with only an optical aid is irrelevant.


Sighting crescents in two countries that ‘share’ the horizon means that if it is actually sighted in the first country, it would definitely be sighted in the second country also, provided there were no physical impediments. It is obvious that one of the most important factors influencing sightings by naked eye is the altitude of the new crescent above the horizon at sunset. Two countries sharing the same longitude does not necessarily mean the new crescent will appear in their horizons on the same night with the same altitude. In fact, it has been recorded in many observations that it is possible so see the new crescent in most countries south of Equator because of its appearance there at the appropriate altitude and the same crescent could not be observed on the same night in countries that are in the northern hemisphere, despite sharing the same longitude with the other countries – either because the crescent has set before sunset or did not appear at the appropriate altitude above the horizon after sunset.


There is no escaping the different beginnings of a lunar month as it is a direct consequence of differences in rulings by respected Jurists related to the beginning of a lunar calendar month. Every person must act according to the rules of his/her Marja-e-Taqleed as is the case with rulings on all other Fiqh issues on which Jurists differ. It is important to educate Mumineen to accept these differences and not allow these to be a source of discord and animosity between them.

May the Almighty grant you success in your endeavours
Was Salaamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh
Ali Al-Hussaini Al-Seestani
26th Shabaan 1430

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