Praise be to Allaah.
Undoubtedly for the Muslims to be united in starting and
ending the fast is something desirable and it is something that is required
by sharee’ah wherever possible, and there are only two conditions of
1 –All Muslim scholars should do away with relying on
calculations as the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) and the early generations of this ummah did, and follow
moonsighting or completing the number of days (in the month) as was
explained by the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be
upon him) in the saheeh ahaadeeth. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah
have mercy on him) said in al-Fataawa (25/132, 133) that the scholars
were unanimously agreed that it is not permissible to rely on calculations
for proving the beginning and end of the fast and so on. Al-Haafiz narrated
in al-Fath (4/127) that al-Baaji said: The consensus of the salaf is
that calculations should not be relied on, and their consensus is proof for
those who come after them.
2 – They should commit to following the sighting of the moon
in any Muslim state that follows the sharee’ah of Allaah and adheres to its
rulings. When it is proven in that country that the new moon has been
sighted with shar’i proof, with regard to the beginning or end of the fast,
then they should follow that, in accordance with the words of the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “Fast when you see it, and
stop fasting when you see it, and if it is too cloudy then complete the
number (of days)” and “We are an unlettered nation, we do not write or
calculate. The month is such-and-such” and he gestured with his hands three
times, and held down his thumb the third time, then he said, “or the month
is such-and-such” and he gestured with all of his fingers, meaning that the
month may be twenty-nine days or it may be thirty. There are many ahaadeeth
with similar meanings, from Ibn ‘Umar, Abu Hurayrah, Hudhayfah ibn al-Yamaan
and others (may Allaah be pleased with them). It is well known that what the
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said was not
addressed only to the people of Madeenah, rather it is addressed to the
entire ummah at all times and in all places until the Day of Resurrection.
When these two conditions are met, then all Muslim countries will be able to
fast together and break the fast together, and we ask Allaah to enable them
to do that and to help them to rule by Islamic sharee’ah and reject that
which goes against it. Undoubtedly that is obligatory upon them because
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they
make you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم)
judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance
against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission”
And there are similar verses.
There is also no doubt that ruling all their affairs in
accordance with sharee’ah is in their best interests and will unite them and
help them against their enemies and help them to attain happiness in this
world and in the Hereafter. We ask Allaah to open their hearts to that and
to help them to achieve it, for He is All-hearing, Ever-near. End quote.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him).
Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah (15/74-76).