As-salamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh
I pray this finds everyone in the best of states; seeking proximity to Allah Most High and His Beloved ﷺ,
There is simply no chance of a moon sighting this Thursday, so for all those who want to start your fast on Friday – think again.
Although science tells us that the New Moon will be born around 04.00 (UTC) on the 19th July 2012 – this does not mean Ramadan should start on Friday. In fact this conclusively proves Ramadan starts on Saturday, and I will tell you why.
Firstly the sighting has to take place from Maghrib up until Fajr beginning time (the true dawn). If you look at the diagram attached you will see this is not physically possible in the UK. Qualified Muslim astronomers and reliable visibility forecasts indicate that on Thursday, the only lands in the world that have a likelihood of a pure sighting of the moon are areas within the South Pacific Ocean and South America.
The Islamic Crescents’ Observation Project (ICOP), based in Abu Dhabi, released a report which stated that a new moon will not be sighted this Thursday. ICOP based the report on astronomical calculations.
ICOP stated that the sighting of Ramadan’s new moon on the 29th of Shaaban, would be impossible from all northern locations and some central locations in the world. This would include Iraq, Syria and parts of Saudi Arabia. This is due to the setting of the moon before sunset.
For the rest of the Arab world, the sighting of the new moon on Thursday will not be possible even with the largest telescopes due to setting of the moon at the same time as the sun.
Don’t be ignorant and accept reports that contradict Astronomical data and scientific calculations along with sightings in your local area. If the moon is sighted in one horizon than it becomes obligatory to adhere to this sighting, but we must take into account the fact that different cities have different horizons.
Imam al-Ghazali in his Ihya Ulum al-Din maintains that if a moon is sighted in one town and not the other, and the distance between the two is less than 6 miles, the people of both towns are required to fast; but if the distance is greater than 6 miles than every town will have its own legal ruling.
Any mistakes are from me and me alone, any good is from Allah Most High and the final messenger of Allah ﷺ.
Moon Sighting and Ramadan: