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A Woman Can/Can’t Sight Ramadan Moon

From our friends, the holy men of the Standing Committee for Research and Issuing Fatwas at Islam Question and Answer:

Can the testimony of a woman be accepted with regard to sighting the new moon of Ramadaan?

Can the testimony of a woman be accepted with regard to sighting the new moon of Ramadaan?

Praise be to Allaah.

The fuqaha’ differed with regard to accepting the testimony of a woman with regard to sighting the new moon of Ramadaan. There are two opinions:

1 – Her testimony may be accepted. This is the view of the Hanafis – if it is cloudy– and the Hanbalis, and it is one of the two views held by the Shaafa’is.

2 – That it cannot be accepted. This is the view of the Maalikis, and the more correct view according to the Shaafa’is.

Ibn Qudaamah said in al-Mughni (3/48): 

If the one who brings the news is a woman, then according to the madhhab her word is to be accepted. This is the view of Abu Haneefah and is one of the two views held by the companions of al-Shaafa’i, because it is news that has to do with a religious matter, so it is akin to narration of reports, or telling people what the direction of the qiblah is, or that the time for prayer has begun. And it may be that it is not acceptable, because it is testimony about the sighting of the new moon, and the word of a woman cannot be accepted concerning that, like the new moon of Shawwaal. End quote.

See: Tabyeen al-Haqaa’iq (1/319), al-Taaj wa’l-Ikleel (3/278), al-Majmoo’ (6/286) and Kashshaaf al-Qinaa’ (2/304).

The Hanafis differentiate between cloudy and clear weather. If it is cloudy, the testimony of two men, or a man and two women, is acceptable, but if it is clear then it is essential to have many people to testify to that. See: al-Bahr al-Raa’iq (2/290).

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Some scholars say that the testimony of a female cannot be accepted, either in Ramadaan or at other times, because the one who saw the new moon at the time of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was a man, and because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If two witnesses (shaahidayn) bear witness, then start the fast and end the fast,” and a woman is a shaahidah not a shaahid.

The evidence of our madhhab is that this is a report concerning a religious matter which is addressed equally to males and females, as males and females are equal with regard to narrating reports, and reports are religious matters. Hence they did not stipulate that sighting the new moon of Ramadaan should be proven by a judge, and they did not stipulate any particular wording for the testimony, rather they said: If he hears a trustworthy person telling the people in his presence that he has seen the new moon, then he must fast on the basis of this news. End quote from al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (6/326).

As for the new moon of Shawwaal, it can only be proven by the testimony of two men.

And Allaah knows best.
Islam Q&A

Thanks. That settles everything.

If only the phases of the moon were predictable. Think of how much trouble could be saved. And lives.

Mind you, the appeal of Islam is that it is ‘the perfect guide’ to life – down to the smallest detail. It is clear and concise, and brooks no interpretation or confusion.

Except about literally everything under the sun moon.

Meanwhile, rather than rely on women and other questionable characters for this vital information we have turned to the scholars at Crescent Watch:


Aug 10, 2010

Crescentwatch has not received any reliable reports of the new crescent moon being sighted Tuesday evening.

We have received numerous negative reports from reliable moon-sighters throughout North and South America, the only locations to have a reasonable likelihood of sighting the moon on Tuesday evening (see visibility charts here).

That is to say, they have no reports from anyone having sighted the new crescent moon.

We will thus complete the 30 days of Sha’ban and begin Ramadan Wednesday evening with the first day of the fast on Thursday, August 12.

So they are going to begin Ramadan without having seen the new moon? Is nothing sacred?

We nonetheless encourage everyone to go out and look for the new crescent moon on Wednesday evening, and submit their reports here.

Be forewarned, the sign-up form asks your gender.

The crescent would be visible shortly after sunset, slightly to the left, and above where the sun had set.

How could they possibly know this? It’s not like these things are predictable. Are they witches?

It is a beautiful experience to sight its emergence, and it is a sunnah of our noble Prophet, sal Allahu alayhi wa salam, that we hope the ummah revives.

* Crescentwatch.org adheres to the traditional principal that Islamic lunar months begin and end based on the confirmed, verifiable sighting of the new crescent moon.

Whether they see it or not.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, August 11th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “A Woman Can/Can’t Sight Ramadan Moon”

  1. grits says:

    Whatever would NASA do without their invaluable contributions?

  2. AcornsRNutz says:

    Yeah, they send thousands into feilds to look for the thing, we send several men to it. And then we thank them for their assistance. I am sure many qualified moon watchers were in the fields of North and South America helping to steer the spacecraft with their prayers. When they could see it.

  3. Right of the People says:

    Does Islam have guidelines for farting and bowel movements? I know they like to do everything by the book, Praise Alllllaaaaaah.

    • AcornsRNutz says:

      Not sure about the passing of gas, but as for bowel movements, absolutely! Even the tedious and disgusting decisions one faces in the toilet are conviently decided for you by the religion of peace.

  4. U NO HOO says:

    Punxatawney Phil, please call Mecca.

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