Sri Lanka

Exclusive: Sri Lankan top Islamic cleric suggest possibility of ‘28 day Ramadan’,in case of early moon sighting

Sri Lanka’s Muslim clergies association, the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulema (ACJU) will meet to decide if the country is to celebrate Eid and mark the end of Ramadan possibly early (after the end of 28 days of fasting) as there has been a growing consensus that the moon may not have been sighted correctly to trigger the start of Ramadan.

A special ‘clarification’ was made in Kollupitiya Jummah Masjid, Colombo by Mufti Rizwi on Friday that has startled many people in the country as it would mean that this year’s Ramadan could last only 28 days instead of the requisite 29 or 30 days.

Mufti Rizwi explained during the announcement that all possible channels to sight the moon was done on the 16th May but due to adverse weather conditions only one hour window was available and non of the 35 observatories reported any sighting.

Owing to this by default the Ramadan fasting commenced on Friday the 18th. Neighboring countries like Maldives started the fast as early as Wednesday, prompting many queries from the public.

The Mufti went on to explain that in the event that moon is visible after the 28th Ramadan, then he would instruct Eid to be celebrated the next day, as it was done in the past by the companions of the prophet.

“If an error in sighting the moon to commence Ramadan is confirmed by the visibility of the moon by the 28th Ramadan, then indeed we have to celebrate Eid the next day and make up for the lost fast after Eid. This has happened in the past and Islam is clear on such matters, so there should be no confusions.

Read Also: Exclusive: SL Muslims confused over possible early moon sighting as Grand Mosque appear unprepared

Many people reacted to the news with surprise and some disagreement, as a early moon-sighting would indicate a mistake in the start date of Ramadan.

The ACJU also released a press release on the issue.

Although the spectacle could come as a surprise to many, MDWLive investigated fatwas on the matter. Prominent Islamic website explained the issue as follows

If it is proven by shar‘i methods that the Muslims made a mistake with regard to defining the beginning or end of Ramadan, then they must make up for this mistake and make up the day of Ramadan that they did not fast.

Such a mistake may be established by a number of shar‘i methods, including the following:

1.     If they completed Sha‘baan with thirty days, then a trustworthy person comes and testifies that he saw the new moon on the night before the thirtieth of Sha‘baan, and the judge accepts his testimony.

2.     If they fasted Ramadan with twenty-eight days, then they saw the new moon of Shawwaal.

Read the full version here.

However, a 28-day Ramadan is not without precedent, as it happened about 30 years ago in 1984 (1404 Hijri calendar), when the start date of Ramadan was incorrectly calculated, admitted the supreme cleric authority of Saudi Arabia to Gulfnews.

How does this affect religious observance? Tradition forbids Muslims from fasting on the first day of Eid, so in 1984 Muslims were encouraged by Saudi Arabian clerics to make up the day of missed fasting by either fasting after Eid, or by feeding 10 poor people.

8 comments on “Exclusive: Sri Lankan top Islamic cleric suggest possibility of ‘28 day Ramadan’,in case of early moon sighting

  1. Those sects who started fasting on thursday may put forward witnesses to claim crescent was sighted on friday 15th May and the rest of us will be compelled to celebrate eid on the 29th day of Ramazan. What a pity.


  2. Abumanal Al Darweesh

    As salami Alaikum;
    Quick question;

    Where did Brother Rizwi receive the Title ” Mufthi” . Forgive me, but this title must be given to him from a accredited Islamic University or Organization. How many years of Islamic Education has he Completed? How many years of Islamic knowledge does he have??


    • Najumudeen MohamedMeeran

      AAWW br Abumanal he is a student of a famous madrasa in Karachi Binnori town? Alhamdulillah he has spent his required time to get his MUFTI title. And as he is selected by a group of Ulama to be the leader id the ACJU. You looks like from a different country.


    • True enough


  3. Hussain Fahmy

    Sri Lanka does not trust global Moon Sighting as a result obvious discripencies. Muslims are not bound by man-made boundaries.


  4. Ali yusoof

    Agree with Mr. Fahmy

    Let people know this fact. During prophets period there was limited number of large countries or empiors which covered a large land mass of the globe . Altogether not more than 50 countries.
    This was quite sizable to sight the moon in such geographical area.where the rulers could declare the sighting across the large nation.

    Today 2018 we are almost 200 countries in the global map. So the cake has been split to many small pieces. By which the aloted time to sight the moon also has been curtailed as a reason.

    Which means once back 1 land mass some time back is now 4 new different administrative lands. Each trying to testify their own findings.

    So in conclusion it’s advisable for these clerics of the neighbouring nations to coordinate during the particular period to agree on confirmed sightings and communicate the proper lunar movement to the public.


  5. It would be civil to accept human error as Islam has permitted..let us not prolong debate on this & waist the auspicious time of the last 10 days…let us take the leaders advice & observe fast after Eid if on Friday ! May Allah accept our sincere efforts for Unity under an Amir (Leader)..


  6. I my opinion Sri Lanaka should follow the Maldives when it comes to the matters like moon sighting. It will be very difficut to have a uniform decision unless there is a Muslim government body to deliberate.


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