Establishing a sighting of the crescent via telephone

Establishing a sighting of the crescent via telephone
Questions & Answers

Establishing a sighting of the crescent via telephone

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  • masjidmuhammad
  • Mar 10, 2021

QUESTION:
Can the sighting of the crescent be established via telephone?

Answer:

If the person speaking on the phone is known to you, there is no doubt
about his identity, you are confident as regards his honesty, and he is
giving information about the sighting of the crescent in his region;
then after considering him to be a reliable person, it will be
permissible to act on his information on a personal level; but it is not
wajib to act on it. If people receive telephone messages from all over
and large numbers of people convey this message to the extent that it
is not likely that they are speaking a lie, then it reaches the level of a
Shari testimony and it becomes necessary to act on it.

Kitab al-Fatawa:

If the horizon is clear – whether it is for the crescent of Ramadan or ‛id
– then for the establishment of the sighting of the crescent, there has
to be khabar mustafid. This means that such a large number of people
must provide the information regarding whom we can say that it is
generally not possible for them to have concurred on speaking a lie. If
the horizon is cloudy and the issue is with regard to sighting the
crescent of Ramadan, then the information of one reliable person is
sufficient to establish the sighting of the crescent. In both cases, the
basis for the sighting of the crescent is “information”. Therefore, if
information is conveyed via telephone and you are satisfied that the
informer who is identifying himself is the right person, and he is a
reliable person, then such telephonic information can be relied upon.1

For further details refer to: Ahsan al-Fatawa, vol. 4, p. 407-412; Fatawa
Rahimiyyah, vol. 5, p. 187; Jadid Fiqhi Masa’il, vol. 2, p. 21; Kifayatul Mufti,
vol. 4, p. 216; Nizam al-Fatawa, vol. 2, p. 163.

Allah ta‛ala knows best.

REFERENCE:

1. Kitab al-Fatawa, vol. 3, p. 376.

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