In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful Clarification about the beginning of…
Clarification on the beginning of the Holy Month of Ramadan 1442 A.H.To the respected believers in North America, May the peace, blessings and mercy of Allah be upon you. Various reports about the crescent of the month of Ramadan being sighted in Southern California late on Monday night have spread. Thus, many believers have inquired whether there was a subsequent change in the statement of the Crescent Committee, which announced the completion of the month of Sha`ban on Tuesday April 13, 2021 and Wednesday April 14 as the start of the holy month. The Crescent Committee, which has diligently reported the crescent sighting on a monthly basis for many years in collaboration with its team and sincere individuals in many different regions throughout North America, was in direct contact through various means with believers striving to determine the appearance of the crescent along the entire West Coast of California to establish the blessed month of Ramadan at sunset on Monday April 12. The committee did not issue a statement until after sunset, allowing enough time for any potential sighting to occur based on data from astronomical sites, which stated that there was only a low probability of sighting the crescent. Thereafter, a number of other trustworthy believers provided the committee with various reports of sighting the crescent, some of them claimed sighting it with the naked eye and others only with an optical aid, while others in the same area stated that they could not sight it with the naked eye, nor even with an optical aid. Some other individuals claimed that there were clouds, and as a result, sighting the crescent was not possible. Hence, there were conflicting testimonies which resulted in confusion and lack of clarity. The Crescent Committee of the Council of Shia Muslim Scholars of North America, relies in its main message regarding the crescent of the lunar months on the jurisprudential principles of the supreme religious authority, and today, represents His Eminence al-Sayyid al-Sistani (may Allah prolong his life). As such, the committee could not rely on the testimonies available based on Ruling 1043 of Minhaj al-Salihin (English version) which clearly states that the first of the month cannot be established when there are conflicting statements, even if the testimonies were made by trusted believers. Otherwise, [upon resolving such a conflict] the Crescent Committee would have issued a follow-up statement as it has done in the past. It is worth mentioning here that there are different implications due the different criteria used by other respected jurists, both past and present. Thus, we would like to draw the attention of the believers to some important points so they can have all the pertinent information and become knowledgeable:
- Those who emulate a jurist who does not require the same conditions for establishing a religious testimony and the attainment of contentment that the crescent has been sighted, may act accordingly and consider Tuesday April 13 as the first of the Month of Ramadan.
- Those who are personally content by rational means that the crescent has been sighted may consider Tuesday April 13 to be the first of the month of Ramadan.
- Those who emulate a jurist who rules based on unity of horizons with areas that share the same night and they attain contentment by rational means that the crescent has been sighted and live in some other areas, may consider Tuesday April 13 to be the first of the month of Ramadan.