Is the Hadith for global sighting Sahih?

ⓘ Supported by Al Medina 313.



Islamic Text

Yes, the Hadith in Ibn Maja which is often used to support the position of global sighting is Sahih.

عَنْ أَبِي عُمَيْرِ بْنِ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، قَالَ: حَدَّثَنِي عُمُومَتِي، مِنَ الْأَنْصَارِ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالُوا: أُغْمِيَ عَلَيْنَا هِلَالُ شَوَّالٍ، فَأَصْبَحْنَا صِيَامًا، فَجَاءَ رَكْبٌ مِنْ آخِرِ النَّهَارِ، فَشَهِدُوا عِنْدَ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّهُمْ رَأَوُا الْهِلَالَ بِالْأَمْسِ، فَأَمَرَهُمْ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنْ يُفْطِرُوا، وَأَنْ يَخْرُجُوا إِلَى عِيدِهِمْ مِنَ الْغَدِ

Abu Umair bin Anas bin Malik said, my paternal uncles who were among the Ansar from the Companions of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ informed me saying: ‘The new crescent of Shawwal was not visible to us, so we fasted the next day. Then some riders arrived at the end of the day and testified to the Prophet ﷺ that they had seen the new crescent moon yesterday. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ commanded them (the Sahabah) to break their fast and to go out to offer the Eid prayer the following day. (Ibn Maja 1653, Sahih).

The Hadith above has been narrated by Imam Ibn Maja in his Sunan, and by many others. It is often used to support the position of global moonsighting, which is the position of the Hanafi Madhab (see link below for details). The Hadith is Sahih according to leading authorities in the science of Hadith.

قَالَ الشَّيْخُ جَمَالُ الدِّينِ: وَبِهَذَا اللَّفْظِ حَسَّنَ الدَّارَقُطْنِيُّ إسْنَادَهُ هَذَا وَصَحَّحَهُ النَّوَوِيُّ فِي الْخُلَاصَةِ

Shaykh Jamal al-Deen said (Imam) al-Darqutni declared the chain of the Hadith to be Hasan with this wording. And (Imam) al-Nawawi declared it to be Sahih in al-Khulasah. (Imam Kamal al-Deen ibn al-Humaam, Fath al-Qadeer).

We see in the Nass above that Imam al-Nawawi considered the Hadith to be Sahih. Imam Ali al-Qari mentioned this Hadith in Fath Bab al-Inayah and then quoted from Imam al-Bayhaqi regarding the authenticity:

قال البيهقي: إسناده صحيح

(Imam) al-Bayhaqi said, the chain is Sahih. (Imam Ali al-Qari, Fath Bab al-Inayah).

There are many other proofs cited by the Hanafi scholars to prove the opinion of global moonsighting. The above Sahih Hadith is just one from a number of those proofs.

And Allah Most High Knows best.

-Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen Rashid (29.04.2022)

See also:
Is the Hanafi opinion global sighting?
How long is an Islamic Month?
Can astronomical calculations be used for moonsighting?

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