Did only Saudi Arabia see the moon for Eid al-Fitr 2023?

ⓘ Supported by Al Medina 313.



Islamic Text

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah Most Merciful Most Kind

Short Answer

The crescent moon for Eid al-Fitr was seen in countries other than Saudi Arabia, based on official announcements and media reports.

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).

As we see in the authentic Hadith above, there is no requirement to establish moonsighting from multiple places. Rather, a confirmed sighting from one place suffices. Therefore, the sighting that was established and announced in Saudi Arabia is not only sufficient but binding according to the Hanafi position of global sighting.

Classical scholars
وَإِذَا ثَبَتَ فِي مِصْرَ لَزِمَ سَائِرَ النَّاسِ فَيَلْزَمُ أَهْلَ الْمَشْرِقِ بِرُؤْيَةِ أَهْلِ الْمَغْرِبِ فِي ظَاهِرِ الْمَذْهَبِ وَقِيلَ: يَخْتَلِفُ بِاخْتِلَافِ الْمَطَالِعِ. (فتح القدير)

If it (moonsighting) is established in one city then it is binding upon all people. Therefore, the people of the East are obliged to follow the sighting of the people of the West, according to the soundest position in the Madhab. And it has been said (in a weak opinion) that it differs based on region. (Imam Ibn Humaam, Fath al-Qadeer commentary of al-Hidaayah).


In any case, at least two other Muslim countries have established and announced a moonsighting. Namely, Afghanistan and Nigeria. Furthermore, for Nigeria, there have been multiple reports made: see here and here.

Too many Muslims are approaching the moonsighting issue from a sectarian perspective and this is leading to argumentation and division. If they were to approach it from the perspective of the Madhahib of Ahl al-Sunnah regarding moonsighting, then the negativity and argumentation would decrease, and they could recognise that both global and local sighting are valid approaches and must be respected.

And Allah Most High Knows Best.

Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen Rashid (21.04.23)