Moon Sighting: Finding First of Ramadãn and Shawwãl

Question 544: Salam alaykum, I’m Galih from Jakarta, Indonesia. If government announce day of Eid which different day with Moon sighting from Shia Observers and Methods from our Religious Authority or Marja. an I perform taqiyya when I get back to my birthplace Hometown because it will make quarrel with my family or I should travel outside my town first to break my fast? Thanks and regards, Galih P

Answer 544: The first of every month is established by ocular vision (of the moon), even if the moon is seen by a single person (whether he is Shia or Sunni or other sect you make sure of his opinion), though it is more useful if it is confirmed by several persons and general opinion, or by passage of thirty days from the preceding month, or through legal evidence which consists of the testimony of two morally sound persons, or the decision of a judge when it is not known to be mistaken or to have an erroneous basis, but no regard is to be paid to the statement of the astrologers, or the encirclement of the moon, or its disappearance after the evening glow in proving that the moon belongs to the last night, though it may help in such assumption.   If you only become sure about the saying of Shia authorities that (for example) tomorrow is Eid al-Fitr, you have to follow their opinion in this regards. Otherwise, you can follow every other person or any organization and government you become sure about their opinion.

Considering that you follow Shia authorities, you are not allowed to eat, drink or do those things which invalidate your fast, unless you travelled 22.5 Km away from your home before the noon prayer and eat or drink there.

Note: The point that traveling begins (in order to count 22.5 Km from) should be considered at a place where you cannot see the walls of city and hear the sound of Adhan. It is the limit of Tarakhkhus. [i]     Related Answers:

Index: Things invalidate fast and its Kaffarah, answer 372.

Index: Meaning of Tarakhkhus and Qasr and Complete Prayers, answer 466.


[i] . Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini, Vol. 1, Procedure of Finding First of Ramadãn and Shawwãl;  Tawzih al-Masael of maraja (with annotation of Imam Khomeini), Vol.1, issue. 1312.