Moonsighting issues and questions

September 29, 2008
Due to the announcement of some Muslim countries that the moon was sighted, or Eid will be tomorrow, many of you have been calling to ask about these announcements and their impact on our announcement in Montreal.
I would like to reiterate again our position in relation to these early, unsubstantiated claims of moonsighting:
1. In all the Muslim countries east of Canada the moon set from 12 minutes before to exactly with the sunset, depending on the city, and the birth of the moon was below 10 hours. These facts make it impossible for the moon to be seen or to be in the horizon at the time of sighting. It is absolutely certain that the moon was not on the horizon at the time moon should be observed, which is after sunset, in any of the Muslim countries east of Canada.
2. We don't follow mathematics for the announcement of the month. There are too many ijtihad methods relating to this issue, unfortunately however some of these methods are directly against the clear and assured Sunnah of Rasoul Allah (SAAW). We have been ordered by Him (SAAW) to fast when the crescent is sighted and to break the fast after sighting the crescent, and in another hadeeth we were clearly ordered, with emphasis, "NOT to fast until we see the crescent and NOT to break the fast until we see it".
3. Many times persons who are not familiar with moon sighting, or try to make the sighting inside the perimeter of well lighted cities, with clouds and fog, make serious mistakes of reporting false sightings. However, through sciences, observations around the world, and the use of computer programs it is easy today to know the position and location of the moon within 1 over 100 of a second, confirmed by observatory manned by Muslims around the world. It is unconscionable to accept a doubtful testimony against the certainty of such methods that negate the possibility of sighting. These methods are not used to prove that the moon was sighted, we always have to have a sighting testimony to enter the new month, but they are used to ensure that such testimonies are credible.
4. This means that any testimony made in a city where the moonset was before the sunset, or at sunset, would be rejected.
5. It is also interesting to note that some of the above mentioned announcements were based purely on mathematics, following some kind of a strange criteria, totally unrelated to our Sunna.  
6. When the greater Montreal area is in unity, and they fast or break the fast in a certain day, anyone who decides to act differently, based on his opinion, the sighting in another country, or following an organisation, would be answerable to Allah (SWT) for his action, whether he/she lost fasting days or decided to fast on the day of eid etc.  
I am sorry for the long email but I hope this issue is more clear now.
Jazakoum Allaho Khiran, wa assalam
Salam Elmenyawi