In Mauritius, we should fast on Saturday 4th of October 2014 for the 9th of Zil Hijjah (arafah).
Allah Ta`ala said in the holy Qur-aan that there may be difference of moon sighting in the world. ‘’The one who come to witness the month(of Ramadhaan), then he should fast.’’(2:185) This verse not only indicate the residents of the region, but also those who travelled and came home and found Ramadhaan, then they should fast. Nowadays those who go for Umrah may have completed 30 days in Saudi Arabia, but if they reach their respective country that haven`t sighted moon for Eid, then they should fast also on that last day of Ramadhaan. Furthermore, there was also a difference of moon sighting between Saudi Arabia and other countries during the lifetime of Rasouloullah SAW and sahabas. It is reported on the authority of muslim shareef that it happened that Koureib was sent by the Ummul Fadl, the mother of Abdul bin Abbaas r.a., from Madinah to Syria for some work. There they sighted the moon on Thursday night. They started fasting then. But when kureib returned Madinah at the end of Ramadhaan, Hazrat Abdul bin Abbaas r.a. asked him about his trip and the moon. He answered that they sighted it on Thursday night. Ibn Abbaas r.a. told him that we in Madinah we sighted it on Friday night. And we are going to complete 30 days according to our moon. Kureib asked him that should we not follow the moon sighting of Syria and Ameer Mu`awiyah(Chief of muslims that time)? Abdullah bin Abbaas r.a. answered by negative and told him that the prophete SAW ordered us to follow our region`s moon and do not interfere with other sightings elsewhere in the world.
This hadith of muslim shareef is not the view of Ibn Abbaas r.a. But it is the view of all sahabas present that time. Because celebration of Eid in MAdinah is the concern of all present that time. And no sahaba stood against the fatwa of Ibn Abbaas r.a. Hence there is Ijma` of the sahabas that our dates should follow the moon sighting of our region. As such that year, Syria had different date of Eid other than Madinah although they were informed on their different sightings.
We should note that during the Islamic empire, there was efficient and quick postal services that developed through horsemen that would relay from about 20 kms. They could relay messages for thousand of kilometres during one day. Yet no one came to uniformalize the Eid as such.
Today we are witnessing a great progression in communication technology. We should bear in mind that the prophet ordered us not to be influenced by technology in moon sightings. Thechnology should not influence the ahkaam and the orders of our deen. The holy prophet SAW said:’’We are an analphabetic people. We do not write and we do not count. The months are like that: 29 or 30(He indicated with his fingers).(Bukhari) We are called by the prophet to become the simplest of all people in concern of the moon. That is why we should not account for telescopes or moon birth calculation in our moon sightings. But rather bare eye witnesses would be accounted. Yes one may accept the witness of someone that was nearby a few kilometres from that region, in the country side.
But the strongest hold on the issue is the hadith of Hazrat Ib Abbas r.a. that told us that it is the order of the prophet that we should follow our own moon sighting and should not be influenced by other moon sightings of other countries.(Muslim). In fact Ibn Abbaas did not want to impose Saudia Arabia`s sighting on the Syrian people.
Furthermore, Yaume Arafah is the 9th Zil Hijjah. of every country. Yaume Arafah is unanimously 9th of Zil Hijjah and we cannot account 8th of Zil Hijjah as Yaume Arafah. Nor can we suggest that the day the Hajees are assembled there, then it becomes yaume Arafah worldwide. As we cannot celebrate Eid ul Adhaa on Tuesday, similarly we cannot fast for Yaume Arafah on Monday. Communication should not influence our hukm. One century ago, we were all fasting 9th Zil Hijjah for yaume Arafah. That time no one could know when the hajees were in Arafah. As such today also, we should become ‘’the analphabetic people’’ and follow the simple moon sighting of our own country. More important fact is that after the information of the sighting of the moon came to the people of Madinah, they did not change their own sighting. We also should not change our local moon sighting.
Note that even Mufti of Saudia, Sheikh Bin Baz stated that each country should follow their own moon sights.