Inconsistencies in Moonsighting Practices in India: Local Sighting not Implemented
In India, there has been criticism of the universal Moonsighting practice by some Ulamaa (Islamic scholars). They prefer to stick to the opinion of local Moonsighting and will only accept it when the moon is sighted in India, not in other countries. However, even local Moonsighting practices are inconsistent among different regions in India.
The Delh’s Markazi Ruyat Hilal Committee, for example, has stated that the moon is not sighted anywhere in India, while other regions like Bhatkal, Kanyakumari, and Kerala have reported sightings. This has resulted in some parts of Karnataka, Tamilnadu, and the entire Kerala state fasting for the first Ramadaan from Thursday, 23rd March 2023.
Even the Markaz Ruyat Hilal Committee of Karnataka and Tamilnadu have not acknowledged the sighting of the moon in their respective districts, further highlighting the inconsistencies in Moonsighting practices.
This raises the question of which sighting standards the members of these Hilal committees are following if even local sightings are not consistently accepted. It is important for Indian Muslims to question their respective Jamaats (Islamic congregations) about these inconsistencies and seek clarity on the purpose and functioning of the Hilal committees.
(President, Discover Islam Education Trust, Bangalore)