Q3: In many American states as well as in European countries it is mostly difficult or even impossible to catch sight of the new moon of Ramadhan or Shawwal. However, the scientific progress in these countries enables knowing the appearance of new moon in an accurate way by calculations. Is it permissible to rely on their calculations? Further, is it permissible to seek the help of observatories supervised by non-Muslims, bearing in mind that their opinion on these matters is most probably correct?

A3: Basically beginning and breaking of the fast are both subject to either sighting the new moon or completing the term of the month as 30 days; narrations to that effect are numerous and this has been adopted by both the predecessors and the successors. However, when spotting the new moon with the naked eye becomes difficult, where clear skies are rare and it is mostly foggy and cloudy, there is no objection to seeking the help of reliable observatories, on condition that they be in the hands of Muslims whose decision is binding with regard to the start and end of fasting. And Allah knows best.