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Sighting the New Moon for Beginning and Ending the Fast of Ramadan

Yahya related to me from Malik that he had heard thatonce in the time of Uthman ibn Affan the new moon hadbeen seen in the afternoon and Uthman did not break hisfast until evening had come and the sun had set.

Yahya said that he had heard Malik say that some one whosees the new moon of Ramadan when he is on his own shouldstart the fast and not break it if he knows that that dayis part of Ramadan. He added, "Some one who sees the newmoon of Shawwal when he is on his own does not break thefast, because people suspect the reliability of someoneamong them who breaks the fast. Such people should say,when they sight the new moon, 'We have seen the newmoon.' Whoever sees the new moon of Shawwal during theday should not break his fast but should continue fastingfor the rest of that day. This is because it is reallythe new moon of the night that is coming ."

Yahya said that he heard Malik say, "If people arefasting on the day of Fitr thinking that it is stillRamadan and then definite evidence comes to them that thenew moon of Ramadan had been seen one day before theybegan to fast and that they are now into the thirty-firstday, then they should break the fast on that day atwhatever time the news comes to them. However, they donot pray the id prayer if they hear the news after thesun has begun to decline."