Scottish Hilal Forum agreed that the Shara’i new month is ascertained if the following conditions are satisfied:
- The conjunction must have actually occurred.
- The moonset follows sunset.
- The visibility falls either in Category A or B or C for either Makkah, or any city in the UK or any city in North, North West, West, South and South West African countries. Imam Abu Hanifah (RA) held the opinion of ittihad-ul-mataley’ – إتّحادالمطالع (unity of horizon) – i.e. global sighting is valid.
- The city that is chosen in the regions/ counties mentioned above in the point iii for the start of Hijri month must be same for the end of Hijri month.
Now we can safely determine the 20th of November 2017, Monday as the 1st of Rabi’ ul Awwal ه1439 insha Allah. According to Her Majesty’s Nautical Almanac Office (HMNAO), the visibility falls in the following categories on 19th of November 2017: (please refer to the attached sheets for details):
|City||Visibility||Lag time (minutes)|
|Cape Town – South Africa||B||51|
|Dakar – Senegal||A||63|
|Accra – Ghana||A||60|
|Freetown – Sierra Leone||A||62|
Note: Although the moon is born on 18th November but its visibility for all the above cities and any other cities in Europe, Africa and Middle East falls in category F; hence 19th November cannot be the 1st of Rabi’ ul Awwal 1439ه.