Fasting and Ramadan
• Fasting Ramadan is an obligation and is one of the five most important matters of Islam: Professing no one is God except Allah, praying the five obligatory prayers, paying zakah by the obligated person, fasting Ramadan and performing hajj by the capable person.
• It is an enormous sin to neglect fasting a day of Ramadan without an excuse.
• Ramadan is the best month of the year, the Night of alQadr is the best night of the year, Day of `Arafah on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah is the best day of the year and Friday is the best day of the week.
• Fasting becomes an obligation either when Sah`baan completes 30 days or when the Muslims see the moon of Ramadan on the 29th of Sha`baan.
• Making calculations for starting or ending of Ramadan does not confirm fasting or end of fasting according to the four Fiqh schools: Hanafiyy, Maalikiyy, Shaafi`iyy and Hanbaliyy.
• For the sighting to be confirmed, a trustworthy Muslim (`adl) has to testify seeing the moon of Ramadan after sunset on the 29th of Sha`baan. The Muslim judge will have the status of this person confirmed, i.e., being apparently `adl.
• Being apparently `adl means that the person is not known to be an enormous sinner. The judge does not have to investigate his state beyond that.
• The `adl has to be:
o A Muslim who is not an enormous sinner.
o His minor sins do not exceed his good deeds.
o Does not do a doing which people in his rank do not usually do. For example, he does not spend his time joking and talking about funny useless stories just to make people laugh even if they were not unlawful. He also does not spend his time playing chess and the like or spend his time playing with pigeons flying above buildings.
• If the `adl who has these attributes testifies that he has seen the moon of Ramadan, he has to fast and other Muslims have to fast as well.
• He would say: I testify that I saw the moon of Ramadan (the crescent) tonight.
• However, if he says I knew that it is the crescent of Ramadan, the sighting is not confirmed by this saying.