That Annual Eid Question: Personal Conviction vs Official Announcements

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Conflicting claims about the new moon can lead individual Muslims confused about what they should do. This confusion is greatly assuaged for Muslims living in countries where there is an official body for religious affairs. Nonetheless, there are still situations where individuals find themselves in a dilemma when they have doubts about the veracity of the official body’s claim that Eid has begun. This confusion occurs due to several competing religious duties: the obligation to follow authority, the prohibition of following an order that involves disobeying Allah, the prohibition of breaking one’s Ramadan fast, the prohibition of fasting during Eid, the obligation to leave things which are doubtful for things wherein there is certitude, and others.

For residents of countries where there is an official body for religious affairs who have doubts about the veracity of their claim, the general rule is that you must follow the local authority unless you are convinced that their decision is wrong.

  • If it can be Eid, treat it as Eid.
  • If it cannot be Eid, treat it as Ramadan.

In the event that you are convinced that Eid was announced prematurely, it remains obligatory for you to continue to fast. Your conviction requires you to depart from the official body; it does not require or entitle you to spread dissent or cause a ruckus. Bear in mind that informing others is likely to end with them merely doubting about the veracity of the official claim – doubts which are far short of the conviction which is required for departing from the official body. Attend the official Eid prayer if your absence will be noticed. When Eid does come, pray the prayer on your own.

And Allah knows best.

Please let me wish you an Eid Mubarak wherever you and whatever day it may be. May Allah accept our fasts, prayers, recitations, supplications, invocations, charity, hospitality, and other pious works done this past month and all others.