In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. 

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh. 

We have received many queries from Ulama of Malawi as well as the general public regarding the authenticity of the sighting of moon for Eid-ul-Fitr of this year.

Hereunder is our standard answer for all similar queries:

We have spent much time in analyzing the issue from the Fiqhi as well as from the administrative and astronomical points of view. We had also analyzed the moonsighting report from Mozambique. 

It is our carefully analyzed opinion that there was an oversight in declaring the Eid on Sunday, 24th May, 2020 based on reported sightings in Mozambique.

It should be noted that one of the possible reasons for the oversight is that the planet Venus was prominent in the sky on that very night. Many people in South Africa also confused the sighting of Venus with the moon. The general masses are unable to distinguish between Venus and the crescent. We were also guided by our experts in astronomy.

We therefore advise you to make Qadha of one fast. If you had performed Sunnat I’tikaf, then make Qadha of the I'tikaf for one day in the state of fasting.

There has been correspondence with concerned Ulama of Malawi and Darul Iftaa on the issue. The academic Shari discussions are the domain of the Ulama.

If you or anyone else decide to practice on this Fatwa, then do so without insisting or imposing this Fatwa on others. Practice on this fatwa with your personal Allah consciousness on the issue. We also advise you to overlook the oversight and avoid any indictment and disrespect to all responsible people on this issue. 

We will be updating our website with further information on this issue.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

The Messenger of Allah said, "When Allah wishes good for someone, He bestows upon him the understanding of Deen."
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]