Muslims should strive their best to achieve their unity in all aspects, not only in the beginning and end of Ramadan and celebrating the `Eids. It is against the spirit of Islam to see Muslims in the same country divided in their rituals and their Islamic dates and events. It is not acceptable at all for Muslims in a single community to divide over the beginning and end of Ramadan. Members of the same community should be united on this, and imams of the mosques should observe unity in the beginning and end of the fasting. Individuals, however, must never take this issue in their own hands; rather they must abide by the decisions of the collective leadership. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) advised us to follow the jama`ah (Muslim community), so we must not divide Muslims on this issue based on our own individual preferences.
Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states: The decision to begin or end the fast must be made by the community in each region; individuals by themselves cannot choose to follow the moon sighting in different parts of the world. It is up to the community to choose one of the authentic views we have on this issue: to act by the sighting in any region, or to insist on sighting the moon in each region separately. The first view is more in conformity with the accepted principles and objectives of the Shari`ah than the second one, and yet the decision which of the options must be followed must be taken by the community as a collective body and not by individuals tuning onto radios or receiving e-mails.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “Fast with people and celebrate the `Eid with people.” (Reported by Muslim) It is clear from the above that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) wants us to celebrate these events as a community, for such events have the purpose of fostering the community and unity above all else. So we are to abide by the decisions of the jama`ah in our area. That is the only way to avoid confusion and chaos. May Allah help us all to act with wisdom and understanding, ameen.