How modern day Muslim ‘astronomers and who use them as their tool` falsely interpret the Hadith of Hazrat Kurayb RA.

HADITH_No 2391

Kurayb said: Umm Fadhl, daughter of Harith, sent him (Fadl, i.e. her son) to Mu'awiyah(R.A) in Syria. I (Fadl) arrived in Syria, and did the needful for her. It was there in Syria that the month of Ramadan commenced. I saw the new moon (of Ramadan) on Friday. I then came back to Medina at the end of the month. Abdullah Ibn Abbas (R.A) asked me (about the new moon of Ramadan) and asked: When did you see it? I said: We saw it on Friday night. He said: (Did) you see it yourself? I said: Yes and the people also saw it so they observed fast and Mu'awiyah (R.A) also observed fast. Thereupon he said: But we saw it on Saturday night. So we shall continue to observe the fast until we complete thirty (fasts) or we see it (the new moon of Shawwal). I said: Is the sighting of the moon by Mu'awiyah (R.A) not valid for you? He said: No; this is how the Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) has commanded us. Yahya Ibn Yahya was in doubt (whether the word used in the narration by Kurayb) was Naktafi or Taktafi.

Why did Ibn Abbas R.A. not accept the sighting news of Hazrat Kuraib (R.A)? This question has led to some Muslim astronomers playing the role of Scholars and reading something into the decision of Hazrat Ibn Abbas which is totally arbitrary and fearfully risky and dangerous.
Syria is situated North and not East of Madinah, at 40 degree longitude. Saudi and Syria share the same longitude. So there are no time differences between these two countries. This geographical fact is being used together with the theory that if the moon is sighted in the East then it must necessarily be visible to all regions to the West of it. 

Did Hazrat Ibn Abbas RA not accept the testimony because Damishque was not in the East of Madinah? As already mentioned the theory goes that if the crescent is sighted in the East it must be sighted in the West. According to Shariah and our Fuqaha Rahemahomullah this interpretation of this Hadith is totally incorrect.
So why did Ibn Abbas (R.A) not act upon the sighting of the Syrians?

Note three main points about the Hadith:

A.The Hadith does not mention any geographical limits about the acceptance of shahadah 

B.A question arises whether or not it was Hazrat Ibn Abbas’ (R.A) own Ijtihad that he did not accept the moon sighting of the Syrians to be valid for the people of Madinah

C.Did Kurayb (R.A) convey the news only and not provide testimony to Hazrat Ibn Abbas RA? (Mufti Kifayatullah, Delhi, Kifayatul Mufti v 4 p 213)
If someone claims that Ibn Abbas (R.A) did not act on Kurayb’s (R.A) Hadith, because Syria is not East of Madinah, we humbly say that no single Faqih ever gave this as a reason neither did Hazrat Ibn Abbas RA. Why are we today, therefore, introducing a Bidaah into this hadith? Is it purely to make it fit with astronomical beliefs? Where has this view come from and can we really stretch the Hadith to mean what it may not and prepare to answer Allaah Subhanahuwatala on the day of Judgement for a big Khayanat with his Shariah?

The Hadith “sumu le rooyatihi waftiru le rooyatihi” (keep fast on sighting and break on sighting) proves three things:

1.The word had been used “Sumu” is an imperative structure with a plural formation. In Arabic grammar an imperative sentence establishes the obligation. So it is obligatory to see the moon. If some people see the moon, then the obligation will be discharged on behalf of everyone. It is called “Fardh E Kifayah”.

2.If the moon is sighted in one location, it means the surrounding areas (North, South, East & West, near or far) are connected to it. They don’t have to see it separately. In fiqh there is a disagreement about the definition of locations and surroundings etc (Near, far or not at all). But everyone is unanimous that the sighting of any place is valid.

3.The surrounding whether it is (nearest or far) south, north, east or west, obligation will be enforced to everyone as appropriate.

These are the explanations that have been given by our predecessors and the scholars of Ahle Sunnat wal Jamat including Deobandi and Barelawi groups.

In this connection Mufti Kifayatullah (R.A) reported that,

“The addressee in this Hadith is common. If it said whoever sees the moon, he must fast. Then a large number of people will be out of obligation.  Despite them living in one town they will not fast. So the Hadith means “keep your fast basis on other peoples sighting. Whether this sighting news comes from east or west, main point is, it should be reliable by Shariah. Moreover Hadith did not mention who must see the moon and where it should be sighted. So it is applied on anybody and anywhere.” (Kifayatul Mufti Ibid)

A big question about the sighting in the East criteria recently being propagated is why it would not be valid for a sighting made in Saudi Arabia for instance to be valid for Muslims in Egypt? If the crescent is sighted in Saudi but not sighted in Egypt this does not necessarily mean the sighting in SA is erroneous if not sighted in Egypt as we are being led to believe. In Egypt that night there may be cloud cover or haze preventing successful sighting of the Hilal. It would be perfectly valid for Egyptians to accept the sighting from Saudi Arabia even if it was not sighted in Egypt. Likewise it would be valid for the people in Morocco to accept the sighting from Algeria or Libya. More at home, would a sighting in Leeds be acceptable to those in Manchester or sighting in England acceptable for Muslims in Wales as the sightings are in the East? So why play with the Shariah in this way and make a total mess of the prophetic principle?

This shows that the Muslim astronomers specifically those who use them for their own agenda are going too far. Rather than provide information which will help the Qazi make a decision they stray from their limits and use Hadith such as this ``to justify their science and cast doubt on testimony`` which may be perfectly valid by Shariah.
Allahummahfizil Islam wal Muslimeen min Khutowatisshaitan, Innahu Aduvwoom Mubeen , Ameen