1738. The first of the lunar month can be established in a few ways:
1. A person himself sights the crescent
2. A group of people whose word brings about certainty or satisfaction, state that they have sighted the crescent. The same applies to anything through which one attains certainty or satisfaction.
3. Two just persons state that they have sighted the crescent on the same night. However if the characteristics that they claim for the crescent contradict each other, the first of the month will not be established. The same will apply if their claim is not verifiable, such as a case wherein the skies are clear and a large number of observers—besides these two—attempt to sight the crescent, but despite all their efforts, they fail to do so.
4. Thirty days elapse after the beginning of the month of ShaÞbÁn, which then heralds the beginning of the month of Ramadan. Similarly, if thirty days pass after the beginning of the month of Ramadan, it will herald the beginning of the month of ShawwÁl.
1739. It is problematic that the first of the month be proven through declaration of a ÎÁkim shara’.
1740. The first of the month is not established by the calculations of the astronomers. However if a person attains certainty or satisfaction in their calculations, he will have to act according to it.
1741. The altitude of the moon, or the time it takes to set, is not proof that the previous night was the first night of the month. However, if the crescent is sighted before zuhr time, then that day will be considered the first of the month. And whether seeing a halo tablet around the moon proves that the previous night was the first eve of the month is problematic.
1742. If the first of the month of Ramadan is not established for a person, and he does not fast on that day, only to realize later on that the previous night was in fact the first night of the month, he will have to observe the qaÃÁ of that day.
1743. If the sighting of the moon is established in one city, it will also be established in the cities that share the majority of the night with it, regardless of whether they are near or distant, and regardless of whether they share a single horizon or not. However, if they do not share the majority of the night with it, it will be problematic to establish it in the other cities.
1744. The first of the month cannot be established by information sent over telegram, unless a person knows that the telegram was based on a canonical proof.
1745. A person must fast on the day on which he doubts whether it is the last of the month of Ramadan or the first of ShawwÁl. However, should he realize prior to the time of maghrib that it is the first of shawwÁl, he must break his fast.
1746. If a prisoner has no means of establishing the beginning of the month of Ramadan, he may act upon his conjecture regardless of how it is acquired. If even that is not possible, he should fast during any month that he conceives to be the month of Ramadan, and his fasts will be valid. However, after the passage of eleven months from that month that he fasted, he must fast once again for another month. Should he later realize that the month that he selected was not the month of Ramadan, then if the month of Ramadan occurred prior to that month, his fasts will suffice. However, if it emerges that it occurred after it, he will have to observe their qaÃÁ.