Section Two – Rulings pertaining to the arrival of Ramadan and sighting the moon
Does sighting the new moon in one country necessitate fasting for those in other countries as well?
Question: If the Muslims saw the new moon of Ramadan in one country, would it be upon the Muslims in other countries to fast (aswell)?
Response: We do not doubt the different settings (of the moon) and the difference between two countries in sighting the moon. For this reason many scholars held that every country should have their own sighting if there was (between them) an actual difference (of settings). Their proof: the story of Kurayb the servant of Ibn ‘Abbaas when Ramadan started while he was in Shaam (the area today known as Syria, Jordan and Palestine). The people of Shaam started fasting on Friday. The new moon however was not seen in Madeenah until Friday night. Kurayb told Ibn ‘Abbaas that Mu’aawiyah and the people of Shaam fasted on Friday. Ibn ‘Abbaas said:”But we shall continue fasting until we see the moon (showing the end of the month) or until we complete thirty days. That is what the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) ordered us to do.” Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah strengthened the position that it was obligatory upon the people in the country that saw the moon to fast as well as those countries in front of them. He established that whenever the moon was seen in a country it was for sure to be seen in the countries that came after that country (on the map). Because its setting is delayed to after that of the sun and whenever it is delayed it increases in distance away from the sun and in clarity and manifestation. So if it was seen in Bahrain, for example, it would obligate fasting upon those countries which come after it like Najd, the Hijaaz (Makkah, Madeenah, Jeddah), Egypt and Morocco. It would not obligate fasting for those countries before it like Sind and India and those (further) beyond (the sea).
Shaykh Ibn Jibreen / (Fataawa Ramadan, Volume 1/Page 108/Fatwa No.54), also (Fataawa al-Siyaam libni Jibreen, Page 21)