Who Is The Person Of Good Character Whose Statement About Sighting The Moon May Be Accepted?
The Awqaf -
I read in Question no. 1584 that in order to
prove that the new moon of Ramadaan has been sighted,
it is sufficient for one trustworthy person of good
character to see it.
The question is: who is that person of good
Praise be to Allaah.
In Arabic, the word ‘adl (translated here as person of
good character) means upright or straight; its
opposite is crooked.
In sharee'ah terminology it means the one who fulfils
the obligatory duties and does not commit major sins,
or persist in committing minor sins.
What is meant by fulfilling obligatory duties is
things like the five daily prayers.
And he does not commit major sins such as spreading
malicious gossip and backbiting.
As well as being of good character, he must also have
strong eyesight, so that his claims may be believed.
If he has weak eyesight then his testimony cannot be
accepted even if he is of good character, because if
he gives testimony even though his eyesight is weak,
then he is deluded.
The evidence for that is the fact that Allaah has made
strength and trustworthiness among the reasons for
offering employment to a person. In the story of Moosa
and Shu'ayb, one of Shu'ayb's two daughters said:
"O my father! Hire him! Verily, the best of men for
you to hire is the strong, the trustworthy"
[al-Qasas 28:26 – interpretation of the meaning]
And the ifreet among the jinn who was commanded to
bring the throne of the queen of Saba' said:
"And verily, I am indeed strong and trustworthy for
These two characteristics are the basis of every deed,
including giving testimony.
Al-Sharh al-Mumti', 6/323. For more information see
al-Mawsoo'ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 30/5, Kuwait edition.