There is a difference of opinion among scholars on achieving the certainty about seeing the crescent of beginning of the moon. The Shia believe in seeing the crescent moon with non-armed eye, but among the Sunni, seeing with armed eye is also acceptable. What is his Honor’s opinion on this matter?
According to Mutawatir narrations, the new moon is proved by seeing it, whether with armed eye or with non-armed eye; because both are regarded seeing, and seeing in Mutawatir narrations is absolute.
Although the word “seeing the crescent moon” in Mutawatir narrations is absolute, definite value in the position of speaking is seeing with non-armed eye, and therefore it may not be possible to act upon the application of this word. What is your opinion about this?
In the application of seeing for cognition of the new moon, there is no definite value in the position of speaking, rather there is external definite value that does not prevent adhering to the application. Moreover, it is obvious that seeing with non-armed eye for cognition of the new moon is not subject rather is method, because the purpose of the Legislator is mere seeing, in whatever way it is achieved.
In the external course on jurisprudence of one of the jurists, I saw an interesting point about the lack of authority of seeing the crescent with today's devices, and your opinion on this issue will be helpful. In short: If [really] seeing the crescent by a camera or telescope wants to prove [the first day] and the necessity of fasting, it will entail that in the time of the Imams and the Prophet of Islam himself, the fast of their Excellencies, peace and blessing be upon them, and their companions and their helpers in various cities has defect and deficiency, because they did not have a telescope, so when you see the crescent by a telescope naturally sooner rather than by your eyes, it means the delay in fasting of their Excellencies, and this is not acceptable.
The above speech is a fallacy and is more like Istihsan of some ordinary people than “the external course on jurisprudence of one of the jurists”, although this does not mean denying you in quoting it; because the recession and decline of knowledge in Shia seminaries and especially in Iran, is a bitter and unfortunate reality, and its result is the authority of the least wealthy and most dependent clerics of Qom with political considerations and filling the seminaries with unlettered and flattering professors and forcing independent and deep-thinking scholars to be housebound in the last four decades that has led to the hatred of people toward spirituality and their escape from the religion and the cultural vulgarity of the Shia, and has made the advent for Imam Mahdi peace be upon him, so difficult. May God curse the perpetrators of this situation, who were the most sinister rulers in the history of Islam after the Umayyads.
But, the above-mentioned objection by the respected jurist is not allowed; because if the meaning of “defect and deficiency” in the fast of the Prophet and his household, is defect and deficiency in the position of obedience, in the meaning of their failure in doing their duty, it is clear that God has obligated them to the extent of their capability and with this description, they have not been obliged to see the crescent with armed eye, so that due to their failure in it, there was a defect and deficiency in their fast; as He has said: ﴿لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا ۚ﴾; “God does not obligate anyone except to the extent of his capability” and has said: ﴿لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا مَا آتَاهَا ۚ﴾; “God does not obligate anyone except to the measure of what He has given to him” and If the meaning of “defect and deficiency” in the fast of the Prophet and his household, is in the position of the deed itself, in the meaning of the lack of its conformity with the real time in cases of lack of seeing the crescent, such lack of conformity has not been only due to the lack of a telescope, so that it damages the telescope’s validity, rather it could have been also due to other factors such as cloudy or dusty sky, whereas it is unlikely that the respected jurist considers these factors as the cause of “defect and deficiency” in the fast of the Prophet and his household! Therefore, it is better for him not to grieve over the fast of the Prophet and his household; because their fast has been correct regarding the capability and facilities available in their time, rather grieves over his own fast which is not considered correct regarding the capability and facilities available in his time! It is strange that someone puts “defect and deficiency” in his own fast on the Prophet and his household and says something so wrong!
The fact is that the knowledge of the beginning of each month is obtained by knowledge of its crescent, and the knowledge of its crescent means the knowledge of the moon exiting the state of Muhaq, which is naturally obtained by seeing its first appearance after its absence, whether with armed eye or with non-armed eye; because seeing it in Islam is method, not subject, and with this description, it causes the knowledge by any means it is done; as «صُومُوا لِرُؤْیَتِهِ وَ أَفْطِرُوا لِرُؤْیَتِهِ»; “Fast by seeing it and break your fast by seeing it” in the speech of the Prophet and his household is absolute and obviously includes seeing it with armed eye; because whoever sees it with a camera and a telescope, has seen it anyway, and according to the speech of the Prophet and his household, he should fast by seeing it and break his fast by seeing it. This is a very simple and clear point. Therefore, Allamah Mansoor Hashemi Khorasani may God protect him, has been surprised by asking about it and has said: «أَلَسْتُمْ تَرَوْنَهُ؟!»; “Is it not that you see it?!”