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Explanation of a passage in Abu Dawud

Question

What is the reason why he did not accept his testimony in the following:

و شهد عند عدي بن ارطاة على رؤيته الهلال فلم يجز شهادته

(Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitabul Adab, number 4788)

 

Answer

The commentators have mentioned various reasons for his (Salm Al-‘Alawi) testimony being rejected. Among them are the following:

1. Shaykh (rahimahullah) -in his footnotes on Badhlul Majhud- quotes his father Moulana Muhammad Yayha (rahimahullah) to have said that his testimony was rejected because of the possibility of error. His imagination could convince him of a moon sighting based on forecasts through his astronomical calculations.

(Badhlul Majhud vol. 13, pg. 220)

2. Qutaybah (rahimahullah) mentions that the edge of his eyelids had turned white. When he look for the crescent he would see this whiteness and assume it to be the crescent.

(Sharh Ibn Raslan vol. 18, pg. 448)

3. Allamah Mundhiri (rahimahullah) mentions that Salm’s narrations cannot be used as proof.

(Mukhtasar Abi Dawud vol. 7, pg. 168).

 

Summary

His testimony of sighting the moon was rejected either because he was unreliable, or because of the ailment in his eye, or due to him being an Astronomer.

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,

 

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar