Q: I am made to feel guilty in following my local masjid and not mecca. i am told Mecca is where the Prophet lived. For unity ? What do I answer my bother? Want2doTherightThing (email)
A: There is no need for feeling guilty when your choices represent the sunnah. Do not let emotional sentiments of key words and phrases toy with your mind. When we do the right thing, shaytan and his agents attempt to mislead us. Rasulullah (SAW) left behind Quran and sunnah. There is not a single narration that ever states we must follow Makkah, Madinah or Jerusalem for the start or end of Ramadhan. Rest assured these are some of the greatest cities in the world. Rather than following them for only Ramadhan, we beg people to follow the lives of those that have made these sacred places a model way of life. Unity is not going to come through the start and end of Ramadhan on a given date with a given country. We must clean our homes/families before racing for world unity as the Quran instructs us. First lets unite brothers and sisters in a given family. As for global unity, countries have done many a Ramadaans together only to go to war against each another. (Examine the current history of Muslims! Are we this gullible?!)
To follow Mecca for the start of Ramadhan and thereafter emulate the likes of Lady Gaga and Justine Bieber is a mockery to one’s faith. Religion is not a matter of play. If you want to follow Makkah, then dress like Makkah , walk like Makkah, talk like Makkah, eat like Makkah, marry like Makkah, pray like Makkah, socialize like Makkah, practice hijab like Makkah and read the Quran like Makkah — yes the Makkah we read about in the the Quran, the books of Hadith and Fiqh . Do not use Makkah when it suits you. Makkah is not your backyard!
To follow your local legitimate authorities who chose to do the right thing should not place any guilt upon you. This is the view of the scholars of the past and present, including the scholars of Makkah as of current.
Allah Certainly Knows Best.