Starting to fast with the community is preferable

People here follow Ramadaan by starting to fast a day later and close it a day later in comparison with what is followed in Saudi. When asked, they say that as per a hadeeth, a Muslim is expected to go in sync with the people of their own region, otherwise it is a sin. It appeared to me that this may go well with the Salah timings, but the calendar (the day) should be the same (may be with a delay of 11-12 hours for those who are in the opposite side of the globe).

All these years I used to fast on the first of Ramadaan according to Islamic calendar. But during last Ramadaan, people at my office scared me by quoting the hadith and made me break the fast that I began on the first day and had me start it from the next day. Is this incorrect?

If the majority of people in your area follow the local sighting of the moon for fasting Ramadan, it is better for you to fast along with them. If you chose to follow the global sighting elsewhere, it is permissible, but not preferable if the majority in your area don’t follow it. Their claim that it is a sin not to follow the local sighting followed by the community is incorrect. There is no hadeeth which states this.

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