Bismillah. Regarding the moon fighting which intensifies towards the end of Ramadan every year, how can we achieve the desired unity and find a permanent solution insha'Allah?
1- The calculation followers accuse the eye sighters to be backwards. The eye sighters accuse the calculators that they are against the Sunnah. The main cause of the problem is that we are accusing each other intentions, instead of taking it as a Fiqh matter.
2- The solution that will unite the Ummah, in my humble opinion, is to combine both methods. Meaning, the calculations should be used as a scientific aid to help the witnesses go out and see the moon. They will tell us where to find the moon, at what time, and in which directions, same way we use calculation the entire year to spot the sunset for Maghrib! It should also be used as a tool to question those who saw the moon in an area that it is impossible to see, to cross examine their testimony, especially when an untrained person claims to see it.
3- A group of trained trusted Muslim astronomers (from different schools of Fiqh) should be in that calculated location with their cameras and get ready to take the photo and publish it for the Muslim world to see with their own sight. Zero chance for doubts insha'Allah, and still fully following the Sunnah of the Prophet peace be upon him, thus uniting both campaigns!
4- It must be noted that if the moon was sighted in any place, then all places West of that region should fast or start Eid, since the Hilal takes 18 hours to be formed after the birth of the moon. Countries East of that location however may not be able to fast or start Eid due to the fact that the moon hasn't matured yet and is impossible to sight the moon in those regions (This is a basic astronomical phenomena that sadly most people are not aware of and makes muslim look very embarrassing for lack of basic understanding of moon science.)
5- Those who say we follow global moonsighting, please keep note that if we tell for example the 250 million Muslims in Indonesia/Malaysia to wait for moonsighting anywhere on the planet, then by the time the moon is spotted in the West, it will be Fajr time already in that region, putting a practical impossibility for them. Just understand, people don't follow other countries sun in Salah time. This is understood by all Muslims. Because the moon is much slower than the sun, it's hard for people to understand how countries have a different moon in their sky, something that a trained astronomer can explain easily to anyone.
6- The problem keeps happening because we have two types of people: Muslim scholars who haven't taken any courses in astronomy and make basic mistakes, and astronomers who haven't studied the science of Usoul Al-Fiqh (Principals of Islamic Jurisprudence) and make Fiqh mistakes. The solution is to close this educational gap by educating both sides in each other's knowledge.
7- At the end of the day, no matter what Fiqh opinion is followed in your mosque or country, please follow the majority in your locality, and if you have any doubts, just fast an extra day after Ramadan to make up for your perceived loss. Breaking the unity is worse than breaking the fast from an Islamic point of view. Making up for a missed day is much easier than making up for negative emotions of disunity!
8- Be reminded of the Hadeeth of the Prophet peace be upon him "If the ruler has done Ijtihad (reasoning based on knowledge) and they were correct, then they get double the reward. And if the ruler has done Ijtihad and were mistaken, they will be rewarded". Everyone is rewarded insha'Allah, except those who mock others and belittle them. They are the only one coming out of this in a total loss!
9- The moon fighting issue is causing more isolated mosques in the West to form unions and do a joint announcement, therefore, it is a blessing in disguise, as mosques are slowly forming a bigger unity that allows them to cooperate on things beyond the moon sighting issue "And you may hate something, but it is better for you" (Al-Baqarah 2:216).
10- Even if your opinions don't unite (which has never happened in Islamic history, not even during a caliphate), then make sure that your heart is always united!
Would you like to add or discuss any more points (with respect?) Now I can say to you, Eid Mubarak to you and the whole Muslim Ummah. Pray to Allah to accept your deeds in Ramadan!
Would you like to build a house in Jannah for yourself? Help me build a Masjid in the name of my father who died this year: www.ilmpath.com/father-mosque