In Oman we've been lucky that there hasn't been any fragmentation of society among the sects. While the government is ibadhi, the population is probably more sunni than ibadhi and there's a small but prominent shia minority. Other countries have enough problems from just having shia and sunnis. Oman has three sects and yet thank God, we've been stable. This stability is best displayed by the fact that there has never been a fragmentation from following the government in observing the begining and end of Ramadhan. Unlike some of our neighboring countries where we always here news of the sunnis and shia fasting and breaking fast on different days, here in Oman we all follow the govenrment. I have never once heard a shi3i say that they don't believe the govenrnment's declaration for the begining of Ramadhan. We all trust the government and we are proud of the fact that unlike other countries Oman follows its own sighting. We don't just wait to hear if Saudi Arabia has sighted the new moon and then follow it blindly like some other countries do. True, this results in Oman often being a day ahead or behind other countries, but we don't mind because we trust that we're probably right.
A week ago rumors came out that the grand mufti has declared that this year's eid sighting was in doubt and hence he advises everyone in Oman to fast an extra day to compensate. This would be well and good if it weren't for the fact that the mufti himself was involved in the live television broadcast on the night of 29th Ramadhan with live telecasts from various points in Oman in which not one of the remote locations had seen the new moon. And yet despite that the mufti declared the begining of eid due to a few other sitings from off-site locations. And now the mufti says that one of the astronomers in one of those sites has declared a doubt about whether he really saw the moon. So the mufti is basically telling us that even though on the night of 29th Ramadhan he got multiple witnesses with sightings which he believed, he is now willing to ask a whole nation to fast an extra day due to a single doubting astronomer?
Does the mufti not realize the path that he's putting us on by doing this? I would really hate it if next year the sunna, shi3a and ibadha all start fasting on different days. If it happens it will all be traced to this one decision.