Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on Thursday claimed that Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated on May 24 (Sunday) in many countries including Pakistan. Interestingly, a meeting of the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee has been convened on Saturday, May 23 (today) for Shawwal moon sighting in Karachi.
Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has said that according to his ministry, Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated tomorrow (May 24) as the new moon has been born. However, controversy seems to be in the making as religious leaders rely more on the ulema who declared the when to celebrate the Eid.
Addressing a press conference, Fawad Chaudhry said that religious festivals should be the cause of unity but meetings of Ruet-e-Hilal committee have always been a source of controversy. He said that all around the world, moon sighting is no longer a problem because of advancements in science.
سانگھڑ ،بدین،ٹھٹھہ ،جیوانی،پسنی میں چاند7بجکر36منٹ سے8بجکر14منٹ تک چانددیکھاجاسکتاہے،بدین میں چاند سب سے زیادہ واضع ہے اگر ان علاقوں میں موسم خراب نہیں تو دور بین لیکر چھت پر چڑھیں اور اپنی ویڈیو بھی شیئر کریں۔۔۔ تمام اھل اسلام کو عید مبارک
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) May 23, 2020
The federal minister said that the moon takes a little more than 29 days to complete its cycle around the earth and it is illuminated through sunlight. There should be a difference of 38 minutes between the setting of the sun and rising of the moon and its height should be 6.5 degrees. The minimum angle to view the moon should be nine degrees.
The federal minister further explained that how does the moon born and how can we see it. He also said that Shawaal moon was born at 10:39pm on the night of May 22.
Earlier, Fawad Chaudhry demanded the abolition of Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee and said that there is no need for such a committee in this modern era.
Very informative presser by @fawadchaudhry on moon sighting. That’s the sort of enlightenment that is required in this country.
— Mansoor Ali Khan (@_Mansoor_Ali) May 23, 2020
On the other hand, The Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee will meet today in Karachi to decide about the sighting of Moon of Shawwal-ul-Mukarram 1441 Hijri or otherwise. Chairman of the Committee, Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rahman will chair the meeting.
Last year, there was a controversy between Chairman Mufti Muneebur Rehman and Fawad Ch after the later said: “The decision about how the country will be run cannot rest with the religious clergy. Pakistan would not have gained independence if Ulema were given any authority as they used to oppose the creation of Pakistan and labeled [Quaid-e-Azam] Muhammad Ali Jinnah as an apostate. The journey ahead will not be led by religious leaders but the youth. Only technology can take our country forward.”
یہ فیصلہ کہ ملک کیسے چلنا ہے مولانا پر نہیں چھوڑا جا سکتا، اس رو سے پاکستان کا قیام ہی عمل میں نہ آتا کیونکہ تمام بڑے علماء تو پاکستان کے قیام کے مخالف تھے اور جناح صاحب کو کافر آعظم کہتے تھے، آگے کا سفر مولویوں نے نہیں نوجوانوں نے کرنا ہے اور ٹیکنالوجی ہی قوم کو آگے لیجا سکتی ہے https://t.co/HEXcJVWfTW
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) May 5, 2019
Chairman Mufti Muneebur Rehman asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to ‘rein in’ his ministers after the federal minister for science and technology launched a verbal attack on Islamic clerics, accusing them of making lunar sighting for Islamic months a controversial affair every year as well as opposing the creation of Pakistan.
“Fawad Chaudhry’s statement against the opposition is his personal matter, but he should exercise restraint while commenting on religious scholars and not misquote history,” he said. “Who knows … one of them might also have a role in your [Fawad] appointment.”
Later on, the ministry of science and technology briefed the Senate and National Assembly’s standing committees on religious affairs on the scientific version of the lunar calendar to determine the date for Eid-ul-Fitr . The committee shed light on the inability of various parties to come to an agreement on the country’s lunar calendar.
Chaudhry said the decisions over moon sighting in Saudi Arabia and Iran were always centered on the use of science. The Ruet-e-Hilal Committee had provided wrong lunar dates for three months: namely Zilqad, Safar, and Rajab, he added.