ISLAMABAD: The crescent moon for Ramazan was sighted Wednesday evening, heralding the fasting month across the country.
This year, the holy month has started across the country, including Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas along with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other Gulf countries on the same day.
The announcement was made by Chairman of the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee Mufti Munibur Rehman after chairing a meeting at the Pakistan Meteorological Department Complex, Karachi, on Wednesday evening.
On May 4, the PMD issued a handout stating that there were fair chances for the moon to be sighted on May 16 evening. “There is a fair chance of sighting the new moon of Ramazan, 1439 AH on 29th of Shaban, 1439 AH,” it said citing astronomical parameters.
On Tuesday, Khalid Ejaz Mufti, the Secretary General of the Ruet-e-Hilal Research Council (RHRC) said the holy month could begin on Thursday despite the fact that Ramazan moon was not sighted in Gulf and the Far East countries.
In Pakistan, Ramazan usually begins a day after it starts in Saudi Arabia.
According to Mufti, the new moon could be sighted only if its age was more than 19 hours at sunset and the difference between sunset and moonset is more than 40 minutes.
He added that the age of the new moon on Wednesday evening will be more than 26 hours in all cities of Pakistan, and the difference between sunset and moonset will be 58-60 minutes.
After the announcement, Pakistan, after decades-long lapse, has joined other world countries in starting the fasting month on the same day
According to media reports, Muslims in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Oman, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Palestine, the United Kingdom, Australia and Japan will also begin the holy month form Thursday.