Mufti Muneeb asks PM to 'rein in' his ministers after Fawad’s diatribe

Published: May 5, 2019
Science and technology minister had fired broadside at clerics over lunar sighting controversies. FILE PHOTOS

Science and technology minister had fired broadside at clerics over lunar sighting controversies. FILE PHOTOS

KARACHI: The Ruet-e-Hilal Committee has taken strong exception to Fawad Chaudhry’s statement about the role of religious scholars in sighting of the moon and the creation of Pakistan.

Chairman Mufti Muneebur Rehman has 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.”

He urged the prime minister to control his “passionate” ministers, who “lack knowledge about the system”.

On Fawad’s remarks on social media that clerics had opposed the creation of Pakistan, Mufti Muneeb said, “The history bears witness to immense sacrifices rendered by Ulema during the freedom movement. It is not appropriate to cite the role of a few Ulema only to criticise others.

Ramazan to begin from Tuesday as moon not sighted in Pakistan

“Fawad has a habit of making baseless claims to gain popularity. One must take caution while commenting on Ulema,” said the Ruet-e-Hilal committee chairman, adding that those who are not aware of the system must know that people from Suparco are also members of the moon-sighting committee.

“Our announcements regarding moon have never been wrong. Everyone bears witness when the moon is sighted. If you are fond of making a lunar calendar, then go ahead and make a calendar of 100 years instead of just 10.”

Earlier in the day, Fawad announced that a five-member committee, comprising Suparco, Met Office and science and technology ministry officials would be formed to deal with matters relating to the Islamic calendar.

The committee, he said in his tweet, would release a 10-year calendar for Eid, Muharram and Ramazan after which yearly disputes on moon sighting would come to an end.

The minister also strongly criticised clerics, saying, “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 labelled [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.”

On Sunday, a meeting of the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee had been called to sight the moon of Ramazan 1440.

It was concluded that the moon was not sighted and that the first of Ramazan would be observed on May 7 (Tuesday).

The meeting was presided over by the Ruet-e-Hilal chairman, while zonal committee meetings were called in Lahore, Quetta and Peshawar to sight the moon.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • Aamir
    May 6, 2019 - 2:43AM

    Well done Fawad Ch. You have hit the nail on the head. These so called Mullahs were against the creation of Pakistan. It’s high time we take religion out of politics.Recommend

  • Basit
    May 6, 2019 - 5:08AM

    Minister Fawad Chaudhry is absolutely correct, we need science and technology to move forward. You don’t have to go too far, China, is the shining example of science and technology. We must as a nation bring our new generation in the global arena and explore new horizon for the future of Pakistan. Recommend

  • kilo
    May 6, 2019 - 12:00PM

    I can sympathize with the mufti, technology has put his steady job at stakeRecommend

    May 6, 2019 - 4:02PM

    My brother when he was 17 years old installed a basic astronomy desktop software which could tell the exact position of moon with respect to angle, elevation, weather, and exact time of day. The software was able to show if moon or any star (which is generally visible with naked eye) are sightable or not from any given specific location in the world at any specific time. We spend Rs 4M on what my teen brother could do for free 15 years back sitting at home.Recommend

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