Moon sighting controversy: Ministry seeks CII’s input on new lunar calendar

Published: May 21, 2019
Religious affairs ministry insists Eidul Fitr moon would be announced by Ruet-e-Hilal Committee. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

Religious affairs ministry insists Eidul Fitr moon would be announced by Ruet-e-Hilal Committee. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Science and Technology has consulted the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) over the five-year lunar calendar prepared on the directives of Federal Minister Fawad Chaudhry.

The calendar was prepared to end the moon-sighting controversy by experts of a scientific committee formed by the government in this regard.

The ministry, in a letter penned on Tuesday, has also suggested holding a joint meeting of Ulema and scientists to deliberate further on the matter and relay back the decision in five days.

The council confirmed receiving the letter.

Ministry of science prepares lunar calendar

CII chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz said the calendar had been sent to the research department, adding that a CII meeting could be called before the end of Ramazan.

Ayaz maintained that future course of action on the matter would be decided under the research department’s recommendations with a positive frame of mind.

Meanwhile, the ministry of religious affairs has announced that the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee would announce sighting of Eidul Fitr.

The committee’s meeting has been scheduled for June 4 in Karachi, which would be chaired by Mufti Muneebur Rehman, Express News reported.

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

Earlier in the month, Chaudhry had frustrated several Islamic scholars by criticising their moon-sighting procedure. He also promised to prepare the lunar calendar before the start of Ramazan this year.

The minister maintained, “It is not sane to spend 3.6-4 million for the sighting of the moon and instead guidance should be taken from his ministry. A 10-year calendar will end the disputes and extra expenses.”

On Monday, he also invited renowned clerics Mufti Muneebur Rehman and Shahabuddin Popalzai to see “how the moon cycle works”.

“We are inviting Maulana Muneebur Rehman and Shahabuddin Popalzai to come and witness how the moon cycle works … and see for themselves how easy science has made to predict the lunar calendar. There is no need for an arduous task,” Fawad wrote on Twitter.

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