Pakistan celebrates two Eids again as the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government celebrated Eidul Fitr today (Tuesday).
Provincial Information Minister Shaukat Yousufzai said the chief minister took the decision in light of several moon-sighting testimonies received from across the province.
He claimed that the government had received a number of testimonies that the Shawwal moon had been sighted, from across the province, including the tribal districts. The chief minister and the governor offered Eid prayers at the Governor House, he added.
The decision was taken after the unofficial moon-sighting committee of Masjid Qasim Ali Khan announced the end of the holy month of Ramazan following the moon-sighting testimonies.
The mosque cleric, Mufti Shahab Uddin Popalzai, said that 25 witnesses had submitted testimonies that confirmed that the Shawwal moon was sighted.
Meanwhile, the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee will meet in Karachi today (Tuesday) to look for the Shawwal moon.
Meanwhile, the federal government has already announced that according to the predictions of the meteorological department, the Shawwal moon will be sighted in the country today (June 4) and Eid will be celebrated tomorrow (June 5).
Science vs Religion
Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on Monday hit out at the country’s clerics for trying to detach science from religion, saying that they must use ‘common sense’ when it comes to sighting the moon.
He said Muslims were the pioneers of scientific research in various fields, and that “the Islamic faith compels us to seek knowledge and apply it wherever possible”.
The minister said the Shawwal moon had been sighted at 3:02pm, adding that the altitude of today’s moon was one per cent with its luminosity recorded at 0.1 per cent.
“You see the sun and the moon are both moving in their own cycles and it is imperative to document their movements,” he said.
“What about countries where the sun and moon don’t come out for days… Should we just say that there’s no Eid or Ramazan in these situations,” Chaudhry added.
Chaudhry said the moon will be visible to everyone on Tuesday with those at the coastal regions of Karachi and Gwadar even being able to see it with the naked eye.
The minister shared that the meteorological department had opened all of its observatories for the general public so they could catch a glimpse of the moon.
The details, he added, had been shared on social media with the addresses of closest observatories given.
On May 31, the minister rolled out the country’s first moon sighting website as well as a mobile application to help understand the different cycles of the moon.
However, the ministry’s efforts to modernise the moon sighting process have not gone down well with clerics.
Around the world
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates announced on Monday that the Shawwal moon has been sighted and celebrated Eidul Fitr on Tuesday (today).
Indonesia and Malaysia declared that the moon had not been sighted therefore they will celebrate Eid with most of Pakistan on Wednesday (tomorrow), the newspaper added. Muslims in the United Kingdom celebrated Eid on Tuesday.