Ramazan announcement: Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to observe first fast today

Published: August 1, 2011
Provincial govt refrains as Qasim Ali Khan mosque goes ahead with announcement. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

Provincial govt refrains as Qasim Ali Khan mosque goes ahead with announcement. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE


The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government has refrained from making an official statement even as Peshawar’s influential Qasim Ali Khan Mosque announced late Sunday that Ramazan will begin on Monday.

According to the mosque’s clerics, including Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai, evidence of moon sightings were received from Peshawar and surrounding areas from six people, including a woman, on the basis of which they announced that the first fast of Ramazan will be observed in Peshawar on Monday.

Residents of Mirali town of North Waziristan, Barakam­barkhel and Mamoond town of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will also observe Ramazan today.

Meanwhile, the government has not made any announcement yet and the provincial minister for religious affairs has said that the administration of Qasim Ali Khan Mosque has violated the promise as they had earlier agreed to convene a session on Monday.

Earlier, an emergency session was summoned in Peshawar for moon sighting at Qasim Ali Khan mosque after reports came in of receiving evidence.

The clerics of Qasim Ali Khan Mosque have earlier refused to accept the authority of the Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee, which is due to meet on Monday for the moon sighting. The rest of Pakistan is likely to observe Ramazan from Tuesday.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2011.

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Reader Comments (37)

  • Shahzain
    Aug 1, 2011 - 1:11AM

    Why can’t we just follow the islamic calender like the rest of the muslim world and have ramzan like saudi arabia, india and other countries around the world !Recommend

  • Realist.
    Aug 1, 2011 - 1:23AM

    Someone Said “Unofficial moon sighting should be criminalized
    any mosque sighting moon or announcing eid/ramzan other than days announced by central reut-e-hilal committee should be made a criminal offence with fine if rs 10 million, and 10 years in prison”

    And I Agree with that!!


  • positive pakistani
    Aug 1, 2011 - 1:24AM

    it proves that they just have to do it other than when other part of country does……Mann they even didn’t wait for the decision of central committee….:O… as if they would’ve said that ramzan is from 3rd August, they would’ve said ‘No’ it is from 2nd…..but they didn’t take that risk!!….as if they would’ve been late…..Central committee may have started from 2nd Aug, so in that case they’d had to follow that……great great!!..Recommend

  • billo
    Aug 1, 2011 - 1:39AM

    because we are “better” muslims


  • Me
    Aug 1, 2011 - 1:52AM

    dont agree with realist as u r free to make choices about urself specially religion.u cant impose ur wishes on some 1 else.
    yes i do agree that KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA GOVT and CRHC must talk 2 masjid Qasim ali khan to solve the situation and bring unity.


  • Maulana Diesel
    Aug 1, 2011 - 3:05AM

    Pukhtuns always sight the moon first. They seem to have a much better eyesight.


  • khattak
    Aug 1, 2011 - 3:40AM



  • Khan
    Aug 1, 2011 - 3:52AM

    Some years ago I used to live in Pakistan and once we had Eid in K.P and when it was our third day of Eid GoP announce their Eid when even a blind could see the moon for a few hours and this has happened many times.


  • Shuja
    Aug 1, 2011 - 3:54AM

    These zealots got so carried away in going their seperate path that they didn’t even bother about thinking that it was the 28th day of Shaban there when they declared the Ramadan Moon.


  • Humayun
    Aug 1, 2011 - 5:24AM

    Its 1st of Ramadan in the whole world (muslim countries,Aus,UK and US etc) and why the heck is our Govt behind them all? i mean c’mon.Ramadan and Eid has become a joke in our country, and sorry to say whats it gotta do with unity here? if somebody sees the moon they can have their Roza or Eid.Every time when the govt announces Eid or Ramadan, the moon is so clear that a blind man could see. means theres fault in our committees, mufti muneeb.Just allign it with KSA as all of the world is doing. we Pakistani’s consider ourselves more good muslims and thats why we are in a mess everywhere.Recommend

  • Muhammad Ahmed Malik
    Aug 1, 2011 - 6:03AM

    The bigger problem is that our media was there to see the UNOFFICIAL moon sighting by that mosque. I mean neither the Federal nor KP provincial government has announced the sighting of moon and our electronic media is offering them a mike and airtime to announce their unofficial Ramazan for whole of the province or even whole Pakistan which would have been restricted to their mosque and surroundings otherwise.
    @Shahzain: We already follow the Islamic calendar. Dont act like you know a solution that no one else can think of.


  • Muhammad Ahmed Malik
    Aug 1, 2011 - 6:06AM

    @Humayun: How can they sight a moon on the 28th??? The state decides the matter not any local mosque from Peshawar.


  • Khan
    Aug 1, 2011 - 6:44AM

    Whether or not u were being sarcastic but I can prove how KP has always been correct.
    (1) KP always had Maulana Hasan Jan while in center we have Mufti Muneeb from past many years.
    Mr Hasan Jan used to be head of Masjid Dervesh in Peshawar Saddar which has thousand of students .. He stood in 1990 election against Leader of ANP Abdul Wali Khan in Charsadda and it was first and last time Wali Khan got defeated in an election but Hasan Jan after seeing how government works (corruption etc) left politics and confined himself to what he was known for. When Taliban et al came he spoke against suicide attacks every Friday in sermons till the day (09/2007) they tricked him and asked him to go with them for doing a Nikkah Khwani and shot him in a taxi for speaking the truth which some cowards don’t dare to, while on the other hand Mufti sahib is stuck with each and every government from past two decades and never speaks those truths that he should. We would follow the likes of Maulana Hasan Jan any day over Mufti Muneeb.
    (2) There are two ways to do Eid & Ramzan .. go by calender or do as religion says (moon sighting through witnesses) The first one will bring us in line with rest of the muslim countries .. If we follow the second then Mufti sahib should do it with KP because KP does it only when they receive witnesses from anywhere in the country, which fulfills the requirement, and is done openly where any one can go and observe it.


  • Nas Khan
    Aug 1, 2011 - 7:19AM

    For those who probably do not know, the same case is here in Australia too. Those who follow physical moon sighting, they will fast tomorrow as moon was not sighted last night while those who follow the calculation method, are fasting today. So the division is not only in Pakistan. Its everywhere.


  • IHM
    Aug 1, 2011 - 9:04AM

    Peshawer had long ago surpassed the technical superiority of NASA as far as the moon operations are concerned :p


  • Nadeem Ahmed
    Aug 1, 2011 - 9:04AM

    @ Humayun, Islamic months start with moonsighting. That’s why they are called Lunar months.It has nothing to do with Saudi Arabia or other countries. With different time zones, its impossible to see moon at the same time. Just like prayer times. When I am performing Isha prayer in Toronto, Saudis have already done with Fajar prayers. Should I perform prayers with Saudi times or Toronto times? There is nothing wrong in having different days or times of religious rituals. This is how God created the universe. Saudi Lunar calendar could be accurate for Saudi Arabia, but it cannot be implemented in other parts of the world. How come you can declare Ist of Lunar month in some parts of the world, when new moon is not even born. Its un-scientific and un-Islamic.


  • Ali
    Aug 1, 2011 - 9:05AM

    @Khan: lol that is simply not true.Pakistan Govt may be many things but its not that incompetent that it cannot see the moon.

    The Disagreement in Pakistan is basically this.Does the moon have be seen from your town ? or if its seen in another country is that enough ?

    I believe you have to see it from your own house, but mosques reliant on Saudi Riyals have a different idea.why dont they start praying namaaz to saudi times as well ?


  • Faisal
    Aug 1, 2011 - 9:07AM

    Eid and Roza with Saudia ? What about practising Saudi laws as well ? What hypocrisy is this, following them in one aspect and not in others ?


  • Noble Tufail
    Aug 1, 2011 - 9:08AM

    Ramadan Kareem to all.


  • Maher
    Aug 1, 2011 - 9:30AM

    Why can’t we start ramadan with Saudia ? Every year its a practice that ramadan will start after Saudia. For money we look USA and for muslim calendar we start months after saudia. What a shame for so called ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN.


  • Afridi
    Aug 1, 2011 - 9:41AM

    This does not mean that pushton are better in their eyesight, what it mean is that central committee are paid regular salaries from the govt. exchequer, which would obviously lead to the lag and delay in the seeing and processing the moon sight, as is the case with other governmental departments. Govt. things mean delay and denial, so why should we relay on them?
    Does any one have a reason to convince me otherwise?


  • blah
    Aug 1, 2011 - 9:47AM

    why do we even need a ruet-e-hilal committee?? why cant we do what all the other muslims in the world are doing? These things only depict that we as a nation actually like conflicts :/


  • John
    Aug 1, 2011 - 10:20AM

    We are in an age where we can predict an eclipse, an arrival of a comet in the night sky to the last second 1000 of years in advance. As per the sunnah I am told the moon sighting is important. What I don’t understand is that why the mullahs pitch their telescopes at the wrong time and wrong location. Sometimes the new moon makes an appearance in the wee hours if the morning etc. As per lunar phase tables readily available on the Internet the new moon is 0.5% to 0.6% percent (was) visible in all locations across Pakistan on the eve of 31st July ( exact times can also be calculated or searched on the net) the rest of the world including all the other Muslim countries are not stupid and ignorant. Pakistan is unique where the blind lead the blind! No questions are asked from astronomers and the muslim scholars.


  • Ahmer Ali
    Aug 1, 2011 - 10:34AM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahamtullah.This is the greatest effrontery and live example of disunity amongst the KPK’s and other provinces’ leaders.


  • Farhan Khan
    Aug 1, 2011 - 11:12AM

    R u talking about Govt ?
    And who in the world could say it was 28th Shabaan … Hadn’t this Govt done the same with Shaban moon 1 month back …Recommend

  • Khufaash
    Aug 1, 2011 - 11:44AM

    Well, i totally agree, every time the govetta lags behind, and i am always amazed to see the arrogant Mufti Munib never budges or apologizes. What ever is happening in Pakhtunkhwa is happening due to this committee that Mufti Munib runs. This time once again i am waiting to see which one of these two are correct.


  • Anwar
    Aug 1, 2011 - 12:05PM

    KP has had early moon sighting every year for the last ten years. It will happen again next year. They like the attention. Just ignore it.


  • Aar
    Aug 1, 2011 - 12:37PM

    You people saying “why can’t we do it with SA and every one else” do realize that SA follows a pre-made calender that is made years in advance. They don’t follow the Moon sighting rule as SHOULD be according to Islam. And the reason is they have to handle an enormous economical burden at Eid and Hajj and hence plan years in advance.

    As for other countries that follow SA…. they aren’t primarily Islamic and so don’t have dedicated groups to hunt for the new Moon (which they should). Scholars of the past have always favored a local moon sighting. At least Pakistan HAS a dedicated group (the Royat-e-Hilal) for doing so and you should be thankful for that.

    Nevermind the fact that a new Moon might or might not have been sighted in KP, how do they justify a 28 day Shaban? Do they only invoke their “vision” when it comes to Ramadan and Eid moon? Did their “vision” faltered with the Shaban moon sighting (ie. if they are correct about Ramadan Moon, how come no one came forward to report an early Shaban moon, as it should be)?

    These are questions they should be asking themselves.


  • Moiz Khan
    Aug 1, 2011 - 1:23PM

    Lack of Education is to blame in this case. Govt should try to increase education in this region. I believe than after at least two educated generations from this region the sensibility will prevail. Till than ignorance rules this part of world.


  • CB Guy
    Aug 1, 2011 - 2:20PM

    ANP’s politics revolves around 2 issues. One is the new sorry excuse for a name of NWFP and second is the Moon Sighting. They killed the first one, i am sure they now regret it. They’re 4th rate government has done little in more the n 3 years for the province. Now with recreating the moon sighting issue, they wish to win sympathies of people. Lame parties like that can not do anything else.

    I agree with those who call for criminal punishments for such acts in the future.


  • truth
    Aug 1, 2011 - 3:23PM

    Great News…Thanks Khyber Pakhtunkhwa….Happy 1st Ramzan…..While in the whole world..USA, East…Middle East…Central Asia…..Australia…South Asia like India, KP, Afghanistan etc having 1st Ramzan from 1st August.2011 with Saudi Arab…So why not Govt. of Pak always make Fitna with whole Islamic World…r Pakistan is more/ true Islamic country..even in central Asian countries are really Muslim countries more than Pak…if Pak is real Islamic country then why everyday injustice, injustice and dozen of innocents so called Muslim have been killed every day in Karachi or in other parts, why crisis of higher prices in ramzan, why crisis of energy, higher corruption…and countless other Azzab. So plz be true Muslim…don’t try to play always double game in everything…..like politics and others


  • Light
    Aug 1, 2011 - 4:42PM

    how can they sight moon on 28 shaban :S


  • Mudassir Iqbal
    Aug 1, 2011 - 6:24PM

    Actually, this is another proof, a proof which is telling us year after year that we are not a nation by any definition, weather Islamic or nationalist. we are a bunch of people, who actually came together on a notion that they will be Kings of the new land and unfortunately history of Pakistan has been proving it again and again.

    How can we ask our Political parties to join hands, whereas our so-called Islamic block is divided in 72,000 small groups. On a sarcastic note; atleast political parties sit together to talk, these ULEMA (self proclaimed), do not care that their thirst of power is not doing anything good either for Islam or for nation.

    I now live in Saudi Arabia. When I came here for the first time, i hated the way they controlled Islam, but now I see the reason for it and support it with all my heart and soul. This is how Religion should be supported, controlled and keep safe from these maulvi’s. Nobody can create a difference in a NATION on the name of religion. If they announce its Ramzan, nobody could say a word. Yes! This is a right way of doing things in Islamic Government. There are things which are responsibility of a government; this is one of those.

    I feel sorry on our national state. We have to come out of the spells of these Road Corner Mosque Maulvis and start listening (not following) progressive ones.


  • Usman
    Aug 1, 2011 - 8:28PM

    Mufti Muneeb and co. Arent these the same guys who think that the Blasphemy law and the Hudood Ordinance should not be changed?

    First the committee decides that Pakistan will not follow Meteorological Science but will instead rely on local moonsighting. If you are not using technology then the telescope is also not SUNNAH. Please dont use that either.

    And if you are goin to rely on local sighting then you only need a few witnesses to announce the new month. But the Mufti is not ready to accept even these. He has to look at it with his own eyes to announce it. We dont need “Jam-e-ghafeer” to see the moon like the Mufti says. If its so clear then I dont need the good Mufti to announce it. I already know that the month has started.

    Its also shows complete contempt for the people who feel it there duty to look for the moon and then travel five or six hours from tribal or mountainous areas just to give witness and then head back home without any compensation.Recommend

  • Amir
    Aug 2, 2011 - 9:16AM

    There is only a 2 hour time difference between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. All of the Muslim Ummah starts Ramadan and Eid in one day, then Punjab Sindh and Balochistan start Ramadan and Eid the next day. So we know we are not right, our Pakhtoon brothers know we are not right that is why they start Ramadan and Eid with our western neighbours.


  • touseef
    Aug 6, 2011 - 10:04PM

    the problem with the rest is that even if they sight the moon they dont observe fast the just celebrate eid.
    And according to astronomical calculation the New Moon is on July 30, 2011 (Saturday) at 18:40 Universal Time (9:40 p.m. Makkah time). Sunset at Makkah on July 30 is at 7:01 p.m. The birth of the new moon will be 2:39 minutes after sunset. On the following day, Sunday July 31, the sunset in Makkah will be at 7:01 p.m. and moonset is at 7:26 p.m. Therefore 1st day of Ramadan is Monday, August 1, insha’Allah. First Tarawih prayer will be on Sunday night.

    Eid ul-Fitr 1432 AH: The Astronomical New Moon is on August 29, 2011 (Monday) at 3:04 Universal Time (6:04 a.m. Makkah time). On Monday, August 29, sunset at Makkah is 6:40 p.m. local time, while moonset is at 6:44 pm local time. Therefore, first day of Shawwal, i.e., Eid ul-Fitr is Tuesday, August 30, insha’Allah.

    May Allah (swt) keep us on the right path, and accept our fasting and prayers. Ameen. For more detailed information, please visit: http://www.fiqhcouncil.org or http://www.moonsighting.com

    Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, Chairman Fiqh Council of North Americ


  • Waseem
    Aug 29, 2011 - 8:44PM

    Recently i have come to know that in Qasim ali khan several Persons came for watnesses who has seen the the shawal moon……………


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