While the rest of Pakistan will celebrate Eidul Azha on Monday in line with the decision of the central moon-sighting committee, the festival is and will be celebrated in Khyber-Paktunkhwa (K-P) and adjacent tribal areas on three different days: Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
While Afghan refugees living in different parts of the province and people of some tribal agencies celebrated Eid on Saturday, most of the districts will follow the unofficial moon-sighting committee of Peshawar’s Masjid Qasim Ali Khan and celebrate Eid today (Sunday).
The rest of K-P – including Hazara Division, parts of Swat and Chitral and cantonment areas across the province – will, however, celebrate Eid with the rest of the country on Monday.
The Afghan refugees settled in Peshawar and its suburbs offered their Eid prayers on Saturday in line with the official announcement of their government in Afghanistan which follows Saudi Arabia.
Eid congregations were held at Peshawar’s Board Bazaar, Nasir Bagh, Afghan Colony, Hayatabad, Woch Nehr, Bakhshu Camp and Shamshato Camp – the areas where Afghan refugees live. The biggest congregation was held at Shamshato Camp in which thousands of Afghan refugees participated.
Similarly, Eid was also celebrated in upper Mohmand Agency, Khwazai, Baizai, and some parts of lower Mohmand Agency, including Pandyali and Ambar tehsils.
Tribesmen in some other agencies, including Bajaur, Kurram and Khyber, also celebrated Eid on Saturday.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai, the head of Peshawar’s unofficial moon-sighting committee, questioned the decision of the central committee to celebrate Eidul Azha two days after Hajj in Saudi Arabia.
“According to the sharia, Sunday is the correct day to celebrate Eid,” he claimed. Popalzia said sacrificial animals could be slaughtered within three days of Eid. “However, the ritual sacrifice cannot be offered on Wednesday,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 5th, 2014.