–Fawad says his ministry has used to technology to determine Eid in order to put an end to squabbling
–Qadri says Ruet, ulema final authority on matter of Shawal moon
ISLAMABAD: Ahead of the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee meeting for moon sighting, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chauhdry on Saturday said Eid will fall on Sunday as per the calculations made by his ministry.
Addressing a press conference, the federal minister his ministry had to step in to determine the Eid day, as the clergy have failed to agree on the Eid day in the past.
“Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai, who heads Peshawar’s Qasim Khan Mosque, makes a different announcement, the Ruet-e-Hilal committee makes another, so we decided this year [that the science ministry] would use technology to determine when Eid should be celebrated.”
Fawad said that the Shawwal moon could be sighted Saturday night, adding: “The Shawwal moon was born on May 22 at 10:30 pm and will be visible between 7.36 pm and 8:15 pm tonight in Badin, Thatta and Pasni.”
The minister said that according to the calendar prepared by his ministry, Eid will be celebrated on May 24 in many countries including Pakistan. He also shared the link to ‘The Ruet’ app on Twitter.
“Nowhere in the world is moon sighting an issue. With advances in technology it has become easier to sight the moon,” Fawad said.
“Islam is a religion of knowledge and intellect. Whoever says technology should not be involved in moon-sighting, we reject their perspective. When you wear glasses, this is also technology. How can you say if I see with glasses, it is halal but if I see through telescope, it is haram?” he questioned.
“[The government] is always trying to accommodate different religious groups which has resulted in empowering sectarian groups. We see that our state accommodates religious groups during the Eid conflict every year even though we should pay heed to the Constitution, law and human intelligence in some matters.
RUET FINAL AUTHORITY:
However, his comments were responded by Religious Affairs Minister Noorul Haq Qadri, who said that the federal minister was not the authority on the issue of Eid moon as it rests with Ruet Chairman Mufti Muneebur Rehman, who will make the announcement in this regard.
In a statement, he said that the government and people of Pakistan would celebrate Eid according to the decision taken by the Ruet-i-Hilal committee.
Qadri added that Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry had also been included in the central committee this year.
He said “help of science and technology could be taken” but clarified that sharia relied on witnesses for moon-sighting.
His statement came at a time when Ruet was holding a meeting in Karachi to observe the crescent.
Saturday will be the last day of Ramadan and Sunday is the first day of Eid in many countries.
The government has earlier announced six Eid holidays from May 22 to 27 both of the public and private sectors. According to a notification issued by the Ministry of Interior, Friday, May 22 to Wednesday, May 27, will be Eid holidays in the country.