Saturday May 23, 2020
The Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee has announced that the Shawwal moon has been sighted, therefore, Eid in Pakistan will be observed tomorrow (Sunday).
The committee's session to sight the Shawwal moon was held in Karachi with Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman in the chair.
Meetings of the zonal committees took place at their respective provincial headquarters. The Pakistan Meteorological Department experts were also a part of the session.
The decision was announced in a briefing held by Mufti Muneeb.
Referring to science minister Fawad Chaudhry — who had already predicted Eid in Pakistan on Sunday — the mufti said that the minister "has no real authority" to decide over such matters.
Taking exception to his announcement in advance, Mufti Muneeb said that the minister "should not interfere in religious matters".
"We demand that the prime minister prevent him from interfering in religious matters," he said.
"We condemn his interference," said Mufti Muneeb, to chants of approval and endorsement in the background.
He denied that there was any "government pressure" to make the announcement.
Following the announcement, Prime Minister Imran Khan urged the nation to observe Eid "in a different manner from the usual celebratory style".
He said we must all think of those who have been "deprived of their loved ones" by the plane tragedy as well as those affected by COVID-19.
The premier also reminded the nation to observe the safety SOPs prescribed by the government, including social distancing, throughout the holidays and during Eid prayers.
Earlier, in Quetta, the province's zonal committee announced that it has received a few testimonies from Pasni and Ormara. "We have informed the Central committee of this," said Qari Abdul Rasheed.
The zonal committee said the final decision will be made by the Central committee.
Balochistan Senator Kahuda Babar Baloch said that testimonies were received from Pasni, Oramara and Jivani. "I tried to inform the committee but no one was attending the call," he said.
Baloch said that the testimonies were conveyed to the deputy commissioner as well. He said the people did not have communication access and had requested him to convey the testimonies.
Mufti Muneeb, addressing the media as the session began, had said that "when the final decision will be made, it will be announced before the media". He said it was "not appropriate" to speculate at this time.
Religious affairs minister Pir Noorul Haq Qadri, in a conversation with Geo News, said that the committee will be the one to make the final decision about the observance of Eid.
"The matter is a religious one, which needs religious expertise," he said.
He said input from science "will never be turned away and can be used" but it is "unacceptable" to declare the moon sighted in advance without eyewitness testimony.
Qibla Ayaz of the Islamic Council of Ideology said that if Badin and other cities of Sindh provide testimony, there will be greater chances that Eid will be held tomorrow. He said that word from these cities is being awaited.
Speaking of technology, he said that ulema do not oppose science but "the tradition of Ruet must be kept alive".
India has declared it will celebrate Eid on Monday.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr on Sunday as the moon was not sighted on Friday.
The Jeddah-based Okaz paper reported that the moon-sighting committee had said that Saturday, May 23, would be the last day of Ramadan, while Sunday, May 24, would be the first day of Eid — Shawwal 1, 1441.
The UAE will also celebrate Eid on Sunday as the moon-sighting committee set up by the justice ministry announced that the moon was not sighted and Shawwal 1 would fall on Sunday, May 24.
The newspaper also reported that Indonesia, Turkey, Indonesia, and Qatar would also observe Eid on Sunday.
Earlier this week, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry had claimed that Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated on May 24 (Sunday) in many countries, including Pakistan.
Speaking during a TV programme, Chaudhry said that according to the calendar prepared by the science ministry, this year Eid will be celebrated across the country on May 24.
The minister had said the interesting thing is that the festival will be celebrated on the same day in almost all parts of the world along with Pakistan, including Indonesia, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.
Pakistan, like all Muslim countries, is gearing up to mark Eid-ul-Fitr amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has taken more than 1,000 lives in the country.
The country started observing Eid holidays from May 22 and will continue to do so till May 27, a notification from the interior ministry said on Saturday.