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Moon-Sighting: Fawad Invites Muneeb, Popalzai to See How Easy Science Has Made it to Predict Lunar Calendar

Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has invited renowned clerics Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman and Shahabuddin Popalzai to see “how the moon cycle works”.

Muneeb is the chairman of Ruet-e-Hilal Committee while Popalzai of Majid Qasim Khan, Peshawar, is famous for the unending moon-sighting controversy.

In a tweet posted in Urdu on Monday, Fawad said they were inviting Muneeb Popalzai to come and witness how the moon cycle worked and “see for themselves how easy science has made it to predict the lunar calendar”.

“There is no need for an arduous task,” the federal minister remarked.

Since assuming office as the minister for science and technology, Fawad has been pushing for using science for the Islamic calendar and doing away with the traditional moon sighting method used by the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee.

Fawad has been critical of using old methods instead of new technology. Recently, the National Assembly was informed that an amount of Rs3.06 million was spent on the sighting of the moon for Muharram, Ramazan, Eidul Fitr and Eidul Azha in 2018.

Earlier this month, he formed a five-member committee comprising officials from the ministry, Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) and Pakistan Meteorological Department.

The committee was tasked with preparing a lunar calendar and publish it by the 15th of Ramazan.

Speaking at an event at Karachi University, he said the ministry was also working on a mobile phone app that will enable people to sight the moon on their devices.


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