Science Wins: Mufti Muneeb Reluctantly Announces Eid Tomorrow

Science Wins: Mufti Muneeb Reluctantly Announces Eid Tomorrow
Chairman of Ruet-e-Hilal Committee Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman has announced that the moon for the month of Shawwal has been sighted, and so Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated tomorrow, on Sunday, the 24th of May, 2020.

A moot of the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee had been underway, and according to Mufti Muneeb, the first reports of the Shawwal moon being sighted came from Chaman, and then Pishin – both in the province of Balochistan.

This year had also seen a controversy over the date of Eid-ul-Fitr, as Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry had announced that the Shawwal moon would be visible on Saturday, based on astronomical calculations. This had attracted the ire of conservatives and was seen as a challenge to the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee by many commentators.

In his announcement of the Shawwal moon, Mufti Muneeb lashed out against the “interference in religious affairs” by the outspoken federal minister. He called upon Prime Minister Imran Khan to prevent Fawad Chaudhry from such interference. Mufti Muneeb went on to ask the federal science minister to respond under oath to the question of how many times he had prayed.

Adamant on his perspective, the federal science minister has stated that he cannot accept the argument that the sighting of the moon is a religious question. He questioned the idea that the sighting of the moon is acceptable if done through spectacles, but not acceptable if achieved through technology. Furthermore, he added that the credit for the country finally being able to celebrate Eid on the same day went to the PM.

For his part, PM Imran Khan tweeted out Eid greetings to the country. He noted the need for remembrance of the lives lost to yesterday's PIA aircraft crash, as well as the importance of observing measures to curb the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic over the course of Eid.

Mufti Muneeb's recommendation for people greeting each other for Eid was that they restrict themselves to verbal greetings and avoid the customary three embraces, in view of the pandemic.

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