It’s almost that time of the year when preparations for celebrations have started, making the marketplaces and bazaars come to life with a relatively happy and impatient crowd. Clothes are flying off the shelves, so are shoes, mehndi, bangles, and many more items. Women, men, and children are up throughout the night finding the right kurta which will highlight them during Eid festivities. As it is with many happy situations there is always a “but” on these occasions. in this case it is whether Eid ul Fitr is on Monday, or Tuesday depending on when the moon is sighted and by whom the moon is sighted.
For far too long Pakistan has been having two “chand raats”, two “1st of Ramazan”, and of course two Eids with two of Pakistan’s respected religious leaders fighting over when either of them sees the moon.
All the seven agencies of FATA — Khyber, Kurram, Orakzai, Mohmand, Bajaur, North Waziristan, and South Waziristan – observed the first day of Ramazan on Saturday (May 27). However, Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee Chairman Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman had ruled out moon-sighting on May 26, making it clear that the holy month of Ramazan would start from Sunday (May 28).
For far too long Pakistan has been having two “chand raats”, two “1st of Ramazan”, and of course two Eids with two of Pakistan’s respected religious leaders fighting over when either of them sees the moon. The majority of the Pakhtoons follow The Qasim Ali Khan Mosque, a 17th-century mosque in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, hence following the imam of the mosque, Mufti Abdur Rahim Popalzai, who has many times announced the sighting of the moon a day earlier than the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee which is led by Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman who is the government’s authorized and accepted “moon-sighter” and “Eid announcer”.
This sort of, to say, rivalry has divided the country to an extent that throughout the country some fast while the others celebrate, causing a sort of confusion and problems which the people deal with every year. The first and most important problem is that it has divided the Pakistani people into two “races”, the Pakhtoons and the others creating a sort of a racist environment with a ton of prejudice. Mockery by either side is common throughout the season which just divides the nation further and further
This year Eid ul Fitr is likely to be on June 26 or 27 subject to the sighting of the Shawwal moon, while federal employees are looking forward and ahead towards a five-day holiday.
This difference has also created a religious division within an already ideologically divided faith, where one had the divisions between Shia and Sunni, now have a religious difference of literally a day. This has created a rift in the followers of the two different muftis and allowed them to create religious differences when none were supposed to be.
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Furthermore, it has created a problem for the government in many aspects such as the declaration of what days will be the holiday of which the government ends up giving an extra day off. The government then has to provide security to the people going to the mosques which now has to be provided for two days, which costs more.
The government announced, on Wednesday, three-day holidays on the occasion of Eid ul Fitr – from June 26 to 28. This year Eid ul Fitr is likely to be on June 26 or 27 subject to the sighting of the Shawwal moon, while federal employees are looking forward and ahead towards a five-day holiday.