Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, Chairman Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee, and Fawad Hussain Chaudhry, Federal Minister for Science and Technology, have once again created a controversy with regard to the moon sighting event in Pakistan. Chaudhry has once again taken a firm position and asked those using outdated technology to see the moon must go for the latest scientific tools. “And if the use of technology is not halal then why would one wear glasses,” he added.
مفتی منیب صاحب کو اپنا فیصلہ بدلنا چاہیے ۔۔۔ عید قربان ۳۱ جولائی کو ہے۔۔۔ فواد چوہدری صاحب کی پیشگوئی درست ثابت ہوئی ۔۔۔ آج کے دور میں سائینس ان معاملات میں غلطی نہیں کرتی۔ https://t.co/FDxSQSGQXN
— Amir Zia (@AmirZia1) July 22, 2020
Ruet-e-Hilal Committee formally announced on the eve of July 21st that the Zilhajj moon could not be sighted. Hence, Eid-ul-Adha will be celebrated on 1st August 2020 in Pakistan. The committee gathered at Karachi’s Meteorological Department to sight the Zilhajj moon. The purpose of the meeting was to clarify when to celebrate Eid-ul-Adha in Pakistan.
According to details, the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee has said that the moon could not be sighted due to cloudy skies covered with thick clouds.
Pakistan has a Ruet-e-Hilal (moon-sighting) committee comprising various religious scholars. The body formed in 1974 was tasked with announcing religious holidays based on witnesses across the country who had sighted the moon.
However, over the years a cleric based in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, began opposing the committee by announcing the start of Ramadan and Eid a day earlier.
In 2019, the Qasim Ali Khan Mosque committee, a Peshawar-based group of clerics, announced the start of Ramadan on May 6, while the rest of the country observed it on May 7.
Read More: Will Fawad Chaudhry resign?
In response, Fawad said:“If there were clouds, how could be the moon sighted?” He went on to say: “The scholars should decide whether technology is forbidden (Haraam) or not. If people can pray by looking and the time, then why moon cannot be seen by technology?” He concluded by saying:“The Zilhajj moon has already been sighted in Pakistan, you can watch its location on the Ruet App.”
بدھ کی شب سوا آٹھ بجے کراچی میں دیکھا جانے والا زلحج کا یہ توانا تگڑا چاند خود کہ رہا ہے کہ وہ پہلی تاریخ کا نہیں دوسری زلحج کا چاند ہے گویا منگل کی شب ہمارے پروگرام میں فواد چوہدری کا سائنسی بنیاد پر دعوی درست تھا گویا پاکستانیوں کے ساتھ رویت ہلال کمیٹی ہاتھوں زیادتی ہو گئی pic.twitter.com/sEsHqPYQI3
— Kamran Khan (@AajKamranKhan) July 22, 2020
“Why is it haram to see the moon using new technology?”
Fawad Chaudhry has also shared that his ministry has formalized a system for moon sighting and sent it to the legislative affairs ministry for approval; adding that the ministry forwarded it to the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) as well. “Now it is their and the cabinet’s job if they want to impose it or not,” said the minister.
کوئی بھی اس چاند دیکھ کر بتا سکتا ہےکہ یہ پہلی کا نہیں دوسری تاریخ کا چاند ہے ۔ ہم نے فیصلہ کرنا ہے کہ ہم ایسی تشریح کو مانیں جس میں منطق اور دلیل نہ ہو یا ہم ایسا پاکستان چاہتے ہیں جس کا خواب قائد اعظم نے دیکھا تھا اور قائد کا خواب ایک Conservativeپاکستان کا نہیں تھا،فواد چوہدری pic.twitter.com/JbGe5nQBGZ
— Shahzeb Khanzada (@shazbkhanzdaGEO) July 22, 2020
The minister believes that if people continue to rely on sighting the moon with the naked eye, the country will “never be able to determine a single or certain Eid because it will be different every time and it will go on like this”.
“If you say you want to see it from the naked eye, then the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee should comprise men and women of 20 to 22 years age whose eyesight [is perfect],” said the minister.
Fawad also went on to claim that the Hajj moon was born on Monday night at 10:33pm and was present for “more than 24 hours” but the moon sighting committee said they did not see it “as there were clouds in Karachi”.
He further asked that if seeing the moon was “halal” using old technology, then “why was it haram for seeing it using new technology?”
Fawad Ch is nobody, says Mufti Muneeb
Chairman Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman earlier slammed Fawad for interfering into others’ matters. Talking to the media after announcing sighting of the Shawwal, he said that “Fawad Hussain Chaudhry is just nobody and he should not interfere in affairs of the Ruet Committee”.
Mufti Muneeb said that Prime Minister Imran Khan should take notice of Fawad Chaudhry’s interference in affairs of the Ruet Committee. He said that Fawad Chaudhry has his own deprivations and frustrations. Mufti also condemned Fawad Chaudhry’s interference in Sharia-related matters. He asked Fawad Chaudhry to tell the nation on oath how many prayers he offered and how many times he had been on fasting in the holy month of Ramazan. He also demanded that there should be a ban on Fawad Chaudhry and he should not be allowed to interfere in the affairs of other departments. There was an outrage on social media after he made these comments – condemning him for speculating on another person’s religious practices.
Experts suggest that the authorities must pay attention to the moon sighting event in Pakistan and must ensure that all the latest scientific tools are used to see the moon in the 21st century. Notably, many Muslim-majority countries including the U.A.E and Turkey follow a pre-decided lunar calendar to mark religious holidays and festivals.