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Thursday, January 26, 2023
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Fawad Chaudhry introduces Pakistan’s first official moon sighting website

Fawad Chaudhry, Minister for Science and Technology, has announced the launching of Pakistan's first state-run website for the moon sighting. The website also features a calendar that shows the main Islamic dates and months for the next five years based on scientific evidence.

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News Desk |

The website, pakmoonsighting.pk, was launched by Chaudhry’s Ministry to bring an end to the controversy of moon sightings ahead major religious festivals that arise each year.

The website features numerous sections such as a monthly Hijri calendar for the next five years, a day-to-day lunar calendar against the dates of the Gregorian timetable and mentions the corresponding dates on which each lunar month will begin. Major dates are also available of Islamic festivals for the next five years. The reader can also access the New Crescent Moon, monthly moon visibility map and monthly moon coordination points in major cities on the site.

“We have launched pakmoonsighting.pk website and Eidul Fitr will fall on June 5 this year … we have formulated the lunar calendar for five years which will be presented before the federal cabinet on Tuesday for final approval,” said the Minister on his Twitter account.

The committee for moon-sighting at Masjid Qasim Ali Khan has been holding its regular meetings since 1825. It never announced Ramazan or Eidul Fitr without solid Sharia evidence.n

Earlier, Fawad Chaudhry has stated that with the latest science and technology, Pakistan can get rid of the traditional moon sighting methods practiced by Ruet-I-Hilal Committee that has always been subjected to skepticism and controversy. He explained that a mobile app was also under preparation and will soon be launched, allowing people to sight the moon on their phones.

On May 3, Fawad Chaudhry had formed a five-member committee comprising of experts from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Meteorological Department and SUPARCO, for determining the key Islamic dates and months scientifically.

The launch of the website has garnered strong reactions from the clerics in Pakistan, including Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai, who says; “I have not been consulted by anyone regarding the Islamic calendar, but I must say that Ramazan and Eidul Fitr should be observed after the moon-sighting as per Sharia and Islamic injunctions.”

Read more: Will lunar calendar resolve moon-sighting controversy in Naya Pakistan?

“The committee for moon-sighting at Masjid Qasim Ali Khan has been holding its regular meetings since 1825. It never announced Ramazan or Eidul Fitr without solid Sharia evidence.,” he concluded.