Home South Asia Pakistan Religious scholars skeptical over new lunar Calendar

Religious scholars skeptical over new lunar Calendar

Dr. Qibla Ayaz, Chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology, has expressed concerns over the country's first lunar calendar launched by the Ministry of Science and Technology of Pakistan.

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The council stated that it will thoroughly review the calendar after Eid-ul-Fitr, which is to take place on June 5th according to the lunar timetable.

“Final opinion cannot be given without the advice of religious scholars,” Ayaz said. He stated that the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee will continue to play a key role in determining Eid despite the lunar calendar.

Minister Fawad Chaudhry had announced to launch the lunar calendar for the next five years.  “It is not sane to spend 3-4 million rupees for sighting the moon and instead guidance should be taken from the ministry,” he had said before submitting a five-year calendar to the CCI.

He explained that before issuing the lunar calendar religious scholars will be consulted. “After taking opinion from the CII, the calendar will be sent to the federal cabinet for approval,” he stated.

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

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.

Fawad Chaudhry expressed how with the latest science and technology Pakistan can get rid of the traditional moon sighting methods practised by Ruet-I-Hilal Committee which has always been subjected to scepticism and controversy. He also stated that a mobile app was under preparation as well and will soon be launched allowing Muslims to sight the moon on their phones.

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.”

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