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Science Ministry and Ruet-i-Hilal Committee clashes again over Moon Sighting

The strife between Ministry of Science and Technology and Ruet-i-Hilal Committee widened, as the parties continue to clash over the sighting of the crescent of the second Islamic month. Confusion persists on the credibility of both the sources.

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Ministry of Science and Technology and Ruet-e-Hilal committee were again in disagreement over the moon sighting of Safar, the second month of the Islamic year.

Ministry of Science and Ruet-i-Hilal Committee clashed over the date of moon sighting for the month of Safar. The ministry claimed the month of Safar began on Monday, September 30th and updated the date on the website likewise. While Ruet-i-Hilal Committee said they found no evidence of new moon sighted on Monday, hence the new month will begin on Tuesday, October 1st.

This is not the first time the Ministry of Science and Ruet-i-Hilal committee are at odds since the inception of the moon sighting website, following the takeover of the ministry by Fawad Chaudhry.

Chairman Ruet-i-Hilal Committee, Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman had expressed disillusionment over the distasteful remarks of Fawad Chaudhry on the role of religious scholars in moon sighting earlier this year.

I have given my opinion, it’s not necessary that everyone has to agree with me, however, there is no wisdom in spending around Rs4 million.

Mufti Rehman had urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to control his ministers following Chaudhry’s remarks of verbal attack on Islamic clerics, accusing them of making lunar sighting for Islamic months a controversial affair every year as well as opposing the creation of Pakistan.

“Fawad Chaudhry’s statement against the opposition is his matter, but he should exercise restraint while commenting on religious scholars and not misquote history,” the committee chief had said.

He urged the prime minister to control his ‘passionate’ ministers, who “lack knowledge about the system”. Adding that, “Our announcements regarding moon have never been wrong. Everyone bears witness when the moon is sighted. If you are fond of making a lunar calendar, then go ahead and make a calendar of 100 years instead of just 10.”

Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry had asserted that it is unwise to spend Rs4 million for a sighting of the crescent.

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

Fawad stated that he respects religious clerics; however, such issues are decided voluntarily.

“I have given my opinion, it’s not necessary that everyone has to agree with me, however, there is no wisdom in spending around Rs4 million.”

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