The Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee should not be underestimated in the moon-sighting decisions, said Dr Qibla Ayaz, the chairperson of the Council of Islamic Ideology.
“Although I value the development of technology, the Ruet input is also necessary,” he said on SAMAA TV’s morning show Naya Din.
He remarked that the council requested for more time to create the calendar. “We advised that more time was needed to come to a more agreeable decision,” Ayaz added.
We wished that there would be no situation where the government will be embarrassed, he said, suggesting it would have been better if ulemas and experts had come to a conclusion together.
Pakistan is the only country where there is an ongoing debate regarding Eid and Ramazan dates, he said, emphasising that the cabinet and PM Imran Khan should announce if the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee is still valid or not. The premier’s approval is still needed to announce the confirmed date, he said.
Ayaz said we need to learn from the mechanisms of moon-sighting from other countries.
Federal Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry created Pakistan’s first Islamic calendar on Sunday.
The five-year calendar has already set the dates for Eidul Fitr. According to it, this year’s Eid will be on June 5. The next five Eids are May 24, 2020, May 14, 2021, May 3, 2022, April 22, 2023 and April 10, 2024.
Referring to the same calendar, Ayaz said that it was already available. “We already knew the moon visibility in all areas,” he added.
Astrophysicist Dr Jawed Iqbal advised that the committee and science and technology department should work together. He added that the committee played an important part to observe the moon-sighting mechanism.