Says moon will be in position Saturday evening
Federal Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry says the Eid moon will be visible in Pakistan tonight (Saturday night), making Sunday Eid.
The Ruet-e-Hilal Committee is set to meet today to sight the moon but it is expected that they will declare Eid on Monday.
Chaudhry addressed a press conference on Saturday where he said the State was trying to accommodate religious groups when it shouldn’t be. The State is and should be above factions, he said.
Chaudhry’s statements came as no surprise as he has been vocal in his opposition of the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee, Pakistan’s official moon sighting body.
He said regarding the issue of Eid, that the State’s law, Constitution and knowledge should take precedence over factions. Seeing the moon is no longer an issue, said Chaudhry, adding that in a few years people will be celebrating Eid on the moon.
Islam is a forward looking religion, he said, adding that it started with iqra [read]. It is a religion based on knowledge and science and technology, said Chaudhry, citing the Holy Quran and Hadees of the Holy Prophet (pbuh).
He rejected statements by people who said science and technology had no place in Islam.
He also slammed ‘maulvis’ who were fine with wearing glasses to see the moon but not use telescopes. It’s all science and technology, said the minister.
He briefed the media on the criteria his department has set to determine the position of the moon and spoke about the app they released.
There was a new moon on May 22 at 10:39pm, he said, and it will be in position after sunset on Saturday. He said this year, Saudi Arabia has revised its moon sighting criteria, which is why Pakistan will be celebrating Eid on the same day as it.