PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has sent notices to the federal government and Ruet-e-Hilal Committee Chairman Mufti Munibur Rehman in a case pertaining to the moon-sighting issue.

A petition has been filed in the PHC which seeks stopping Ruet-e-Hilal Committee from sighting the moon. The petitioner said the moon-sighting has become a controversial issue and people observe Eid on different days due to these controversies.

A two-member bench of the PHC comprising Chief Justice Waqar Ahmed Seth and Justice Abdul Shakoor heard the case on Tuesday. The court issued notices to the federal government and Mufti Munibur Rehman and asked them to submit reply.

Moon-sighting is a controversial issue in Pakistan where majority of people follow the announcement of the official Ruet-e-Hilal Committee, but a sizeable number of people, particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and merged tribal districts, follow the announcement of the unofficial moon-sighting committee headed by Mufti Shahabuddin Populzai of Masjid Qasim Ali Khan in Peshawar. There are many others who follow the Islamic calendar of Saudi Arabia for religious obligations. Therefore, very often, the first of Ramazan and Eid are observed with the difference of one day by the people following different committees. It creates an uneasy situation as on the same day, some people of the country have Eid, while others have fast.

Successive governments have tried to resolve this issue in their own ways, but not much success was achieved. Now the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has also taken up the issue and Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has come up with announcement of preparing a Qamari Calendar with Islamic dates.

Fawad Chaudhry says his ministry has prepared the calendar for five years on the basis of scientific research and it will be reviewed after five years. He said he has also sought the opinion of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) about the calendar. He said Mufti Munibur Rehman and Mufti Populzai will also be invited to show them through scientific procedures how to determine the positioning of the moon through modern scientific equipment. He said it is an easy procedure and no complexities are involved in it. The two Muftis have not yet responded to this statement of the minister.



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