Minister Fawad invites ulema to briefing on scientific moon-sighting methodsArchive
ISLAMABAD: Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry and moderate scholar Tahir Ashrafi on Thursday invited ulema for an interactive briefing on scientific means of sighting the moon.
“This is nothing personal but a national issue. We appreciate ulema who have approved the scientific method. We urge members rejecting modern methods of moon-sighting to give us a chance to explain how the scientific approach works,” Mr Chaudhry said at a press briefing.
He said the Ramazan moon would be sighted nationwide on April 24, adding: “The month of Ramazan will start from April 25.”
He said: “Stubbornness will create divisions. Science is advancing with leaps and bounds. It is the duty of the Council of Islamic Ideology to resolve this dispute representing futuristic thinking.”
Mr Chaudhry insisted that the ministry would only make recommendations to facilitate the government and the nation would celebrate Eid together on one day.
Says nine Islamic countries, including Turkey, Brunei and Malaysia, use scientific methods to spot the moon
Last year, the ministry launched Pakistan’s first ever moon-sighting website. This was followed by the launch of an application called Ruet that would share real-time data regarding the moon.
Mr Chaudhry also gave examples of nine Islamic countries, including Turkey, Brunei and Malaysia, which use scientific methods to spot the moon.
“The United Arab Emirates is shifting to science-based methods as well and Saudi Arabia has been using science-based announcements for religious holidays,” he said, adding more than 60 observatories will sight the moon over Pakistan.
The ministry had arranged a meeting of the scientific community on advanced moon-sighting methods earlier, which Mufti Muneebur Rehman and Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai did not attend.
Mr Ashrafi urged Mr Rehman and Mr Popalzai to give science a chance, particularly when they also use scientific devices to sight the moon.
He urged the Ministry of Religious Affairs and all schools of thought to settle the issue of celebrating religious holidays on varying dates.
It was announced that Mr Chaudhry will also brief the parliamentary committee on religious affairs in this regard.
“Eid and other religious festivals should be a reason for joy and happiness, not divisions,” he said.
The next meeting of the scientific committee on moon-sighting will be held on April 2 and Mr Rehman and Mr Popalzai will be invited to experience how the moon is sighted using advanced technology.
Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2020