Pakistan will be celebrating Eid today (Sunday), the Ruet-e-Hilal committee announced after a wait of at least two hours Saturday evening.
The committee’s pronouncement on whether the Shawwal moon was sighted had Pakistanis glued to news sources Saturday evening.
The Ruet-e-Hilal Committee session to sight the moon and announce Eid-ul-Fitr was chaired by Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman. Testimonies were gathered from across the country.
Earlier today, Federal Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the Eid moon will be visible in Pakistan tonight (Saturday night), making Sunday Eid.
The Pakistan Meteorological Department experts were also a part of the session.
In Quetta and other parts of Balochistan, the province’s zonal committee had announced that the moon could not be sighted.
India has announced Eid will be celebrated on Monday.
Chaudhry had 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 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.
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.
Saudi Arabia will celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr on Sunday, authorities announced Friday evening.
Eid prayers in Saudi Arabia will be offered at homes as the authorities have announced that the kingdom will remain under curfew during the five-day holiday. The decision is aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus.