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Pakistan Prepares Scientific Lunar Calendar in View of Ramzan to End Debate Over Moon-sighting

Since assuming office as Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has been pushing for using scientific methods for preparing the Islamic calendar and doing away with the traditional moon-sighting practices used by the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee.

PTI

Updated:May 21, 2019, 11:44 PM IST
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Pakistan Prepares Scientific Lunar Calendar in View of Ramzan to End Debate Over Moon-sighting
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Islamabad: A panel of experts set up by the Pakistan government has prepared a scientific lunar calendar to end the controversy over moon-sighting ahead of Ramzan and according to it, Eid is expected to fall on June 5, a senior minister said.

Since assuming office as Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has been pushing for using scientific methods for preparing the Islamic calendar and doing away with the traditional moon-sighting practices used by the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee.

Chaudhry announced on Monday that the scientific calendar has been completed and "will be sent to the Council of Islamic Ideology on Tuesday".

The minister said that according to the scientific lunar calendar prepared by his ministry, Eid is expected to fall on June 5.

The Pakistan government formed a scientific committee this month to end the moon-sighting controversy, angering several Islamic scholars.

According to the minister, the calendar has been prepared through collaboration between Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco), experts on space and weather experts.

He said that members of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) as well as the moon sighting committee have been invited to view the calendar "so that they understand the extensive working that was done to compile it".

He has said that it was not sane to spend Rs 3.6 to 4 million for the sighting of the moon and instead guidance should be taken from his ministry.

"A 10-year calendar will end the disputes and extra expenses," the minister said.

The ministry of science and technology prepared the calendar for five years which would be reviewed every five years, the Express Tribune reported Tuesday.

"We have contacted the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) to get its opinion on the lunar calendar. Suggestions from renowned clerics Mufti Muneebur Rehman and Shahabuddin Popalzai will also be taken on the matter," said the ministry.

Chaudhry said, "Before issuing the lunar calendar, religious scholars will be consulted and taken into confidence. After taking opinion from the IIC, the calendar will be sent to the federal Cabinet for approval."

"We will try to release the lunar calendar during Ramzan," he said.

On Monday, Chaudhry, in an unusual move, invited clerics Mufti Rehman and Shahabuddin Popalzai to see "how the moon cycle works".

The minister tweeted that he has invited the two clerics to "see for themselves how easy science has made it easy to predict the lunar calendar.

"There is no need for an arduous task," he sarcastically.

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