Fawad Chaudhry—the Federal Minister for Science and Technology has mentioned that he plans to disband the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee that is given the task of sighting moon for the Islamic months.
He intends on forwarding a summary to the federal cabinet for dissolving the committee and the final verdict would be taken by the Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The minister said that he had formed a scientific panel for replacing the committee that is functioning under Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman.
He added that the panel would comprise of 3 scientists, and a member each from the Pakistan Meteorological Department and Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO).
They would be preparing a 10-year Islamic calendar that would not need the physical sighting of the moon.
He added that this would end the yearly controversy that always is present around moon sighting, especially on Eids.
The minister said that however, the government would not bind anyone to abide by the calendar.
Fawad Chaudhry said that he has respect for Mufti Muneeb but do not agree to his way of seeing the moon. He said that a strong reaction is expected from the religious groups however the verdict taken by the PM would stand.
He urged that the way of moon sighting is different in many Islamic schools of thought.
He added that Imam Shafi suggests the scientific ways of sighting the moon while Imam Hambal supports the physical method of seeing the moon.
He argued that Mufti Muneeb could make use of satellite for seeing the moon instead of using the old-fashioned telescope.
The announcement by Fawad Chaudhry to disband the Ruet-e-Hilal committee attracted a strong reaction from the Chairman Mufti Muneeb who has asked the PM to restraint his ministers.
He added that Fawad’s comments were his personal matter and he should not make such remarks against the religious figures and misquote history.
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