ISLAMABAD, (MANEND NEWS): The official moon-sighting committee has announced it did not receive any testimony about sightings of Shawwal moon from any part of the country and that EIdul Fitr will be celebrated in Pakistan on Saturday (April 22).
“We did not receive any testimony with regard to the sighting of the moon. The nation will, therefore, celebrate Eidul Fitr on Saturday,” Maulana Abdul Khabir Azad, the chairman of the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee, said on Thursday evening.
Azad was addressing a press conference that was broadcast live on national television after a meeting of the committee in the federal capital.
Earlier, zonal moon-sighting committees met in different cities of the country but did not receive any testimony about sightings of Shawwal crescent. The councils had already predicted that Eidul Fitr this year is likely to be celebrated across the nation on Saturday, April 22.
Interestingly, an unofficial moon-sighting committee that operates from the Qasim Ali Khan Mosque in Peshawar also endorsed the decision of the official committee.
This unofficial committee headed by Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai often disagrees with the judgments of the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee, resulting in celebration of Eidul Fitr on two different dates in different parts of Pakistan.
The Ruet-e-Hilal Research Council secretary-general, Khalid Ijaz Mufti, had earlier said the “birth of the moon” was expected to take place on Thursday, April 20, at 9:15am Pakistan time.
The age of the moon at sunset on Thursday was to be 9 hours 33 minutes and 12 seconds. While the sun was expected to set at 6:49pm, the moon was likely to go below the horizon at 7:10pm. This, alongside other technical factors, could render moon sighting to be unlikely on April 20.
According to astronomers, the moon must stay on the horizon for 40 to 50 minutes after sunset in order to be visible while the moon stays on the horizon for only 21 minutes after sunset on April 20.
Further, on the evening of the 29th of Ramazan, the moon’s age at sunset should be more than 19 hours for sighting. However, in all areas of Pakistan, it was less than 10 hours,
The government has announced a five-day public holiday in view of Eid celebrations. The holidays will begin from Friday [today] and will continue till Tuesday, April 25, according to a notification issued by the Ministry of Interior.
Eid is Saudi Arabia today
Saudi Arabia announced the holiday of Eidul Fitr will begin on Friday [today] in the kingdom.
“Tomorrow, Friday, is the first day of Eid al-Fitr for this year,” with Thursday the last day of Ramadan, the official Saudi Press Agency said on its Twitter account citing a royal court statement.
The timing of Eid al-Fitr is determined by the sighting of the crescent moon, in accordance with the Muslim lunar calendar. The holiday is normally celebrated with family gatherings.