ISLAMABAD: Religious circles have once again raised controversy over the tweet of Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry regarding the sighting of the holy month of Ramadan and the newly elected chairman of Central Ruwet-e-Hilal has expressed anger over the statement of the federal minister.

Fawad Chaudhry had said on the social networking website Twitter that the month of Ramadan would be clearly visible on the evening of April 13 in Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, and many other cities and the first fast would be on April 14.

Fawad Chaudhry

Maulana Abdul Khabir Azad, chairman of the Ruwet-e-Hilal Committee, said that the country’s image had been damaged due to several announcements regarding moon sighting in the past.

Maulana Abdul Khabir Azad said that it would not be a matter of disobedience to Sharia but having different dates of Ramadan and Eid in the country harms national pride.

He said the state has empowered the Central Route Hilal Committee to make a final announcement about the new moon for the start of the Islamic month.

Maulana Abdul Khabir said that Fawad Chaudhry should have waited for the meeting of the committee as a senior official of the Ministry of Science is a member of the committee.

“We are holding the next meeting in Peshawar on April 13 to observe the month of Ramadan and Mufti Popalzai has been requested to attend or send one of his representatives to decide by consensus,” the chairman said.

Maulana Abdul Khabir, head of the Ruwet-e-Hilal Committee, said that for the first time, the Central Committee had formed Ruwit-e-Hilal committees at the district level to ensure that witnesses were examined.

Fawad Chaudhry had earlier said that in this modern age every problem has been solved with the help of scientific knowledge and only those nations are developing which are using science.

The Minister said that Islam and science are not contradictory but the importance of knowledge in Islam distinguishes it from other religions.

Maulana Abdul Khabir, the new head of the Ruwit-e-Hilal Committee, had hinted at using scientific information to observe the moon while staying within the bounds of Shariah to resolve disputes during religious festivals, including Eid.

And Fawad Chaudhry had assured Maulana Abdul Khabir of full cooperation from his ministry in seeing the moon.

He said his office would support the committee to reach a consensus on moon sightings with the help of science.


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