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Ramazan moon not sighted, 1st fast on Friday

KARACHI: The central moon-sighting committee— Ruet-i-Hilal— headed by Mufti Muneebur Rehman has commenced its session in Karachi to determine the beginning of Ramazan.

Several zonal committees are also in session in various parts of the country including Lahore, Quetta and Peshawar.

However, the moon has not been sighted and now Ramazan will commence on Friday.

Lunar sighting has often created a controversy in the country and this conflict over the onset of Ramazan and Eid celebration usually begins in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), where evidence of the Shawal moon sighting of local Ulema (clerics) often contradicts the findings of the Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee under Mufti Muneebur Rehman.

Last year, the Central Ruet-i-Hilal committee announced that Ramazan would begin in the country on June 30 after it claimed the moon was not sighted anywhere in the country on June 28.

But in what has now become almost an unavoidable ritual in the build-up to Ramazan as well as Eidul Fitr, Mufti Shahabuddin Populzai, the self-styled chairman of an unofficial Ruet body, came up with a claim close to midnight of June 28, that he had received “enough eyewitness accounts” to establish the sighting of the crescent. “The first day of Ramazan will, therefore, fall on Sunday (June 29),” he said at the time.

This year, to prevent disunity from marring the religious occasion, the government is striving to bring religious clerics across all provinces on the same page.

In this regard, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Mohammad Yousaf contacted the KP Provincial Minister for Zakat, Auqaf and Religious Affairs Haji Habibur Rahman and other local scholars and requested their “cooperation in the commencement of Ramazan across the country on the same date”.


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