Disclaimer*: The articles shared under 'Your Voice' section are sent to us by contributors and we neither confirm nor deny the authenticity of any facts stated below. Parhlo will not be liable for any false, inaccurate, inappropriate or incomplete information presented on the website. Read our disclaimer.
This article was originally submitted by Faraiba Ahmed
The Pakistani nation had viewed another conflicting ‘’Chand Raat’’ on 24th May over moon sighting issue. The conflict arose between members of Ruet-e- Hilal Committee Pakistan; particularly Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman and Fawad Hussain Chaudhry, the minister of Science and Technology; who announced Eid on Sunday and the speculation is made as per the scientific calculations.
This is not for the first time when this nation has become a victim of the war. The former arguments and disagreements landed from religious scholars particularly the disagreement; between Mufti Muneeb Ur Rehman and Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai. It is due to Mufti Popalzai that Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa’s few regions have a history; of witnessing Eid a day before the other provinces of Pakistan. Apparently the tug of war is not new but this dispute had stirred up controversy between two schools of thought. In other words, this recent development has brought religious notions opposite to scientific developments.
Fawad Hussain Chaudhry, the minister of science and technology held a press conference that briefly evaluated; the disappointing role of Ruet hilal committee over the years. He predominantly mentioned about the discrepancy between; Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman and Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai over the years. He was of the opinion that the clergies have failed in resolving the conflict.
Furthermore, he added that we must turn to the Scientific methods.
He was of the view that the modern world has changed and we must turn to the most recent technological gadgets; instead of orthodox and conventional methods of moon sighting. Orthodox is condemned amongst the commoners and a few tried to connect it to religious ideologies.
Apparently this word is used for the former methods of moon sighting but it gave an opportunity to critics; who took him as a threat for the existence of Ruet-e-Committee. Fawad Chaudhry is under strong criticism since the day he announced the launching; of the official moon-sighting website and the first lunar calendar. He further added that the first official moon sighting website of the country marks the important religious festivals; for the next five years and would save the nation from conflicts over special occasions.
On the whole, it seemed like a tremendous step which would end disagreement; surrounding moon-sighting in the country with various clerics fighting for relevance. However, this act infuriated Ruet-e-Hilal Committee’s authority; paid for this particular act of Moon sighting.
Here’s a little about Pakistan’s Ruet-e-Hilal (moon-sighting) committee
Pakistan’s Ruet-e-Hilal committee was formed in 1974 and it comprises of various religious scholars. The committee was assigned the task of announcing religious holidays on sighting the moon. However, this committee remained a failure in announcing Eid; on the same day all across Pakistan. The challenge did not come from science or politics rather it was and still is from a religious scholar; based in Peshawar, Mufti Shahabuddin Paplizao; who announced eid as well as Ramadan a day earlier than the country. Briefly the authority of this committee had met controversy over almost every Ramadan and eid.
Apparently the riot is not resolved between members of Hilal Committee and Ministry of Science and technology. The announcement of Eid on Sunday should have marked the beginning of acceptance and flexibility; for the most recent scientific developments but it turned out to be a complete mess. Pakistani social media viewed two opposite school of thoughts arguing; over the decision being right or wrong. After all these arguments and disagreements finally Ruet-e-Hilal committee had also announced eid; on the same day as per Fawad Chaudry’s announcements.
A point to be pondered, the majority of Muslim countries inc U.A.E and Turkey follow a pre-decided lunar calendar; to mark religious holidays and festivals. Relying on scientific tools and inventions does not put religion at stake. Secondly, even religious scholars use technological gadgets and tool to sight the moon. In short, science is to be kept at bay while arguing over such sensitive issues.
In a nutshell, the most important approach; these religious scholars and ministers need to adopt, is a serious attitude while commenting in public.
A little mistake or careless comment can provoke more dissatisfaction and chaos amongst the public; already battling with poverty, coronavirus and inflation. As a nation, we also need to hear and act sensibly and must not be driven; by blind following be of any school of thought. 21st century is an age of scientific developments and using those technological gadgets doesn’t harm anyone’s faith.
Our journey from the use of Google maps for finding directions, the compass for finding the exact direction of the Kaaba, the microscope; for sighting the moon, technology to fly to Mecca for Hajj, listening to Quranic verses; on the radio to watching taraweeh right from Khana Kabah; on televisions, are all primarily blessings of technology. And we must remember that technology is a man-made product and creation of human minds; so how come we bring Islam opposite to science; when it comes to using official moon sighting scientific tool?
Human sensibility and wisdom must prevail in order to avoid arguments.