It was the eve of 29th Ramadan everyone was glued to their TV screens to find out whether they have to say Tarawih (extra congregational prayers performed by Muslims at night in the Islamic month of Ramadhan) for the next day of fasting or not. Everyone was hoping that it was Chand Raat (the eve of the Muslim festival of Eid ul-Fitr), Pakhtoun’s in the North West had already celebrated Eid on Monday.
In the mean while different text messages were being passed on in the public, one of the most interesting was “Allah karae mufti sahab ke biwi ka suit sil gaya ho” (God willing hopefully Mufti Sahab’s wife’s dress got stitched). It was funny when I first read it but when I thought about it i felt ashamed?Why because this whole confusion regarding the timing of Eid had nothing to do with Mufti Sahab’s wife’s dress but this one liner revealed some of the more deeper controversies surrounding the sighting of this thin silver lining in the sky which marks the start of the Muslim festival of Eid ul Fitr. The sighting of the moon which also marks the end of Ramadan has become more of political thing rather than religious one.
This is in fact is a great dilemma, even living in one country and falling in the same timezone we still celebrate Eid on 2 or 3 different days each year. People in Peshawar and Pakhtounkha always declare their Eid according to Saudi Arabia.The mullahs of Qasim Mosque Peshawar and the official Raut e Hilal committee fail to agree over one date which leading to another controversy in a country which is full of them.
I am just a regular student and I might not have that much knowledge of religious criteria surrounding the moon sighting but I think with a naked eye it’s just challenging yourself. Weather & technology are the two factors that play are key role in the sighting. Cloudy Karachi might not be the best place to spot the moon but at the same time technology in Peshawar wouldn’t be the best for the job. So, both official and unofficial Mullahs should at least have consensus on this issue and spare the people from these shaking debates.
Then there is the Rohet e Hillal committee? Whose working method is still somewhat ancient. It looks like the old fashioned way of standing on the rooftops to lookout for the moon is still in fashion, but the astonishing thing is as quick the committee appears before Eid just after it swiftly goes into hibernation mode for the rest of the year.