Multiple countries to celebrate Eidul Fitr on Wednesday

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ISLAMABAD: As multiple countries across the world decided to celebrate Eidul Fitr on Wednesday (tomorrow) after the crescent was not sighted on Monday, the Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee will meet in Islamabad today to spot the Shawwal crescent, giving rise to the possibility of a same-day Eid across the Muslim world.

In addition to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Kuwait will celebrate Eid tomorrow, according to media reports in the Gulf-based newspapers. Simi­larly, Australia has also announced that Eid will be observed on Wednesday.

On the other hand, the central moon-sighting body will meet at the roof of the Federal Secreta­riat’s Kohsar Block in Islamabad, while meetings of zonal and district Ruet-i-Hilal committees will be held at their respective headquarters concurrently. If the committee manages to spot the new moon today, then Pakistan will also celebrate Eid with the rest of the world.

In a statement on Mon­day, the committee requ­es­ted citizens to share any information regarding sightings of the moon with the committees in their respective areas.

The meeting will be chaired by Maulana Abdul Khabir Azad, and atten-ded by the members of the Ruet-i-Hilal Commit­tee, as well as officials from the Meteorological Department, Suparco, and the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Maulana Azad said that extensive meetings and discussions have been held with clerics and religious groups across the country, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

All groups who had apprehensions with the Ruet-i-Hilal Committee in the past have been taken on board and it is unlikely that any cleric would form their private moon sighting committee, he said.

In the past, different parts of the country have observed Eid on different dates owing to differences in moon-sighting evidence and non-adherence to the Central Ruet-i-Hilal committee’s diktat.

Most notably, Peshawar’s Mufti Shahabudin Popalzai would often announce Eid in KP a day ahead of the rest of the country. In 2022, the country saw Eid being celebrated on three different dates in North Waziristan, Khyber Pakh­tunkhwa, and the rest of the country.

A similar situation occurred in 2012, when the residents of the then-tribal areas celebrated Eid on Aug 18, KP announced Eid on Aug 19 and the rest of the country celebrated on Aug 20.

According to the UAE-based newspaper The National, a group of astronomers, court officials and advisers from the Emirates’ Islamic authority — gathered to observe the crescent heralding the start of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar.

“As the moon could not be sighted, Tuesday will be the 30th and final day of Ramazan this year,” it reported.

According to Gulf News, “Aus­tralia has officially announced Wednesday as the first day of Eid Al Fitr, marking the end of Ramazan and the beginning of the month of Shawwal.”

The Arab News, while quoting the Saudi Supreme Court, said that the Shawwal crescent was not sighted on Monday evening. Tuesday will be the final day of the holy month, it reported.

The Gulf Times reported that the Crescent Sighting Committee at the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs in Qatar announced that April 9 will be the last day of the blessed month of Ramazan and that Wednesday, April 10, will be the first day of Eid.

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