Pakistan launches moon-sighting website ahead of Eid to resolve differences over dates of Islamic festivals

pakmoonsighting .pk features sections such as Islamic calendar for the next five years, a day-to-day lunar calendar against dates from the Gregorian calendar, and the dates on which the first day of every lunar month will fall.

Press Trust of India May 28, 2019 17:33:24 IST
Pakistan launches moon-sighting website ahead of Eid to resolve differences over dates of Islamic festivals
  • Pakistan launches its first ever moon-sighting website in a bid to end controversy over the start of key lunar months like Ramzan and Eid festivals

  • The website pakmoonsighting .pk was inaugurated on Sunday

  • As per reports, the website would show the exact dates of important Islamic occasions like Eidul Fitr, Eidul Azha and Muharram

  • Pakistan has been facing controversies on key religious occasions like Eid as religious leaders from different regions differ on sighting of the moon

Pakistan has launched its first ever moon-sighting website in a bid to end decades-old controversy over the start of key lunar months that decides the beginning of the holy month of Ramzan and Eid festivals.

The website pakmoonsighting.pk was inaugurated on Sunday, two weeks after Pakistan's science and technology minister Fawad Chaudhry made an announcement regarding the preparation of a scientific lunar calendar.

Pakistan launches moonsighting website ahead of Eid to resolve differences over dates of Islamic festivals

Screengrab from the official website of Moon Sighting Pakistan.

He said that the website would show the exact dates of important Islamic occasions — Ramzan, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Azha and Muharram, the Dawn reported.

Speaking at the launch of the website, Chaudhry said that it will end the "moon-sighting controversy” in the country and added that other countries can also use the service to decide the sighting of moon.

The website features sections such as Islamic calendar for the next five years, a day-to-day lunar calendar against dates from the Gregorian calendar, and the dates on which the first day of every lunar month is likely to fall.

Everyone can access year-wise data about the new moon, its monthly visibility maps and monthly coordinates in major cities on the site as well.

“A mobile phone app was also being prepared to make it further easier to know when the lunar month would begin,” Chaudhry said.

Pakistan has been facing controversies on the dates for key occasions like the start of Ramzan and Eid as religious leaders from different regions differ on the sighting of the moon.

This year, Ramzan started in Khyber-Pakhtunhwa on 6 May while in rest of the country, the month began on 7 May. It is also possible that the celebration of Eid will be held on two different dates. Chaudhry said that such issues have been resolved through the website and the coming Eid will be on 5 June.

But his efforts to resolve the dispute may not end as most of the clerics insist that sighting of moon with naked eye is essential.

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