In a media press release, the Federal Science and Technology Minister said,
“[My ministry] has released pictures for the start of Safar as an evidence to prove that the month began on Sept 30, while the Ruet-i-Hilal Committee made a mistake by declaring that the moon was not sighted on Sept 30 therefore Safar would start on Oct 1. Now the committee should tender apology [to the nation] for the misstatement [on the moon sighting].”
Previously, the Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee has also clashed in opinion on moon sightings with the Committee led by Mufti Popalzai of Peshawar, making them no stranger to such accusations.
The controversy first started when Chaudhry’s Ministry launched a website and android application for Islamic months moon sighting alerts, coupled with the Minister suggesting that the official committee be dissolved to save expenses. In Fawad’s opinion, younger people should be engaged in the activity and not ‘octogenarians’. Fawad also had a snarky response to some objections made by clerics to the use of scientific equipment in observing moon sightings, to which he replied if that research isn’t accepted in the Shariah law, then neither will the research under a bespectacled person be accepted (aka committee chairman Mufti Muneebur Rehman).
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