Following the launch of Pakistan's first official moonsighting website, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on Thursday announced the availability of a mobile application which displays the various phases of, and other real-time information about, the moon.
The app, named 'The Ruet', is available on the Google Play store for download.
According to the description provided on Google Play for the app, "The Ruet is a utility and information application related to moon and sighting of moon in Pakistan by Ministry of Science and Technology."
The main features of the app listed on the store are:
- Current phase and age of the moon.
- Islamic Hijri Calendar.
- Setting location manually to any coordinates in Pakistan.
- New moon details by Islamic months.
- Moon phases calendar.
- Moon, Sun and all major planets' positions on the interactive sky simulation.
Earlier this week, Chaudhry had announced the launch of the website, pakmoonsighting.pk, by the science and technology ministry "to halt the moonsighting controversy" that rears its head in the country every year prior to religious festivals.
The minister took the initiative for developing the website and the app after disagreeing with the way the moon was sighted by the Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee.
He said the way of sighting the moon by Islamic schools of thought of Imam Hambal and Imam Shaafai was different. “Imam Hambal supports physical sighting of moon while Imam Shaafai recommends scientific ways for it.”
Chaudhry had also questioned the wisdom of spending large sums of money on moonsighting every year after the National Assembly was informed recently that an amount of Rs3.06 million was spent on the sighting of the moon for Muharram, Ramazan, Eidul Fitr and Eidul Azha last year.
He had said that it was time science and technology were utilised to end the controversy.