Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on Thursday announced this year's dates for Eidul Azha and the beginning of the holy month of Muharram according to scientific evidence.
In a tweet, the minister said that this year, Eidul Azha will fall on Monday, Aug 12 while the holy month of Muharram, which marks the start of the Islamic year, will begin on Sunday, Sept 1.
"Now that the argument over this Eid has ended, what are the [dates] for the next two most important Islamic days, i.e., Eidul Azha and [beginning of] Muharram: According to the Hijri calendar, Eidul Azha will fall on Monday, Aug 12 while Muharram will [start] from Sunday, Sept 1," Chaudhry tweeted.
The dates have been derived from the lunar calendar that was launched by the Ministry for Science and Technology last month in order to end the controversies over the sighting of the moon for Islamic months. The calendar, which can be accessed through Pakistan's "first official" moonsighting website as well as a mobile application, indicates scientifically determined dates for all major Islamic festivals/days for the ongoing and next years.
The launch of the website had attracted much opposition from religious factions that insisted that sighting of the moon should be physical and regardless of scientific evidence.