PESHAWAR: Chairman of the Ruet-i-Hilal Committee Maulana Syed Mohammad Abdul Khabir Azad announced the sighting of Ramazan’s moon here on Tuesday evening, heralding the beginning of the Islamic fasting month.

The committee met at the provincial secretariat of Auqaf at Eidgah on Charsadda Road on Tuesday. Besides local and central ulema of the committee, the meeting was also attended by officials of the Met office.

Announcing the decision, Maulana Khabir said that evidence of moon sighting had been received from Islamabad, Karachi, Badin, Swat, Rajanpur, Qasur and other cities of the country. He said it would send a message of unity that the fasting month would be observed throughout the country on the same day.

He said that the federal Ministry of Religious Affairs had provided him a conducive environment and that he was making efforts for the last three months to develop consensus on the start of the holy month on the same day.

He said he had held meetings with the ulema of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other provinces on the issue and it bore fruit as the month of Ramazan would begin in the country on the same day.

He said that the Muslims should seek forgiveness for their sins and submit their will to Allah Almighty to invoke His blessings and mercy.

Meanwhile, the local unofficial committee for moon sighting met at the historic Masjid Qasim Ali Khan. Its meeting was chaired by Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai.

The local committee also received witnesses of moon sighting and announced the decision to observe the fasting month from Wednesday.

It is worth mentioning that Maulana Azad had a meeting with the local committee head Mufti Popalzai last week and had invited him to participate in the central Ruet Committee’s meeting in Peshawar. However, Mufti Popalzai did not attend the meeting on Tuesday evening.

Published in Dawn, April 14th, 2021

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