The Ministry of Religious Affairs announced that the central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee is scheduled to meet on April 20 to sight the crescent moon for Eid ul Fitr. The meeting will be held at the religious affairs ministry in Islamabad and presided over by Ruet-e-Halal Committee Chairman Maulana Abdul Khabir Azad. Meanwhile, meetings of zonal committees will be held in designated locations across the country.
Ramadan 2023 commenced on March 23, following confusion during the moonsighting meeting. The Ruet-i-Hilal Research Council (RHRC) recently stated that Eidul Fitr is likely to be celebrated across the country on Saturday, April 22. The committee is set to convene on April 20 to sight the Shawwal moon, and if sighted on Thursday evening, Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated on Friday, April 21. However, the council’s Secretary-General, Khalid Ijaz Mufti, opined that it was unlikely to be sighted that evening.
Mufti added that Eid is expected to be celebrated on April 22 after completing 30 fasting days of the holy month of Ramazan. The council predicted that the moon’s birth would occur on April 20, at 9:13am Pakistan time. The moon’s age at sunset should be more than 19 hours for sighting on the evening of the 29th of Ramazan. However, in all areas of Pakistan, it will be less than 10 hours.
The difference between sunset and moonset should be more than 40 minutes, but it will only be 21 minutes in Peshawar, Gilgit, Muzaffarabad, Charsadda, Islamabad/Rawalpindi, Quetta, and Jiwani, and 20 minutes in Lahore and Karachi, according to the council. Even if the weather is clear throughout Pakistan, there is no possibility of sighting the moon, even with a telescope, on the evening of April 20.
Mufti stated that the 30th of Ramazan would be observed on April 21, and the 1st of Shawwal would be celebrated on April 22. He also affirmed that any reports of crescent sighting from any province, city, or area of Pakistan on the evening of April 20 would be false.
Furthermore, the moon’s age at sunset will be more than 33 hours in all areas of Pakistan on the evening of April 21. The difference between sunset and moonset will be 80 minutes, which is significant. The crescent will appear thick and late on the night of the 30th fast, leading some to believe it is not the first but a two-day-old crescent. However, it will be considered the first crescent from both a Sharia and scientific perspective.
Eidul Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramazan, is typically celebrated with prayers, family gatherings, and feasting. The exact date of Eidul Fitr is determined by the sighting of the crescent moon, which marks the beginning of the Islamic month of Shawwal.