PESHAWAR: Religious scholar and head of the unofficial Ruet-e-Hilal Committee of Qasim Ali Khan Mosque, Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai has said that he has no objection to the launching of Islamic calendar but it should not be applied for observing Ramzan and Eidul Fitr.
“I have not been consulted by anyone regarding Islamic calendar, but I must say that Ramzan and Eidul Fitr must be observed after moon-sighting as per Sharia and Islamic injunctions,” he said.
Popalzai said the local unofficial Ruet-Hilal Committee would hold its meeting on 29th Ramzan at Qasim Ali Khan Mosque, Peshawar and if it received solid witnesses about moon-sighting it would announce Eidul Fitr.
“We welcome the launching of Islamic calendar. It should be displayed in government offices, public places and homes to know about Islamic (lunar) months and its importance in daily life,” he said.
He remarked that Federal Minister for Science Fawad Chaudhry seemed to be more interested in finding space in the press rather than being serious about Islamic calendar.
“The committee for moon-sighting at Masjid Qasim Ali Khan has been holding its regular meetings since 1825. It never announced Ramzan or Eidul Fitr without solid and Sharia evidence regarding moon-sighting,” he said.
He pointed out that there was no proper head or permanent members of the Ruet Hilal Committee based at Qasim Ali Khan Mosque but the local religious scholars regularly assembled at the mosque and received evidence and witnesses from the faithful across the province.
He said he had been under pressure not to hold separate meetings of the unofficial Ruet-e-Hilal Committee for Ramzan and Eidul Fitr moon-sighting.
He admitted that last year he was forced to leave the country and had to go to Dubai, but still the local Ruet-e-Hilal Committee met at Qasim Ali Khan Mosque in his absence and took its decision. “It isn’t about an individual making moon-sighting decisions. We have a proper mechanism working for moon-sighting since long at Masjid Qasim Ali Khan,” he added.