Fawad lectures Maulana Munib, Popalzai on science’s achievements
Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has said that the Ruet-i-Hilal Committee was constituted in 1975 and since then the sighting of the moon and observing Eid on consensus dates had been a dream.
Talking to media representatives, he said last year it was thought that we have an Islamic calendar, with this objective to prevent Muslims being divided on Islamic festivals, the government convened a meeting of Islamic scholars and experts on such issues.
“This led to developing a website and an Islamic calendar. Since then 80,000 people downloaded this application and 700,000 people visited the website. The government invited Mufti Munibur Rehman and Mufti Popalzai for a consultation but they refused to attend the meeting,” Fawad added.
He said both of them said they kept science and technology on the toes of their shoes and sarcastically added: “I don’t know about the shoes but the glasses they had on their noses were an invention of science.”
It may be recalled that Fawad’s initiative was resisted as well as protested by the majority of religious leaders and scholars terming it an intervention into Islamic tradition of moon sighting and subsequently celebrating Eids.
The nation could not celebrate consensus Eids due to the controversy over the sighting of moon as a result of which three Eids were celebrated in different parts of the country.
The government move is a replica of Saudi model where Eid dates are announced months before finalising these dates through an Islamic calendar.
The minister was of the view that our religion was being distanced from knowledge despite the fact that every element of science is derived from the Holy Quran and added that this was the reason why Muslim states had been facing difficulties in the development of their societies. Initially inventions like railways and loudspeakers were declared ‘haram’.
He said we have to bring forth the lightened face of Islam but it was not possible because we have divided our nation into small groups. He said this scientific formula to determine dates of Islamic events was being followed in several Islamic countries.
Maulana Tahir Ashrafi has said patience was required to decide sighting of the moon and observance of Eid on identical dates because to achieve this noble objective the government and religious leaders and scholars have to be on one page.
He added that if Maulana Munibur Rehman and Maulana Popalzai had refused to come once, they should be invited over and over again. Consultation with religious entities on such sensitive issue was a must, he said.