Pakistanis celebrate ‘surprise’ Eid
Muslims greet each other after offering special prayers on the occasion of Eidul Fitr that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan at Eidgah Sharif shrine in Rawalpindi.-AFP
Pakistanis celebrated ‘surprise’ EidPakistan probably the only Muslim country where Eidul Fir came as a ‘surprise’ for almost anyone, still the nation of 223 million people started celebrating it without wasting any further time.
The governments institutions including its Met Office and Federal Information Ministry were in the forefront trumpeting for many days that there was no possibility of Shawwal moon-sighting on Wednesday and the Eid will most likely be celebrated on Friday, May 14.
However, it all started to reverse when a Peshawar-based cleric announced the moon-sighting late on Wednesday night citing several witnesses sighting the moon in different areas of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee reluctantly went into quick authentication of these evidences and it also announced the moon-sighting close to the midnight when came as a surprise for many people as they were already settled for the 30th fast of the Ramazan on May 13, Thursday. Instead they now have to celebrate the Eid on Thursday.
The pattern was similar to the previous year when it took several hours after the sunset for the Central Reut-e-Hilal Committee to announce that the crescent for Eidul Fitr had been sighted and that the biggest Muslim festival would be celebrated in Pakistan on Thursday i.e. today.
The unusually delayed decision followed an announcement by Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai — who heads a private moon-sighting committee based at Peshawar’s historic Majid-e-Qasim — that on the basis of as many as 189 evidences of moon-sighting received from Mardan, Charsadda and Peshawar, Eid would be celebrated in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Thursday.
The Eid congregations amid strict SOPs were held at mosques and eidgahs across the country. One of the biggest congregations was held in Islamabad’s Faisal Mosque
On Thursday morning, Prime Minister Imran Khan urged the nation to keep following precautionary measures during the festivities and include the poor segments of the society in their celebrations.
“Remember! This Eid is different, as the world combats the pandemic,” he said. “Celebrate responsibly and ensure strict observance of SOPs.”
The precautions were also the injunctions of Islam as well as teachings of Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him), the premier pointed out. Take special care of the poor and needy people, particularly the families suffering financially due to the pandemic.
The government has also imposed a lockdown in the country from May 8 to May 16 to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Tourism and inter-provincial travel have been banned. Shopping malls, recreational spots, and markets will stay closed. Trips to the beach and Sea View have been prohibited as well.
Only pharmacies and essential items shops will remain open during Eid holidays.
Earlier, the Meteorological Department had said Pakistan will likely observe Eidul Fitr on Friday as there was "no chance" of citing the Shawwal moon on May 12, Wednesday.
The met had said the new moon of Shawwal would be born on crossing conjunction point at "00-01 PST on 12-05-2021." According to astronomical parameters, there is "no chance" of sighting the new moon of Shawwal, 1442 AH on the evening of May 12 — Ramadan 29.