No chance of Ramazan moon sighting Thursday: Met Office

By: Faizan Ali Warraich      Published: 01:15 PM, 22 Apr, 2020
No chance of Ramazan moon sighting Thursday: Met Office
File photo.

Pakistan Meteorological Department said on Wednesday that there is no chance of Ramazan moon sighting on Thursday (April 23), however, it will be sighted on Friday (April 24). So the holy month of Ramazan will start on April 25 (Saturday).

It is important to note that Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee (moon sighting committee) meeting will take place on Thursday evening (tomorrow) in Karachi for sighting the Ramazan crescent.

Meteorological Department, however, in a statement said that, “The new moon of Ramazan 1441, AH will be born on crossing conjunction point at 07-24PST on 23-04-2020.”

“According to astronomical parameters there is no chance of sighting the new moon of Ramazan 1441 AH on the evening of 23-04-2020 i.e on 29th of Shaban, 1441 AH. According to climate record, the weather is expected fair/partly cloudy in most parts of the country.”

The moon will be five degrees on the horizon on April 23, due to which it will be impossible to be seen with the naked eye and it will be visible the next day, according to Pakistan Met Office.

Pakistan Met department forecasted the sighting of Ramazan moon purely on scientific reasons and as per the astronomical parameters of new moon and average cloud amounts at Pilot Balloon Observatories of Pakistan Meteorological Department.

Federal Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry on April 15 said that the Ramazan moon will be sighted on April 24 as per the lunar calendar, marking the first fast of the holy month of Ramazan on April 25.

Fawad had announced the same date for the moon sighting back in February as well. He said in a tweet "Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rahman is our elder and I respect him but he cannot even see such a big moon.”

‘Pleasant’ Ramazan

Meanwhile, the Met Department also said that three spells of rains are expected in May. It means the weather during Ramazan will be pleasant for worshippers who are stuck in their homes due to the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

As per the spokesperson of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, a meeting of the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee will take place on Thursday evening to sight the moon of Ramadan.

Chairman of the committee Mufti Muneeb ur Rehman will preside over the meeting at the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) office in Karachi.

The meetings of the zonal committees will take place at the provincial headquarters in Lahore, Quetta, Peshawar while Islamabad’s zonal committee will conduct a meeting at the Kohsar complex.

See Also: Punjab govt issues Ramazan timings

It is pertinent to note that Prime Minister Imran Khan has asked citizens to be more diligent on social distancing while performing their prayers in mosques during Ramazan. He warned of closure of mosques if the six-foot social distancing would not be implemented as per the 20-point agreed formula between the religious scholars and the government.