Analysis, Side Feature, South Asia

Moonsighting Controversy Shows that ‘Religious’-‘Worldly’ Split won’t Work

KARACHI: The nation celebrates Eidul Fitr on Sun­day (today) as the Shaw­wal crescent was sighted on Sat­urday, the Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee has announced. Chairman of the committee Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman made the announcement on Saturday night at the Met Complex along with officials of the Pakistan Meteorological Department and the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission. (Source: Dawn)


There was a spat between the Pakistani Science & Technology Minister and the Chairman of the Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee over the sighting of the Eid moon which showed that there is no need for a separate government department to perform this task, and the Committee is an abdication of responsibility by the state. Though the reality is that Muslims all celebrated Eid on the same day, it was only possible because separate authorities could not avoid acknowledging the validity of sightings of the moon by members of the Ummah. The Minister’s insistence on the use of ‘scientific’ methods on the one hand, and the Chairman’s insistence that it was a Shariah issue in which ‘experts’ had to decide whether a testimony was to accepted or not, on the other are an example of the separation of ‘religious’ and ‘worldly’ that characterizes the present system, which the Ummah wants removed, and which can only be done by the revival of the Khilafah (Caliphate) on the example of the Holy Prophet ﷺ. The mistake the Minister made was to put ‘scientific’ methods over the requirement in the genuine Hadith in the matter of moonsighting for personal observation. The Chairman is left with a pressing problem. His committee will meet on the same day as other committees to sight the Zhul Qa’ada moon. If his committee does not sight the moon or get testimony of a moonsighting in Pakistan, but there is a sighting accepted by another committee elsewhere, what will it do?

After the establishment of the Khilafah, any Muslim who sights the moon, even if he not be in the boundaries of the Khilafah, shall be acceptable. The government will be responsible for obtaining testimony, not just for the Eids, but every month. As the lunar Hijri calendar will be used, such matters as monthly salaries, or bills and other charges, will depend on sightings, which will give the government an incentive to gather the requisite information. Presently, having a ‘religious’-‘worldly’ split is tearing apart the Ummah. Only the revival of the Khilafah will ensure that that artificial division is removed. The division that is so visible that you see two people of authority blaming each other publicly. Khilafah will make sure that such responsibilities are not in the hands of people who only care about their own worldly interest. Ramadan and Eids are the occasions which are supposed to unite the Muslims of the world and that only will be possible under the shade of the Khilafah. A State that will be responsible for our troubles and our pleasures.

Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet ﷺ said, «لَا يُؤْمِنُ أَحَدُكُمْ حَتَّى يُحِبَّ لِأَخِيهِ مَا يُحِبُّ لِنَفْسِهِ» “No one of you becomes a true believer until he likes for his brother what he likes for himself”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]


Ikhlaq Jehan