Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday launched Pakistan’s first official moon sighting website & Lunar Calendar showing Islamic dates and months for the next five years based on scientific evidence.
The website, pakmoonsighting.pk, (Pakistan’s first official moon sighting website) has been launched by Science and Technology ministry “to halt the moon sighting controversy that rises at such festivals.
Features of the Lunar Calendar Website
The website has as a day to day – monthly Hijri (Islamic) calendar for the next five years. It also has comparison of lunar calender with Gregorian calendar mentioning the first day of every lunar month with it.
Scientifically determined dates for this and a few next years are also available.
Readers can access year-wise data about the New Crescent Moon and monthly moon visibility maps. It also has monthly moon coordinates in major cities on the site as well.
Chaudhry had earlier this month announced that the lunar calendar being prepared by a scientific committee formed by the government.
He said it would show the exact dates of important Islamic occasions — Ramazan, Eidul Fitr, Eidul Azha, Muharram — would be finalised by the 15th of Ramazan.
He said very soon people will view moon and lunar calendar on their smartphones.
On May 3, the minister had formed a committee of five experts from the ministry of science and technology. It included Meteorological Department and the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco) to determine moonsighting for key Islamic dates and months scientifically.
It was intended to put an end to the practice of looking for it physically through telescopes.
The National Assembly was informed recently that a huge amount of money is being spent on the moon sighting.
An amount of Rs3.06 million was spent last year on the sighting of the crescent for Muharram, Ramazan, Eidul Fitr and Eidul Azha.