Islamabad, May 26: Pakistan government on Sunday launched the official website for Eid moon sighting, along with a mobile application which would allow Muslims to known in advance when the crescent would be sighted in the South Asian region. Along with crescent sighting portal - pakmoonsighting.pk - the official Hijri or Islamic calender calendar has also been unveiled.
Pakistan's Science and Technology Minister Fawad Hussain, while launching the portal and calendar in Lahore today, said both would go live on Monday. The moon sighting mobile application is now available for download on Google Play Store and Apple App Store from tomorrow. Row Over Moon Sighting Had Created Confusion in Bangladesh Over Shab-e-Barat Dates.
Hussain, who came under criticism from a section of clergy for attempting to replace the conventional method of sighting the moon with technology, said the time has come for the nation to rely on satellite imagery for ascertaining accurate Islamic dates.
Not only Pakistanis, the crescent sighting application would also help Muslims based in other nations, the Minister added.
Notably, moon sighting is essential for Muslims as dates of lunar month is based upon the crescent sighting. If the new moon is sighted on the 29th date of an Islamic month, then the new month would begin from the next day. If the moon is not sighted, then the next day is marked as 30th date of the ongoing month.
Hijri calendar, meanwhile, refers to the Islamic calender whose first year was observed after Prophet Muhammad (SAW) migrated from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD.
With this new application, the tedious task of searching for the moon on every 29th evening used the naked eye would be replaced with the use of satellite to determine the moon's location.
As per the moon sighting application, Eid al-Fitr would be celebrated this year on June 5, 2019, claimed Hussain.