ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) - Chairman Ruet-e-Hilal Committee Moulana Abdul Khabir Azad announced that the moon for the month of Shawwal has been sighted on Wednesday, and Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated across Pakistan today (Thursday).
The Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee had convened the meeting to sight the moon for Eidul Fitr in Islamabad, whereas zonal bodies of the committee also met in Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar and Lahore.
The announcement was made by Moulana Abdul Khabir Azad after chairing a meeting of the Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee.
On the other hand Shawwal crescent moon was not sighted in Saudi Arabia yesterday (Tuesday). Therefore Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated on Thursday, May 13 in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court had called Muslims in UAE, Qatar, and other Arab states to sight the crescent moon on Tuesday evening, to mark the beginning of Eid-ul-Fitr and the end of Ramadan 2021.
Eid-ul-Fitr or Eid-al-Fitr marks the first day of Shawwal month. Every year, Eid-ul-Fitr occurs approximately 10-11 days earlier depending on the occurrence of the crescent moon because lunar months are shorter than the solar months, hence it varies from country to country by about a day.
The crescent moon is first sighted in Saudi Arabia after the rest of the world assumes when to celebrate the festival.
Pakistan usually celebrates Eid on the second day of the crescent moon sighting in Saudi Arabia but this year both countries are celebrating Eid on the same day (tomorrow).
NCOC issues guidelines for Eid-ul-Fitr prayers
The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) Tuesday had approved strict guidelines and safety protocols for holding Eid-ul-Fitr prayers across the country.
According to the guidelines, Eid prayers should be organized at open spaces with Covid protocols.
In case, if there was compulsion to offer Eid prayer in Masjid then windows and doors should be kept opened for good ventilation to reduce risk of infection and disease transmission.
However, in order to reduce gatherings two to three Eid prayers at a venue with staggered timings and minimum strength be held.
The clerics and religious leaders are advised to keep the sermon brief in order to reduce the prayer timings as the virus spread was on rise.
The guidelines discouraged the sick, elderly and children under 15 years of age from attending the Eid prayers.
As per guidelines, wearing face or surgical mask is mandatory. It is also necessary to erect multiple entry and exit points at prayer venues to avoid jumbling up of individuals and reduce risk of congestion.
The mosque management or authorities responsible for organising Eid prayers are directed to ensure thermal screening at entry points, availability and use of hand sanitisers and six feet social distancing markings at the venue.
The worshipers should bring their own prayer mats and also perform wudhu (ablution) at home.
The safety protocols also underscored to discourage socializing or embracing and hand shakes at the venue after prayers.
However, no gathering is allowed before and after the prayer usually observed after Eid prayers.
Moreover, banners and panaflex highlighting Covid protocols should be displaced at the prominent places as part of awareness campaign whereas well laid out parking areas should be prepared for crowd management.
In the wake of ongoing restrictions imposed till May 16, 2021, the NCOC urged for greater national resolve to strictly adhere the standard operating procedures to control the spread of pandemic.
It urged the nation to stand united and firm to support these steps undertaken for its well being.
The NCOC session chaired by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar and National Coordinator Lieutenant General Hamood uz Zaman Khan was held to take review of mobility control measures being implemented across the country from 8th to 16th May.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Health Dr Faisal Sultan had also joined the session via video link.