Moon prediction sparks row | india | Hindustan Times
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Moon prediction sparks row

india Updated: Sep 21, 2006 01:40 IST

A CONTROVERSY has erupted once again over sighting of the moon for Ramzan and Eid-ul-Fitr.

All India Muslim Personal Law Board vice-chairman and Shia cleric Dr Kalbe Sadiq on Wednesday announced that the Ramzan moon would be sighted on September 24 and the first Roza would be on September 25. He cited astronomical calculations. However, the Lucknow Moon committee opposed the prediction and called it “un-Islamic”. Dr Sadiq said the Eid moon would be sighted on October 24 and the festival celebrated the next day.

He also said internationally known observatories had made these calculations. Dr Sadiq’s announcement was aimed at avoiding confusion among Muslims over sighting of the moon. Scientific predictions had proved correct in the past, he added.

But, Lucknow Moon Committee general secretary and Naib Imam Eidgah Maulana Khalid Rashid said it was unacceptable. He argued scientific predictions might prove wrong. Rashid said the committee would make a formal announcement about the Ramzan moon only after sighting it on September 23. He said there were certain guidelines in Islam about sighting the moon and these could not be ignored. Various committees in other parts of the country would be contacted before confirmation, he added. However, Dr Sadiq’s statement said predictions would facilitate observance of Ramzan and Eid without any delay or confusion.