Eid-ul-Fitr 2024: Will Pakistan Witness the Shawwal Moon Tonight?

As the holy month of Ramadan draws to a close, the eyes of the nation turn skyward in anticipation of the Shawwal moon, which heralds the joyous occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has indicated that the crescent moon may grace the evening sky today, as it was born last night at 11:21 pm. With an age of 19 to 20 hours by evening, the chances of sighting are high, provided the weather conditions remain favorable.

The Met Office has forecasted a clear sky in the southern regions of Pakistan, which could increase the likelihood of the crescent being visible for approximately 50 minutes post-sunset. However, the northern areas might face some challenges due to potential cloud cover, casting uncertainty over the moon sighting there.

The Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee is convening today in Islamabad, with Chairman Maulana Muhammad Abdul Khabir Azad leading the proceedings at the Kohsar Complex. This meeting is pivotal, as it will determine whether Muslims in Pakistan will celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr on Wednesday (April 10) or if it will be observed on Thursday (April 11), should the moon remain elusive.

In a synchronized effort, zonal and district committees across the nation will also gather this evening after Asr prayers to collect and verify testimonies of the moon sighting. These testimonies will play a crucial role in the final announcement by Maulana Azad regarding the commencement of Eid celebrations in Pakistan.

It is noteworthy that the government has already declared public holidays from April 10 to 12 for those with a five-day workweek, and an additional day off on April 13 for those with a six-day schedule, in anticipation of Eid-ul-Fitr.

In a related context, it is important to mention that the Shawwal moon was not sighted in Saudi Arabia, UAE, and other countries like Australia and the UK. Consequently, Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated in these nations on Wednesday, following a complete 30-day Ramadan. This development is significant as it often sets a precedent for Pakistan, where Eid is typically observed a day after it is in Saudi Arabia.

As the nation holds its breath, the question remains: Will the Shawwal moon be sighted in Pakistan tonight, or will the country follow in the footsteps of Saudi Arabia and others, marking the end of Ramadan with a full 30 days of fasting? The answer lies within the coming hours, as the Ruet-e-Hilal Committee prepares to make its much-awaited announcement.

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