Eid: the annual circus of the Royyat

Usman Ahmad

As another Eid draws near so too does the annual circus of the Royyat-e-Halal Committee roll into town. Tonight, all over the country eager eyes will turn towards their television sets awaiting the verdict of whether the moon has been sighted or not. Every year it seems this bit of plain observation requires more erudition and scholarly discussion than the finer aspects of particle physics. Debate will rage, storms in teacups will brew, fatwas and counter fatwas will be made and eventually some genius will seek to quell the firestorm by blaming it all on the Ahmadis.   As always FATA will declare Eid a day early, the afore-mentioned committee will ooh and ahh late into the night before eventually deciding either that the moon has been sighted after all – sending housewives in the country into a manic frenzy over the next day’s preparations – or tell a downcast nation to retire to their beds and submit to one more day of fasting without taking into consideration that having been kept up so late – these poor souls might have a little problem waking up for Sehri.
What I don’t get and what irks me the most is how tiresome and unnecessary the whole charade is. Surely when the rest of the Muslim world have decided to using bona fide scientific methods to pre-determine when their Eid will be – it would not be too unwise for Pakistan to do the same. But alas these days wisdom and Pakistan seem to have about as distant a relationship as the Swiss have with minarets.
So let the posturing begin. Tomorrow we may be rejoicing and receiving nice plump envelopes of Eidi (I wish) or maintaining the discipline, restraint and obedience fasting so invariably demands of us. Either way, I for one, wish I could have found out a little bit sooner.


Filed under Pakistan, Regulatory Affairs, Religion

16 responses to “Eid: the annual circus of the Royyat

  1. Talha

    Hahaha, very funny. Especially the blame it all on Ahmadis part.

    What a joke the people of this nation are.

  2. Mohammad Akram

    C’mon people just base your calender on Science and follow it rather than following the royyat-e-hilal circus.

  3. adam

    the reason it still goes on is so the committee can have a big fat free meal at the Marriot or somewhere. What a joke!

  4. Amaar

    the eyesight of mullahs is not strong enough to catch the crescent

  5. Surely when the rest of the Muslim world have decided to using bona fide scientific methods to pre-determine when their Eid will be ….

    Really? I can assure you that is not the case in most of the Muslim world. We should simply use the scientific method of calculating when the moon will be sighted and just go along with that.

    Just my 2 cents!

  6. Bin Ismail

    @Amaar (September 9, 2010 at 11:53 pm)

    “…the eyesight of mullahs is not strong enough to catch the crescent…”

    …neither good enough to see the full moon.

  7. adam

    I too would beg to differ – all the muslim communities in the west celebrate eid on a predetermined eid as do the saudis, malaysians, indonosians and many many more.

  8. Talha

    The nonsensical debate has started on TV with extremist overtones seeping through the opinions being presented.

  9. Talha

    Once again, the people of this nation are a joke.

  10. Bin Ismail

    Gentlemen, you should see the brighter side of things. Considering that there are 72 sects of State-certified Muslims, in this country, there could well have been 72 Eids. Fortunately, there will be only 2.

  11. Mustafa Shaban

    The issues are of different sects and fatwas. The thing is that different sects and sub sects have different rulings regarding the moon.

    But I agree with the author, there should be only one eid and this moon sighting problem is total nonsense! There is advanced technology that can help us determine Eid!

    Eid Mubarak every1!

  12. due

    Some muslim leaders use modern technology only for their propaganda, mind-control of their followers and terrorism (also upon their fellow muslims). Otherwise they shun it and want to live like in the 7th century.

  13. faris

    If they still insist on basing it on an actual sighting of the moon two points need to be borne in mind;

    Firstly – why does there have to be one Eid then. If the the people in Lahore see the moon but the inhabitants of Karachi do not – then surely they do not have to slavishly follow the Lahoris after all in the time of the Prophet there were certain occasions when Mecca and Medina celebrated Eid on a different day.

    Secondly – I think (and someone correct me if I am wrong) you need the testimony of two honest and credible witnesses. Finding two honest people in Pakistan is like looking for WMD’s in the Iraqi desert.

  14. Each year I refer to Moonsighting.Com for getting a plausible explaination, which is in most cases true. This year, the site had predicted that on 9th Septemebr, new moon will be visible in lower half of Pakistan, while the upper half couldsee it with use of extreme optical aids.
    Now the moon was there – but perhaps the optical aids held with Royyat Committee were rusty that the entire paltoon of Maulanas could not it.
    I hope the committee also uses other sources other than staging a drama each year.

  15. sarah

    the poor mullahs get a chance to come onair only twice a year before the eids ….if they start using scientific equipment to sight the moon how woul d thier rozi roti go on….after all this nation is nurturing them with its hands!

  16. Bin Ismail

    @sarah (October 2, 2010 at 12:48 pm)

    “…..after all this nation is nurturing them [the mullahs] with its hands…..”

    “…..this nation is nurturing them with its blood…..”