Sighted Or Not Sighted- Kashmir Caught In Pak-India Moon Tussle

Srinagar- As Ramazan moon was not sighted anywhere in India or Pakistan till late hours on Wednesday Kashmir Grand Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam, like many others, made his customary announcement about the first day of fasting starting from Friday.

However a late night announcement from the neighbouring country that the Ramazan moon has been sighted put many of them in quandary. Interestingly Grand Mufti this time around maintained his stand breaking from the tradition of following Pakistan on the matters related to moon sighting.

Nasir-ul-Islam had said that no evidence from any part of the J&K was received about sightings of Ramazan moon and therefore, the first day of the fasting month will be on Friday (March 24).

However after the Pakistan Ruet-e-Hilal Committee officially announced the sighting of the Ramazan moon during late hours on Wednesday, mosque loudspeakers across Kashmir started blaring with announcements declaring Thursday as the first day of fasting.

When contacted Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam said he stands by his decision as the crescent wasn’t sighted from any territory in Jammu and Kashmir.

Nasir ul Islam said that the office had entrusted its men across all districts of Jammu and Kashmir to see if the crescent is visible at any place. Reiterating his earlier stance, he said they had in the evening received a ‘witness’ from Poonch, which after being put to scrutiny turned too feeble to enable us reach the decision about the start of Ramazan from tomorrow (Thursday)”.

Dismissing the Pak sighting he also said that sighting of moon in farway FATA (Pakistan’s frontier region) has no bearing on Kashmir. “I stand by my decision as ‘no credible witness’ is on record from any territory in J&K and as such the holy month of Ramazan here (Jammu and Kashmir) will begin from Friday”, Grand Mufti added.

Meanwhile various religious bodies including Anjuman Auqaf Jamia Masjid, Srinagar and Kishtwar and Anjuman-e-Shari Shiayan have announced beginning of the holy month of Ramazan from Thursday.

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