The Case Of The Crescent
The Indian religious clerics and mullahs have gone ahead and refuted the Pakistani clergy’s sighting of the crescent that commences the month of Ramzan. This is quite a huge leap for our clergy!
THE holy month of fasting has commenced. On March 22, late night, Pakistan announced the sighting of the crescent. It was almost midnight when Pakistani mullahs claimed sighting of the crescent. The gullible people in Kashmir took to loudspeakers from the mosques and announced that March 23 was the first day of fasting. This is not new in Kashmir. But what was really interesting, rather encouraging, was the stand taken by
the local clergy. The local clerics put a strong argument against Pakistan’s announcement. They argued that scientifically it was not appropriate for Pakistan to claim
to have sighted the crescent almost at midnight. They argued that the sun sets around 7 pm and the moon could be sighted from 6:45 pm till 9 pm, and that beyond 9 pm, it is almost impossible to sight the moon. They further argued that the basic fundamentals of the religion of Islam also do not provide for late night moon sighting.
This is the first time in the contemporary times that the religious leaders of Kashmir took a stand against their counterparts in Pakistan. So our religious leaders and scholars ruled out the sighting of the moon at 9 pm, and declared that the month of Ramzan would start from Friday i.e., March 24. It is a given that Pakistani mullahs will take a stand against the observations of their Indian counterparts. They don’t care whether such decisions have a religious or a scientific basis or not. It is bizzare that even in matters of faith, Pakistani religious leaders practise politics. That said, the local religious clerics and scholars need to be appreciated for taking a call based upon collective conscience and their right-in-the-spirit faith. Not only this, they were technically correct too. Immaterial whether they were heard by the herds or not, the Kashmir clergy has taken a stand which is monumental and with far-reaching implications.