With only a few days left for the Eid ul Fitr — a religious festival celebrated by Muslims across the world — the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Wednesday announced five-day holidays.
According to a statement released by the central bank, the bank will remain closed from April 21 to 25 (Friday to Tuesday).
It should be noted that the federal government had also approved a five-day holiday as one of the most anticipated holidays for Muslims that marks the end of the holy month of fasting.
News reports suggest that the government might extend the Eid holidays to six days instead of the already approved five days.
When is Eid ul Fitr?
While the people are expecting Eid ul Fitr to be on April 21, Ruet-e-Hilal Research Council Secretary General Khalid Aijaz has ruled out the possibility, saying that the moon will not be sighted on April 20.
Speaking to Geo News, the official earlier said that the crescent marking beginning of Shawwal will be sighted after the completion of 30 days of Ramadan, according to which Eid ul Fitr will fall on April 22, Saturday.
Aijaz also predicted the time of the moon sighting, saying that the new crescent will be born at 9:13am on April 20 and its age will be less than 10 hours that day.
“For the crescent to be sighted, the duration should be more than 19 hours and even if the sky is clear that day [April 20], the moon wouldn’t be spotted,” he said.
Therefore, any testimony received on April 20 will be false as the month of Ramadan will last for 30 days and the 1st Shawwal will fall on April 22.
The Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee is set to meet on April 20 for the sighting of the Eid ul Fitr crescent moon, a statement from the religious affairs ministry said on Tuesday.