Warped moon sightings

Sir: Why is it that a few people every year see the moon in the northern areas when it is scientifically proved that it cannot be visible there? And why is the announcement of the sighting of the moon by Maulvi Popalzai made only after it has been confirmed that the moon has been seen in Saudi Arabia? If it had really been sighted in the northern areas, it would have been around seven in the evening. Is the mullah trying to prove that Pakistan is a part of Saudi Arabia? As far as the prediction of the sighting of the moon is concerned, it can be done scientifically (the same science that can calculate the timings of solar and lunar eclipses and the timings of the five prayers, besides the exact timings of starting and breaking the fast during the holy month). In fact, such a calendar has been in use for many years, known as the Egyptian calendar. I have observed that the date of Eid in this calendar usually coincides with the date of Eid in Saudi Arabia. So, if our clerics have no problem using the information prepared by astronomers for saying prayers and observing fasts, why can they not use data provided by astronomy for celebrating Eid?

Printed in Daily Times, August 2, 2014