PESHAWAR: Residents of a small town in North Waziristan celebrated Eid Al-Adha on Thursday, even when people were still performing Hajj pilgrimage in Makkah.
Maulvi Rafiullah Dawar, a leading cleric of Haiderkhel village, told Arab News that religious leaders accepted the moonsighting testimony of five individuals after a careful evaluation.
“We had five witnesses confirming that July 30 was the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah [the final month of the Muslim lunar calendar]. We evaluated and gauged their claims, found them valid under the Shariah law, and decided to observe Eid Al-Adha today,” he said.
Malik Saleh Jan, a tribal elder from the town, said that Eid prayers were held in all three mosques including the central worship place in the dusty village.
“We slaughtered sacrificial animals today. Last night, fireworks by children lit up the sky after Eid was announced,” he told Arab News on phone.
Eid Al-Adha is celebrated after Muslims perform Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.
According to Pakistan’s moonsighting committee led by Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, the country would officially observe Eid Al-Adha on Saturday while the Kingdom would celebrate the festivity tomorrow.
Jan said that people of Haiderkhel, which has a population of around 10,000, also observed Eid Al-Fitr one day before the rest of Pakistan.
Ziaullah Bangash, adviser to the chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, told Arab News that the government should ensure that Eid was celebrated across the country on the same day. However, he lamented that this never happened since religious leaders had “a say in these matters.”
While such Eid controversies are not new in Pakistan where people of the northwestern province frequently celebrate the two Muslim festivities before the rest of the country, the celebration of Eid Al-Adha in Haiderkhel has surprised many people since the event has not even been celebrated in Saudi Arabia.
“The government needs to take a tough stance to resolve such issues with Eid celebrations once and for all,” Bangash said.