Once again, the sweetest day of the year, Eid, with its trinkets-decorated streets and aroma of delicacies being made at brunches across the country, is upon us. After a month of fasting in these extremely increasing temperatures, these few days of celebration, brotherhood and gulaab jaman are dearly needed and deserved. We hope everyone enjoys a wonderful Eid with their loved ones and family members.

Yet for a certain segment of our population, the days of Eid and the end of Ramazan have come a little earlier than the rest of us. It appears our country has once again fallen victim to the menace of “two moons”, where two parties of the country are celebrating Eid on different days. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Monday announced that it had decided to celebrate Eidul Fitr on Tuesday after taking into account ‘testimonies’ of moon sighting all over the province. Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai had late Monday announced that the moon of Shawwal has been sighted in Peshawar, Mardan and Swabi, and Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated on Tuesday, June 4, 2019. Thus, just like last year, a segment of the population celebrated Eid yesterday whereas the majority are celebrating today.

While it may seem like a small matter, this occurrence, of being unable to decide on the day of Eid, perhaps reflects the division that the country is in today. The past month has certainly been extremely trying and has not reflected the best spirit of Ramazan- we have seen inflation shooting up, several cases of rape and violence inflicted upon women, and conflict and division increasing between provinces, political parties and institutions. Moreover, despite the fact that Ramazan is supposed to be a month for patience and tolerance, we have seen an increase in religious intolerance. We have seen incidents of heat stroke camps being shut down by extremists just because they offered water and facilities to those affected by the heat. We have seen more moral policing and enforcing of religious codes than before as not even havens and eateries for travellers in routes have been allowed to open. This Eid, thus, while we certainly celebrate our completing our fasts, we would also do well to learn the lessons of the past hard month and resolve to make further Ramazans an easier month for all.