Ramadan starts; Palace greets MuslimsBy Norman Bordadora
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Malacañang on Friday extended its greetings of solidarity with the Filipino Muslim community at the start of their observance of the holy month of Ramadan.
“The coming weeks shall be dedicated to the solemn fulfillment of the tenets of your spirituality, demanding great sacrifice and due discipline, as an act of surrender to Allah, the beneficent and all-merciful,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement.
“These are times when your government has been working with all people of goodwill, to restore trust and confidence in our vital institutions. May we all be filled with this spirit of cooperation, respect and confidence as we seek the path of peace,” he added.
Ramadan, one of the most important Islamic occasions observed by Muslims annually, is celebrated worldwide during the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It is a period of fasting, reflection and sacrifice.
Ramadan comes from the Arabic root word for “parched thirst” and “sun-baked ground.” During the holy month, Muslims observe fasting or sawm, which literally means “to refrain.” Sawm is one of the five pillars of Islam—the obligations that every Muslim must satisfy in order to live a good and responsible life.
Muslims who are physically able are required to spend their daylight hours abstaining not only from physical things but also from evil thoughts and deeds.
The breaking of the fast at the end of the month of Ramadan is called Eid’l Fitr, a three-day holiday of thanksgiving and rejoicing.
The Eid’l Fitr was included on the list of the country’s regular holidays through Republic Act No. 9177, which was signed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2002. The movable holiday falls on Aug. 18 this year.