Ramadan officially begins Wednesday

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FILIPINO Muslims pray on the eve of Ramadan inside the Grand Mosque, also known as Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Masjid (Muslim center of worship), in Cotabato City. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

COTABATO CITY, Philippins—Ramadan, the fasting month among Muslims, officially starts on July 10, Muslim leaders announced on Monday.

There was no sighting of the new moon at dusk on Monday, declared Mufti Omar Pasigan, head of the Dharul Ifta (House of Opinion), which meant that the “first following day” (Wednesday) would be considered the start of the daytime fasting from food, drink and sex among Muslims.

According to Commissioner Esmael Ebrahim, chair of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos’ moon-sighting committee, the sighting of the new moon as a determining factor on the start of Ramadan was based on how Muslim scholars had interpreted a declaration of the Prophet Muhammad in a Hadith (Tradition). The prophet said: “Fast when you see the New Moon rise on Ramadan and break as it rises on Shawwal.”

Ebrahim said the group started its lunar observation after sunset Monday “in collaboration with provincial offices of the Dharul Ifta … they being the authority on religious concerns.”

Muslim religious authorities here said the new moon was observed by several teams from different areas in Davao, Surigao, Western Samar, Zamboanga peninsula, and northern and southern Luzon, including Palawan.

Muslim employees observing Ramadan would have to adjust their working hours under civil service rules, according to Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Muslims who are physically and mentally fit are required to fast from dawn to dusk in the 29 or 30 days of Ramadan, the 10th month of the Hejra Lunar Calendar.—Nash B. Maulana, Inquirer Mindanao

Originally posted: 4:35 pm | Monday, July 8th, 2013

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