BARMM tweaks work hours for fasting Muslim workers
COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao del Norte, Philippines — The government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has modified its work schedule to lighten the load of employees who will be fasting on the holy month of Ramadan that will start today.
Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim on Tuesday issued a memorandum circular adopting flexible working hours, where fasting employees will only be required to report for work from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for the duration of the holy month.The region will revert to the 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. regular work schedule after the Eid al-Fitr celebrations marking the end of Ramadan.
Ebrahim urged the Bangsamoro community to perform fasting with pure intentions, discipline, and kindness.
“Let us deeply dedicate ourselves to purifying our intentions, fostering the highest level of discipline, and emanating generosity and mercy in observance of this significant spiritual journey,” Ebrahim said in a statement.
“It is my fervent hope that as a community, we will collectively grow and prosper as we continue to strive to nourish our faith and translate the true message of this sacrifice into righteousness, peace and mercy for the vulnerable members of our society,” he added.
Ebrahim also urged the Bangsamoro people to help their fellow Muslims and to hold religious activities like prayers and Quran reading during the sacred month.
“May we, my fellow brothers and sisters, be reminded to serve the less fortunate, extend iftar meals to the needy, and conduct religious activities, such as reading the Quran and Islamic preaching—all of which remind us to unite together as one Bangsamoro family,” Ebrahim said.
Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. It lasts 29 to 30 days from one sighting of the crescent moon to the next.
The BARMM’s Darul Ifta (House of Islamic Opinion), an agency of the regional government, has declared the start of Ramadan on Thursday after a moonsighting team failed to see the crescent moon on Tuesday night.
According to the Darul Ifta, fasting from dawn to nightfall is obligatory for all adult Muslims who are healthy. Exemptions apply to the elderly, breastfeeding mothers, and women who are menstruating.
Children 15 years old and below are still exempt but are encouraged to practice fasting whenever possible. If not, they are encouraged to engage in charity work, prayers, and helping fellow Muslims.
During Ramadan, Muslims not only refrain from food and drink but also from smoking, sex, and sinful behavior so that they can devote more time to prayers and the study of Quran verses.
The BARMM also opened the monthlong Ramadan Trade Fair at the Bangsamoro government center here aimed at promoting the spirit of unity and bringing people together during the fasting month.
BARMM Minister of Trade, Investment and Tourism Abuamri Taddik said he hoped to open opportunities for small businesses in the region through the fair.
“This Ramadan fair will be our chance to help our local producers and entrepreneurs by providing them a venue for showcasing, promoting, and selling their respective halal food products and services,” Taddik said.
Ramadan will officially start on March 23
March 23 is not a holiday despite start of Ramadan, says Palace
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