PH Muslims to mark end of Ramadan July 6
COTABATO CITY – Muslims from all over the country will observe, on Wednesday (July 6), the feast of Eidl Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan, the month-long, daily fasting.
Fasting this year had reached 30 days— which had been rare in the past decades of mostly 29 fasting days in Ramadan.
Moro Grand Mufti Abu Huraira Udasan made the announcement of the end of Ramadan in Filipino, English and Maguindanaon, at about 8:30 p.m. Monday, saying: “I inform the Filipino people, particularly the Bangsamoro, that our celebration of Eidl Fitr shall be on Wednesday, July 6, 2016.” This meant that a Southeast Asian network of astronomical observers had not sighted the crescent moon that night, signifying that fasting days in Ramadan had ended.
In Malacañang, President Duterte, who traces a Maranao Muslim bloodline through his grandmother, issued Proclamation No. 6, the first non-working holiday declaration of his presidency, for the celebration Eidl Fitr on Wednesday.
The Presidential Proclamation states that Eidl Fitr is declared a non-working holiday under Republic Act 977, and is one of the Muslim holidays listed in Presidential Decree 1083, the Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines.
In a press statement, the Office of the Press Attaché of the U.S. Embassy said the Embassy “will be closed to the public on Wednesday, July 6 in observance of Eid’l Fitr.”
“The Embassy and its affiliated offices will resume their services on Thursday, July 7,” the statement added.
“The entire Filipino nation should have the full opportunity to join their Muslim brothers and sisters in peace and harmony in the observance and celebration of the Eidl Fitr,” Mr. Duterte said in the seven-paragraph declaration.
With the President signing ahead of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdia, Presidential Proclamation No. 6 appeared distinct from previous similar edicts, usually signed by the Executive Secretary.
The Regional Dharul Ifta (House of Opinion) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (RDI-ARMM) has also concurred in with the Wednesday Edl Fitr declarations. The concurrence was made by Alim Abdulmuhmin Mujahid, RDI-ARMM executive director.
In the ARMM, residents have turned Ramadan into trade and cultural tourism, promoting halal food and non-food products in nightly trade fairs inside the Bangsamoro Regional Government Center here.
But parents have bewailed the increasing number of young people, who were “not trained to” fast and were not fasting. They say that non-fasting Muslim youths mostly come from poor families and have fallen into vice, or those who are too busy at work to observe the rituals of their religion.
In the last weekend of the fasting month, 5,000 people converged at the City Hall ground here to partake of modest traditional iftar (break of fast) dinner.
Organizers said many non-Muslim residents participated in the instant sunset food festivity, where City Mayor Japal Guiani Jr. and Udasan sent messages of peace among Muslim, Christian and Lumad communities.
Udasan, who had studied comparative religions in Jerusalem, said Muslims usually felt Christian appreciation toward them on Ramadan, because fasting has been the only living tradition practiced by believers at various times of the biblical age.
The mufti delivered the lecture, and led the sunset prayer, immediately following the breaking of the fast (iftar).
Udasan said Ramadan tended to harmonize people of various faiths in many ways that they, in turn, could call upon their leaders to embrace unity and cast aside political divide. For one, ancient thinkers and modern-day experts have agreed that fasting could improve physical and mental health, he said.
“It’s a breakthrough in the Bangsamoro history that a huge number of people from all walks of life come together; sit side-by-side regardless of their status in life, and share food with one another,” Abdulbasit Benito, secretary-general of the Mindanao People’s Caucus, and one of the event’s organizers, said in a statement.
ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman on Tuesday said open field congregational prayers would be held in many places in the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
“This year’s Ramadan was very symbolic because it came immediately after the May 9 national, local and the ARMM regional elections, which caused tension and division among our people,” Hataman said in a statement.
“Emerging spiritually victorious from the fasting season, we shall draw strength from the essence of Eid’l Fitr to continue with much vigor and dedication our reform initiatives and dedicated governance which we started in 2012,” said Hataman who will lead the congregation prayer Wednesday inside the ARMM compound here along with regional officials.
Since day one of Ramadan, ARMM employees, guest, visitors and anyone have been breaking the fast (Iftar) at 6 p.m. at the Ramadan Trade Fair booths inside the complex. (With a report from Edwin O. Fernandez, Inquirer Mindanao) SFM
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