Muslims end Ramadan fast with Eid’l Fitr prayers


By EDD K. USMAN

Millions of Muslims around the world, including Filipino members of the Ummah, yesterday marked the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan with Eid’l Fitr (Festival of Breaking the Fast) starting with early morning congregational prayers.

President Arroyo through the Office on Muslim Affairs (OMA) conveyed her warmest felicitations to the Islamic world, particularly Muslim Filipinos, and noted the significance of Ramadan in adhering to the Islamic virtues of self-restraint, sincerity, perseverance, humility and generosity.

“May the graces of the just-concluded Ramadan foster more understanding on the firm resolve of the government to finally put an honorable conclusion to the decades-old conflict in Muslim Mindanao. The economic gains that we have painstakingly achieved can only be sustained if peace reign supreme in our country,” said Arroyo.

Known as Hariraya Puasa among the Malay race, Eid’l Fitr is also a non-working national holiday in the Philippines through Republic Act No. 9177.

On the recommendation of OMA Executive Director Datu Ali B. Sangki, the President issued Proclamation No. 1625 declaring Wednesday, October 1, a regular holiday throughout the country.

Ramadan officially ended Monday evening. The OMA said the new moon was sighted Monday evening, and according to Islamic tradition, this marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

With this, the Eid’l Fitr, also known as Hariraya Puasa, which marks the end of the holy month, was observed by Muslims yesterday.

However, despite this declaration by Muslim leaders, the non-working holiday set by Malacañang on Oct. 1 will be observed.

Sangki said the Eid celebration shows Islam’s culture of tolerance over bigotry, brotherhood over hatred, and harmony over violence.

“The solemn day of Hariraya Puasa provides the Muslim an opportune time to have a new dawn, to remold his character as he strides and stays the course of his posterity and of his children’s future,” said Sangki.

Malacanang conveyed President Arroyo’s greetings to Filipino Muslims for the celebration of Eid’l Fitr, and called on all Filipinos to pray for guidance and peace in Mindanao.

“As we come to the end of the most venerated and holy month of Ramadan, the Palace sends its greetings to our Muslim brothers and sisters and the Islamic world on the joyous Eid’l Fitr,” Deputy Presidential Spokeswoman Lorelei Fajardo said.

“The Palace enjoins the whole nation to pray for guidance and peace,” Fajardo said.

In the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), re-elected Gov. Datu Zaldy Uy Ampatuan and his constituents performed the prayers for Eid’l Fitr.

“It is my ardent prayer the fasting we have gone through and these trying times would embolden our spirit and strengthen our resolve in creating a healthier, more prosperous and productive society. Let the virtues that fasting instills guide us toward this path,” Ampatuan said.

“The Autonomous Regional Government is exhausting all means at its disposal to bring an end to decades of poverty, illiteracy and conflict in the region. The programs that we have introduced in recent years are designed to usher in a new era, an era of peace and prosperity,” he said.

Prof. Taha Basman, president of Center for Moderate Muslims (CMM), urged his brethren to practice Ramadan’s virtues all throughout the year.

“We should be aware always that Islam’s principles and tenets are every day obligation for everyone of us,” said Basman.

Moro Islamic Liberation Front Chairman Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim also sent his Eid’l Fitr greetings.

“May the Almighty Allah accept and reward your fasts, prayers and all the good deeds you performed during the holy month in submission to Allah Subhanna wa Ta’ala,” said Murad. (with a report by David Cagahastian)

Peace is best way to observe Eid’l Fitr — Tamano

By LEONARD D. POSTRADO

Peace, and not hostilities, in Mindanao would be the best way for the country to honor the Muslim holy day of Eid’l Fitr, United Opposition spokesman Adel Tamano said yesterday.

“Today Filipino Muslims celebrate Eid il Fitr which is the culmination of the holy month of Ramadan. We do so with a mixture of happiness and concern because while it is a time for celebration we also know that the conflict in Mindanao has displaced half a million of our Muslim and Christian brothers and sisters. This is a true humanitarian crisis,” Tamano, a Muslim lawyer and educator, said.

“The best way to honor the holy month of Ramadan is for the government and the MILF to cease all hostilities and go back to the negotiating table to look for a peaceful resolution to the Mindanao conflict. Not only is war not an option but our country can never move forward until we achieve a just and lasting peace in the south and until Moros are fully integrated in the mainstream of Philippine society,” he said.

Senator Loren Legarda also joined Muslims in the celebration of Eid’l Fitr.

“I wish to convey my sincerest greetings to our brothers and sisters in the Islam faith on the occasion of Eid’l Fitr to celebrate the end of Ramadan,” Legarda said in a statement.

“This month-long tradition of prayer and fasting has been an integral part of your lives. In emptying yourselves of temporal provisions and in devoting your time to worship and prayer, you allow Allah to fill your lives with His strength, wisdom and guidance to achieve the purpose that He has set for your lives here on earth,” she said.

“Setting aside your differences, your self-discipline and obedience to the Holy Quran as well as the importance that you give on the communion with fellow Muslims are practices that serve as model and inspiration to those around you. With the renewed and purified strength that is imbued by the divine spirit of the Ramadan tradition, I trust and believe that the Muslim community will continue to be a strong influence and contributor to our development as a people and as a nation.”

San Juan Mayor and UNO National Capital Region chairman JV Ejercito said the government should have long ago stopped its “yo-yo policy” on Mindanao and insisted on peace for all Filipinos in the south.

“It is the Muslim populace who are paying a high price for the government’s apathy to their situation and the opportunistic few in their midst who insist on the politics of guns and bloodshed to press for their demands for power,” Ejercito said.(ManilaBulletin)

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