COTABATO CITY – Muslims worldwide start Ramadan fasting today to fulfill one of the five pillars of Islam, enhance spirituality against worldly ills, and gain salvation in the life hereafter.
National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Secretary Saidamen Pangarungan said the Philippine grand mufti (Islamic jurist) and counterparts across the globe have not sighted the Ramadan moon in simultaneous monitoring yesterday.
“The non-sighting of the new moon on Sunday means that the first day of Ramadan and the start of mandatory fast falls on Monday,” Pangarungan said in a statement.
Because of the “great importance” of Ramadan, he said, President Duterte was expected to issue an official statement greeting the Muslim Filipinos and other Islamic faithful worldwide.
The Cotabato City-based office of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao interim Chief Minister Ahod “Murad” Ebrahim has issued a memorandum enjoining all government workers in the BARMM about the usual adjustments in office work prescribed by the Civil Service Commission for Muslims during Ramadan.
Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic (lunar) Calendar, is considered one of the most blessed months in Islam. The revelation of the Holy Quran was completed in this month.
Fasting for the whole month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. It was first mandated on all adult Muslims during the second year of Hijri (migration from Makkah to Madinah of Muslims).
The only people exempted from fasting on time are Muslims who are travelling, aged, pregnant, diabetic, chronically ill, and menstruating or breast feeding. But fasting in later days is required for the travelers and the women who were on menstrual period, pregnant, or lactating stage during Ramadan.
Islamic clerics said the mandatory fasting is meant to teach Muslims the true essence of perseverance and tolerance. During Ramadan, they are required not only to refrain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk but also to curb all negative emotions like anger and prove themselves to be the perfect Muslim. (Ali Macabalang)