Muslims in the Philippines and other parts of the world ended the holy Ramadan month of fasting with Eid’l Fitr prayer Sunday, with no less than President Arroyo conveying her warmest greetings to the Islamic world, particularly its Filipino members.
Islam believers over flowed mosques and spilled outside as still many others prayed in outdoor areas early in the morning, many with their children in tow, for the Eid’l Fitr thanksgiving worship.
Eid’l Fitr means “Festival of Fast-Breaking”, an occasion for Muslims to thank Allah (God in Arabic) for hurdling the arduous season, forgive, and reconcile with enemies, and be happy after a month of sacrifice and heightened worship, etc.
Fasting in Ramadan requires adult Muslims, except the sick and travelers, to abstain from food, drink, smoking, sex, and evil thoughts from dawn to dusk.
“This sacred day marks the end of Ramadan considered by Muslims all over the world as a mercy from Allah Himself. The month-long fasting gives Muslims the opportunity to remember and practice the Islamic virtues of self-restraint, sincerity, perseverance, humility, and generosity,” said Mrs. Arroyo.
In her message, sent through the Office on Muslim Affairs (OMA), the President noted the Holy Qur’an stresses religious tolerance and brotherhood that identify Islam as advocate of universal peace.
“With this as a basic premise, there is no doubt that we can promote lasting peace and prosperity for Mindanao, and make it a place for all Filipinos of all faiths,” the President said.
OMA Executive Director Datu Ali B. Sangki and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Regional Gov. Datu Zaldy Uy Ampatuan conveyed their own greetings to their brethren.
“Let us work together in bringing peace in the country, as we take pride in being followers of Islam religion that recognizes peoples of other faiths. I also urge everyone, and all other stakeholders, to contribute to the peace process with sincerity of purpose so that we can attain lasting peace in the country,” said Sangki.
The OMA official said Ramadan brings Muslims closer to the Lord of creation.
Ampatuan said he and his family were one with their compatriots in the Eid’l Fitr observance, citing the virtues practiced during the month which, he said, are needed for humane and peaceful society.
“Let these qualities unite us all in our long dream and common aspiration for a progressive and peaceful autonomous region. I would like to take this very opportune time to call everyone to rally behind us in our persistent efforts to bring about much- needed change and socio-economic development in ARMM. I am confident that with your unbending support, we can achieve prosperity, biiznillah,” the Ampatuan said.
Ustadhz Abdulhadie Daguit, vice president for external affairs of the National Halal Accreditation Board of the Philippines, Inc. (NHABPI), said it was expected that Muslims before the Eid prayer were able to comply with the giving of Sadaqatul Fitr (charity for fast-breaking) to their poor compatriots an equivalent of 2.5 kilos of rice or in cash for each member of one’s household.
Daguit said after the Eid rites – made up of a sermon and a brief congregational prayer – Muslims greet each other an “Eid Mubarak” (Blessed Festival), or “Eid Saeed” (Happy Festival). Then, they disperse to visit houses of relatives or friends to partake of food preparations, or go home to await Eid visitors, he added.
The NHABPI official said every Eid is an occasion to forgive and reconcile with one's enemy.
Islam believers are also thankful to God for hurdling the arduous month of fasting that tested their patience, sense of sacrifice, will, and fear of God, he said.