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PIA Press Release

Eid'l Fitr celebration takes place when the moon is sighted in October

Tacloban City (September 9) -- For the benefit of those who have been calling up the Philippine Information Agency asking whether September 10 is a holiday, and for the sake of the Muslim brothers living in Eastern Visayas, here are some clarifications about the Ramadan.

Yes, some four million brother Muslims in Mindanao will join Muslims all over the world for a month-long Ramadan to start this September. However, the final announcement as to when the start of the Ramadan will be on the evening of September 11, as declared by Aleem Mahmod Mala Adilao, ULAMA Regional Chairman when interviewed by Prix Banzon of PIA 11.

He said a moon-sighting is held and this is done worldwide. If the moon is sighted on September 11 then the Ramadan will start on September 12. If not, the fasting will start on September 13.

Adilao stressed that the fasting does not merely mean not eating or drinking, but the last ten days will be focused on prayer for peace even as the people making troubles are urged to stop those bad acts during the Ramadan. The start of the fasting is at sun rise at around 4:07 in the morning and the fast or buka ends at sunset estimated at around 5:39 in the afternoon.

Fasting which is done for 29 or 30 days each year starting on the first or second day of the Ramadan, is done for the several reasons such as obeying God, learning self-discipline, becoming spiritually stronger, appreciating God's gifts, sharing the sufferings of the poor and developing sympathy for them, realizing the value of charity and generosity, giving thanks for the Holy Qur'an which was first revealed in the month of Ramadan and sharing and fellowship with other Muslims.

During the Ramadan, all adult Muslims must give up food or drink of any sort, smoking (including passive smoking) and sexual activity during the hours of daylight.

Fasting is compulsory for every Muslims who are mentally and physically fit, at age of puberty and discretion, usually about fourteen, currently at permanent settlement which means that the person will not be traveling for about fifty or more miles and the person will not be exposed to any harm either physically or mentally.

The Eid'l Fitr Celebration and Congregational Prayer that is equivalent to the Easter Sunday of the Christians will take place when the moon is sighted tentatively on October 10, 2007.

The first day of Shawwal, the tenth month of the Islamic calendar, is declared a national holiday for the observance of Eid'l Fitr, or the Feast of Breaking the Fast (of Ramadan, the ninth month). It was created by virtue of Republic Act No. 9177 and signed on November 13, 2002.

The law was enacted in deference to the Filipino Muslim community and to promote peace among major religions in the Philippines. The first public holiday was set on December 6, 2002; the date advances about 11 days every year in the Gregorian calendar. (PIA 8) [top]

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