Ramadan starts September 13
Tacloban City (September 13) -- Some four million brother Muslims in Mindanao joined Muslims all over the world for a month-long Ramadan which started at 3:30 in the morning of September 13.
The Philippine Information Agency in Region 8 called up its counterpart in Davao specifically Felix Irlandes in order to inquire about the start of Ramadan for the benefit of those who have been calling up the office.
Earlier, Aleem Mahmod Mala Adilao, ULAMA Regional Chairman informed that the final announcement as to the start of the Ramadan will be on the evening of September 11 after a moon-sighting to determine whether the crescent moon is already visible.
He said a moon-sighting is held and this is done worldwide. If the crescent moon is sighted on September 11 then the Ramadan will start on September 12. If not, the fasting will start on September 13. As it is, Ramadan started early morning of September 13.
The start of the fasting is at sunrise in the morning and the fast or buka ends at sunset estimated at around 5:45 or 6:00 o'clock in the afternoon. That is when they can already eat.
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. From September up to the end of the Ramadan, the fasting starts at sunrise until sunset.
It is underscored that fasting does not merely mean not eating or drinking, but the last ten days will also be focused on prayer for peace. Even the people making troubles are urged to stop those bad acts during the Ramadan.
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 full 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.
So what is observed as a national holiday is not the start of Ramadan but the end of Ramadan, the Eid'l Fitr which will be sometime in October. (PIA 8) [top]