Ramadan starts this month
by Prix D Banzon
Davao City (8 September) -- Some 4 million Muslims in Mindanao will join other Muslims in the world for a month long Ramadan to start this September.
Aleem Mahmod Mala Adilao, ULAMA Regional Chairman at Kapihan sa PIA said they will make the final announcement on September 11 at 9:00 PM over radio station DXDC.
He said they will hold a moon sighting and this is done worldwide.
He stressed that if the moon is sighted on September 11 then the Ramadan will start on September 12, if not the fast will start on September 13.
Adilao also emphasized that their fast will be focused on prayer for peace even as he said that during Ramadan people are urged to stop any bad acts.
"It is not merely to fast on eating and drinking but what is important is to put a stop on any bad practices and those people making trouble should stop during the month of the Ramadan," he said.
He said they are dedicating the last ten days of the Ramadan to the Prayer for Peace.
"We continue to fast for us to achieve peace," he said.
Aleem Jamaludin Abdulwahab, Ma-ahad Salmonan Al-Islamie in Davao City explained that the start of fasting is when the sun rises maybe at around 4:07 AM and end the fast (or buka) at sunset estimated at around 5:39PM.
He said fasting is followed by the Muslims as taught in the Qur'an. Allah who said "O Ye who believe. Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may learn self-restraint". (2:183).
He said the Muslims observe Sawm or fasting for 29 or 30 days each year commencing on the first or second day of Ramadan.
Fasting is done for the following reasons : 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 29/30 days of Ramadan, all adult Muslims must give up the following during the hours of daylight: food or drink of any sort, smoking (including passive smoking) and sexual activity.
Fasting is compulsory for every Muslims who meets the following: mentally and physically fit, at age of puberty and discretion, usually about fourteen, currently at ermanent settlement meaning, the person will not be traveling on a journey of about fifty or more miles and the person will not be exposed to any harm either physically or mentally.
Adilao said they were encouraged also to explain to the public the meaning of Ramadan for the people to be aware of this important event for the Muslims.
He said while it is also important to others the celebration of Christmas which as early as September 1 had already been reported or talked in different media channels, the Ramadan also is an equally important event.
During the celebration he said their will be nightly Islamic lectures on radio about Ramadan with lecturers the Ulama from different tribes – Kalagan, Maranao, Maguindanao, Tausog, and Sama.
A Qur'an Reading Competition on Radio with participants from different Madrasah and Tribes in Davao City.
The Ed'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. (PIA XI) [top]