Wisdom behind Ramadhan

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Sunday, June 29, 2014


WITH the new moon's failure to show last Friday night to begin the holy month for Moslems, as a rule, Saturday night will kick off the month of Ramadhan with or without the new moon.

The Philippines' Islamic scholars or Ulama declared night of June 28 as the beginning of Ramadhan. The sighting of the moon is supposed to culminate the month Shaban, the month before the holy season.

Ramadhan, which lasts for 28 to 30 days, is considered a 'sacred month' for all the tribes of Muslims in which they will do good deeds and get away from moral wrongdoings to achieve spiritual perfection.

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In Cagayan de Oro, the Muslim community called Villa Angela Muslim Association (VAMA) had their first night of prayer with 400 other devotees from different parts of the city going to the largest 'masjid' or mosque in Northern Mindanao in Lower Balulang called Sharief Alawi Islamic Center (SAIC).

Imam Abdul Jalil Mangoranda of SAIC shared the true meaning of this holy month for Muslims in the world.

Set aside negativities

"This time of the year, what we Muslims do is to totally purge ourselves from all kinds of iniquities and all what has been prohibited," he told Sun*Star Cagayan de Oro. "And as we welcome this holy month, we must be glad setting aside all negativities in the world."

In traditional ways, since Muslims refrain from eating food at daytime, particularly between 4 a.m. and 6 p.m., some of them prepare lavish dinner. However, Mangondara underscored the very reason why Muslims are celebrating.

"We must not forget that Ramadhan is not all about the food we serve on our table. We do this, regardless of what you are in the community, to feel how our unfortunate brothers and sisters live each day without sufficient meals," he said.

Fasting during the month of Ramadhan is one of the so-called “five pillars of the Islamic faith,” which include absolute submission to Allah, praying five times a day, giving of “zakat” (alms) to the poor, and pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Area at least once in a lifetime.

Per tradition, Muslims do charity works mostly in Ramadhan because they believe that Allah will give back to them 700 folds.

For those who are not able to fast due to health concerns, Mangondara said Allah allows them to do it after Ramadhan. Children below 10 years-old and senior citizens who can no longer afford to fast are exempted from this religious activity.

Abdul Sheik Ali, vice president of VAMA, asked member of the Muslim community to observe the holy month as the season to start getting rid of social violence and irresponsibility.

Islam is all about people

"Islam is all about peace. This peace must come first inside our homes and bring it to our community. But most of all, this must lead us to our harmony with Allah," Ali said.

The Ramadhan season will end with another ritualistic sighting of the new moon, after 28 to 29 days of fasting, to determine the start of the Islamic month of Shawwal.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on June 29, 2014.

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