Islam Marks Conclusion of Ramadan with Eid'l Fitr

09/10/2010 - MANILA, Philippines – Islam around the world celebrated Friday the end of the 30-day Ramadan season with Eid'l Fitr, the Festival of Breaking the Fast, as Muslims, including Filipinos, overflowed in mosques, plazas, and fields for the early morning traditional prayer congregation.

As early as two days ago, Muslims have been greeting each other “Eid Mubarak” (Blessed Eid) or Eid Saeed (Happy Eid).

On Facebook, Muslims and their Christian friends are also exchanging Eid Mubarak greetings.

In the first Eid'l Fitr holiday under his administration, President Benigno S. Aquino III conveyed Friday his felicitations of peace to Muslims as he expressed oneness with them in fostering peace in the country.

“Peace be upon the whole Muslim community as you celebrate Eid’l Fitr today (Friday) marking the end of Ramadan and welcoming the first day of Shawwal,” said the Chief Executive.

Aquino III has proclaimed Friday, Sept. 10, a regular holiday, through Proclamation No. 26, saying the Filipino nation “should have the full opportunity to join their Muslim brothers and sisters in observing and celebrating Eid’l Fitr.”

The presidential message was requested by the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) headed by Secretary Bai Omera D. Dianalan-Lucman.

Eid'l Fitr is one of Islam's only two major holidays, along with Eid'l Adha (Feast of Sacrifice). They are both Philippine national holidays through Republic Act No. 9177 and Republic Act No. 9849, since Nov. 13, 2002 and Dec. 11, 2009, respectively.

The President expressed the wish that Muslim Filipinos learned from the lessons of the holy month, when they abstained from food, drink, smoking, and other sensual desires from Aug. 11 to Sept. 9, this year.

“Alhamdulillah (praise God) for having completed another Ramadan this year. As you have just performed an obligatory pillar of faith, may the teaching of the holy month enlighten you always in the face of challenges that we might encounter in these trying times. Our administration is one with you in nurturing peace for the progress of the country,” the President said.

Aquino cited the Filipino people's desire to pursue what he called “daang matuwid” (straight path) and righteous path, with its pursuit resting on righteous individuals’ shoulders as catalyst for the nation's climb to greatness.

The Chief Executive pointed to where the government's strength should come.

“And as long as we draw our strength from the people – as long as we prove worthy of their trust – then, indeed, no challenge can be too great. We will restore our national dignity. We will rebuild our nation," said Aquino.

Executive Secretary Edwin Lacierda said lastWednesday the President will host a belated Eid'l Fitr dinner with Muslim leaders and diplomats on Monday, Sept. 13, in Malacañang.

Halal meal (preferred following Islamic requirements) will be served for the invited national and local legislative and executive officials, civil society leaders, and diplomats.

A Palace statement said the Eid'l Fitr dinner reception was set for Monday so the Muslim leaders have time for their family celebrations.

At the Blue Mosque in Maharlika Village, Taguig City, one resident estimated the worshipers at about 3,000 as they overflowed in the street.

Eid'l Fitr is a celebration of faith, of fear of God, of peace, mercy, reconciliation, forgiveness, among others. It is a day of thanksgiving for passing the test for patience, hunger, and material and non-material deprivation.

“Eid” is an Arabic word which means “festival” while “fitr” is “conclusion of the fast.” Thus, Eid'l Fitr is a celebration marking the end of the Ramadan holy month.

However, in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), particularly in the town of Tugaya, Lanao del Sur, Mayor Alimatar Guroalim and his three security escorts died in an ambush while on the mosque for the Eid'l Fitr prayer.

This was relayed to the Manila Bulletin by Pendatun Disimban, president of the Assalam Bangsamoro People's Association (ABPA).

Back at the Blue Mosque, Imam Aleem Sulaiman Ibrahim in his Eid prayer "khutbah" (sermon) stressed the importance of practicing the lessons and virtues learned during the Ramadan.

“Always fear Allah, respect your parents, and pray five times a day,” Ibrahim said.

“Remember that when you were in your mother's womb, she took care of you for nine months and reared you well until you became adult. So be humble to your parents, love them, speak with them with soft language. If you are walking with them, never stay in front of your parents,” the imam said.

Ibrahim said a child's way to Paradise is through the parents. “So love your parents more than yourselves,” he said, adding this was always stressed by the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Allaihi Wassalam.

Big and small mosques as well as open spaces, at the Rizal Park in Manila, Golden Mosque and Islamic Center Mosque in Quiapo, Manila; Green Mosque in Tandang Sora, Quezon City, were all filled to overflowing. (Manila Bulletin)

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