Muslim faithful gather for morning prayers in Rizal Park in Manila on Thursday, a day before Eidl-Fitr. Millions of Muslims all over the world will observe the end of Ramadan on Friday. Photo Rene H. Dilan

Muslim faithful gather for morning prayers in Rizal Park in Manila on Thursday, a day before Eidl-Fitr. Millions of Muslims all over the world will observe the end of Ramadan on Friday. Photo Rene H. Dilan

THE spate of bombings in Mindanao has cast a shadow on the observance of the holy month of Ramadan but Filipino Muslims will still mark today’s celebration of Eid’l Fitr by adhering to peace, unity and charity.

Vice President Jejomar Binay on Thursday extolled Muslims’ resilience to crisis as he urged Filipinos to support those affected by the bombings that have rocked Cagayan de Oro City, Cotabato City, and Midsayap town in the past two weeks.

“Our Muslim brothers and sisters have shown great resilience and forbearance in the face of tragedy,” the Vice President said in a statement released on the eve of Eid’l Fitr.

He added that in light of the tragedies, it is time for Filipinos to show their unity.

“Now is the time to show our unity and may the celebration of Eidul Fitr pave the way for greater understanding and a deeper appreciation of our kinship to all Filipinos,” he said.

Binay encouraged Filipinos to emulate the qualities displayed by Muslims during the observance of Ramadan.

“Temperance, sacrifice, and charity are qualities which can only make our people better, as we strive to attain progress for all,” he added.

Earlier, Binay called on law enforcement agencies to beef up their intelligence network to prevent bombings.

In Mindanao, Governors Esmael Mangudadatu of Maguindanao and Mamintal Adiong Jr. of Lanao del Sur said they have each prepared 10 cows for roasting and distribution after congregational prayers for Friday’s feast in Buluan town and Marawi City.

Governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will join the traditional congregational prayer at the open field fronting the ARMM executive office in Cotabato City where his staff reportedly prepared more roasted cows for partition to Eid’l Fitr celebrants.

Scores of Muslims also traded words of apologies and forgiveness through text message and the social media Facebook.

“I sincerely ask your apology for any words or actions I might have done that hurt you. I hope you, too, will forgive me,” a provincial politician said in a text message to his rival in the recent mid-term elections.

The message recipient replied: “Inshaallah [God willing].”

Muslims worldwide end today their month-long dawn-to-dusk fasting from food, drink and sex in separate Eid’l Fitr congregational prayers.

In Mindanano, many prepared food, money and other items for sharing at the congregational prayers’ sites, while others who chose recipients in distant places swarmed banks and money-transfer establishments to send their “fitra” or charities.

Some poor but pious Muslims, deemed as “deserving and priority” for Eid’l Fitr gifts, were seen giving free domestic services including massage and backyard cleaning for people consigned of their “fitra” in lieu of material or cash they could not afford.

Islam prescribes every Muslim to give to charity before the performance of Eid’l Fitr prayer to complete essentially the month-long fasting. But for the poor, a sincere act of greeting or slight physical effort could suffice as charity.

For affluent people, preparing a feast for sharing is a tradition.

A handful of Muslim faithful performed the prayers on Thursday morning in adherence to an announcement from Gulf countries that the new crescent moon was sighted there a few hours earlier.

However, majority of Muslim Filipinos followed the local Darul Iftah (Islamic House of Opinion) announcement that the Eid Al Fitr prayers would be more fittingly held on August 9.

Muslim scholars recommend a stop to the traditional ways of moon sighting and use meteorological instruments to avoid confusion.


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