President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Thursday expressed his solidarity with Filipino Muslims celebrating the start of the holy month of Ramadan and hoped it would inspire Muslims to deepen their commitment to fulfilling their vision of equitable progress that they share with the rest of Filipinos.
“Our country is with you in spirit as you observe this time of deep reflection. May we continue to exhibit excellence, integrity and accountability in our deeds, and achieve greater milestones in nation-building,” Aquino said in his message.
He also expressed hope that local Muslims would be Allah’s instruments of peace and unity as the Filipino nation gathers for its shared journey with the country’s Muslim minority toward a more prosperous and equitable Philippines.
The country “has reached heretofore unattainable heights of progress and inclusiveness through solidarity and cooperation,” Aquino said.
The President noted the Islamic month’s significance “as among the holiest of seasons” that symbolizes time when Allah (God in Arabic) revealed the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Allaihi Wassalam.
Aquino said the fasting and prayer highlighting the Muslims’ recollections of the events of revelation serve to enrich their oneness with Allah.
“It is a time for you to embody the teachings of the Holy Qur’an as you practice greater discipline, compassion and restraint,” he added.
The 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar Hijrah, Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam.
During this season, Muslims abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset. They also abstain from doing evil deeds and having evil thoughts.
Ramadan is sacred to Muslims because tradition says the Koran was revealed to their prophet Mohammed during that month.
It is followed by the Eid al-Fitr festival.