COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao: On July 16, millions of Muslim Filipinos who adhere to the teachings of Islam will end their fasting as one of the five pillars of Islam in the holy month of Ramadan.
To the true believer, the end of fasting does not always invoke happiness or deliverance. On the contrary, he regrets and even grieves for its end because for him it takes another year to have the grand opportunity of showing gratitude to the Maker, according to Aleem Said Ahmad Basher, chairman of the Imam Council of the Philippines.
Aleem Basher, one of the few Muslim Filipinos who finished a four-year course in Islamic Propagation from Al Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt emphasized that for Muslims of any nationality, the foundation of their religion is the Holy Qur’an, God’s message revealed through the Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be upon Him).
The message enjoins submission to God’s will. Hence, the name of religion, based on the message, is Islam that connotes “submission.” One who submits or surrenders to God’s will is a Muslim, he said.
Fasting during the Islamic lunar month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of duty towards Islam based on the verses in the Qur’an and practices by Prophet Mohammad and his companions.
Fasting lasts usually for 30 days which begins with the appearance of the new moon. Thus in Muslim Mindanao and elsewhere in the Philippines, the faithful began fasting last June 18 and they will stop on July 16 by the time the new moon will appear again.
However, the total number of days of fasting for this year 2015 or 1436 in the Hegira Islamic calendar is only 29 days.
Fasting is supposed to be 30 days, the 29 days is justified in the book of Sahih Al-Bukhari where it is stated that “if Ramadan is of 29 days, even then it is complete in its superiority and does not decrease.”