COTABATO CITY: The observance of this year’s Eid’l Fitr on Sunday was somber as the nation grappled with the terror and horror brought by the Maute Group that attacked Marawi City last month.
Muslims all over the country trooped to mosques early on Sunday to offer their prayers after 30 days of fasting.
Eid’l Fitr is usually a day of joy and thanksgiving, a time for reconciliation, brotherhood and unity.
But this year’s observance of this major religious event was more solemn than usual as Muslims prayed for those affected by the Marawi siege.
This was evident in the message issued by Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
“We welcome Eid’l Fitr under very different circumstances. A day that we celebrate with the Muslim ummah is now a day we have to welcome in the midst of terror and suffering caused by those who betray our faith,” he said.
“And yet here we are, despite the difficulties we continue to endure. Together, we are rediscovering the depth of our love for each another, constantly surprised by the strength that we continue to share with our brothers and sisters,” he added.
“As the Holy Qu’ran was revealed to the Prophet within the most holy month of Ramadan, we believe that a greater purpose will be revealed to us as we stand in solidarity with those who share the true essence of our faith – one that brings light and not darkness, one that promotes peace and not terror, one that brings life and not death to all. It is in these times when our faith is tested, and it is in these times that we must triumph together as Muslims,” Hataman said.
“This is the saddest Eid celeberation in recent memory,” Zia Alonto Adiong, a legislator for an autonomous Muslim region that covers Marawi, said in a Facebook post.
“It pains us to see families who can’t even share meals together, pray together,” he said, blaming the militants for the turmoil.
Alan Balangi-Amer, president of the One Bangsamoro Movement (1Bangsa), who hails from Marawi City, agreed that Sunday’s observance of Eid’l Fitr was the saddest.
“However, my view is still positive that there will be still a bright future ahead for the new Marawi City. This unfortunate incident in the life of my fellow Maranaos will somehow be a wake-up call for all of us to remain steadfast, to forge strong solidarity, and to stand in the principle of a bayanihan as we help one another in the midst of this crisis,” he told The Manila Times.
Aleem Said Ahmad Basher, chairman of the Imam Council of the Philippines, said this year’s observance of the religious event is not joyful because of the tragedy that happened in Marawi.
Meanwhile, the reigning Masirikampo sa Marawi or traditional royal ruler of Marawi Datu Yusoph Boyog Mama, called on Muslims “to bring together our talents and good aspirations to help rebuild our communities and dreams as a people.”
He appealed to the people of Marawi to “turn this crisis into an opportunity to strengthen our solidarity and values as a people.”
“We (the Maranaos) have always been a peace-loving people and value education and social progress. And it has always been my dream to sow and further develop the culture of social altruism within the Maranao society which we call Kapdi (Maranao term for genuine kindness and charity), one of our strong traits. I likewise appeal to the privileged class in society to consider extending a helping hand to the affected communities and evacuees from the Marawi siege,” he added. “The spirit of Ramadhan and the lessons of fasting, developing piety and good values, is most effective when we apply them to our fellow human beings who are most in need [of our help].”