Sunday, August 19, 2012

Muslims Celebrate Eid’l Fitr


MANILA, Philippines — Muslims around the world started the three-day end-of-Ramadan celebrations with early morning prayers Sunday, with religious leaders reminding worshipers to be constant with the Holy Month’s lessons and virtues.

The worship in mosques filled to the brim and in open spaces as the Prophet Muhammad had done in his time ushered in Eid’l Fitr, the Festival of Breaking Fast.

Parents, men, women, and children in their new clothes crowded prayer venues, eager to perform the worship that caps every end of the month-long abstention from food, drinks, smoking, and sexual relations from dawn to dusk.

Chants of “Allahu Akbar!” (God is Great) filled the air, as prayer leaders led the recitations.

At the Garden Mosque in Maharlika Village, Taguig City, Hadji Imam Ibrahim exhorted the worshipers to thank Allah “for us being able to complete our month-long fasting.”

“He (Allah) is the Ar-Raheem (the Merciful). The day of Eid is the greatest day in Muslims’ life,” he said, delivering his “khutbah” (sermon).

“Today, God willing, we are like new born, without sin,” the Muslim cleric said. “So, let us keep this state.”

On the day of Eid, he said, fasting is forbidden, but those who want to make up for their missed Ramadan fast may do so after Sunday.

Aleem Said Ahmad Basher, president of the Imam Council of the Philippines (ICP), said one of the most important lessons and virtues of Ramadan is being obedient, such as following Allah’s command to deprive one’s self of worldly pleasures.

If you are obedient, you will be a good person for your family, your neighborhood, and society. You will be a man of peace if you follow laws,” said Basher.

Charity, he said, is another important virtue. “So, let us practice the whole year round the lessons and virtues of the holy month and be better citizens of the country,” said Basher.

He said the day of Eid is about celebration, giving thanks to God, being to the poor, being forgiving, and merciful.

Meanwhile, government officials in Mindanao joined the nation and millions of Muslims at the start of the end-of-Ramadan celebrations by conveying their messages to the people.

Atty. Aminola “Alex” Abato, a Muslim-Maranao regional director of the Land Transportation Office in the Zamboanga Peninsula, together with his family conveyed Sunday his felicitations of peace to all 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 (Monday) marking the end of Ramadan and welcoming the first day of Shawwal. May our sincere fasting in the Holy month of Ramadhan strengthen our faith to almighty Allah and our commitment to Muslim ummah’s quest for peace, unity and development,” Abaton said.

For his part, Tawi-Tawi Governor Sadikul Sahali said “I am often dumbstruck by the power of Allah’s words in the Qur’an. Often we reflect on the strength of the message of the Qur’an and forget the awesomeness of the surahs with just a few words.”

Sahali recalls a passage in the Holy Qur’an that read “By the passage of Time, Verily, man is in loss, Except those who develop faith, and do good deeds, And join together in the mutual teaching of Truth, And of patience and constancy.” (Qur’an, Surah 103)

While Representative Habib Tupay Loong (1st District, Sulu) asked his constituents under his congressional district to “always put their trust in Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) even if He is leading you off a cliff. He is either going to catch you as you fall or He is going to teach you to fly.”

When Allah wills a burden on you, He will also provides you with everything you need to carry it. Don’t be despair even if the mountain is steep, the view at the top is breath taking, he said.

Be patient and learn from the seeds in the desert, they wait a lifetime for a drop of rain, then they burst into flowers that last a few days, he added.

Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan said ‘there are some simple things that you can do to “develop faith and do good deeds” (Quran, Surah 103). One suggestion takes what you already do and tweeks it in a way that has been scientifically proven to improve your wellbeing and help you to be stronger throughout the year and seriously balance yourself in a holistic way.

Representative Nur Anna Sahidulla (2nd District, Sulu) and her husband Banguingui (Sulu) Mayor Abdulwahid Sahidulla reminded the Muslims about the sahabahs “Whenever you see someone better than you in wealth, face or figure, you should look at someone who is inferior to you in these respects.”

This will help them realize what Allah has given them and to remain grateful and not be bitter with life, the couple said.

As they added that being “grateful” also protects them from feeling bitter, allows everyone to be better and encourages them to rise up to challenges.

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