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ARMM folks to celebrate Eid'l Fitr on July 6

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 20:53 PM Tue Jul 5, 2016
John Unson
Islamic theologians in Simunul Island in Tawi-Tawi tried, but failed to spot the crescent moon on Monday night. ((Courtesy of Al-Trekee Dayan, ARMM)

COTABATO CITY -- Top clerics in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao failed to see the crescent moon on Monday night, the 29th day of Ramadhan, implying that the Eid’l Fitr shall be on Wednesday.Ramadhan, supposedly only 28 to 29 days, would have ended Monday night, July 4, had the crescent moon, as a tradition, been spotted in the sky by Islamic theologians in the ARMM’s five provinces.Members of the ARMM’s Regional Darul Iftah (RDI), also known as House of Opinions,” had earlier thought the Eid’l Fitr might be held today (July 5), earlier than the July 6 non-working national Eid holiday President Rodrigo Duterte declared.The RDI is comprised of clerics, among them graduates of the Al-Azzhar University in the Egyptian capital Cairo, the World Islamic Call University in Libya, and other Islamic schools in the Middle East and in Pakistan.With an unseen crescent moon, Muslims are to end the Ramadhan on 30th day, counting from first day of their obligatory fasting from dawn to dusk, supposedly lasting only from 28 to 29 days.After Ramadhan is the month of Shawwal in the lunar-based Islamic Hijrah calendar.ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman on Tuesday said he had asked the regional police to secure the designated sites for Wednesday’s open-field Eid congregational prayers in the autonomous region.The ARMM covers Maguindanao and Lanao de Sur, which are both in mainland Mindanao, and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.Muslims fast at daytime during the Ramadhan, for them a holy month, both as a religious obligation and as reparation for wrongdoings.Fasting during the Ramadhan, prescribed on physically-fit Muslims, is one of the five pillars of the Islamic faith,” which include absolute obedience to Allah, praying five times a day facing west, giving of zakat (alms) to the poor, and performing the hajj (pilgrimage) to Makkah in Saudi Arabia for those who can afford the cost of travel. This year’s Ramadhan is symbolic because it came immediately after the May 9 synchronized national, local and the ARMM regional elections, which caused tension and partisan divides among our people,” Hataman said.He said Muslims always look forward to observing Ramadhan, meant to inculcate among believers the importance of self-restraint to achieve spiritual perfection. Emerging spiritually victorious from the fasting season, we shall draw strength from the essence of Eid’l Fitr to continue with much vigor and dedication our reform initiatives and dedicated governance which we started in 2012,” Hataman said.Hataman first got to the helm of the ARMM regional government in December 2011 as an appointed caretaker and was, subsequently, elected regional governor during the May 13, 2013 regional polls.He and his deputy, Regional Vice Governor Haroun Al-Rashid Lucman, were reelected, again as running mates, last May 9.So politically unique is the ARMM, which has about five million residents, around 80 percent of them Muslims.The region has a special charter, the Republic Act 9054, and has an executive department, under the Office of the Regional Governor, and a 24-member Regional Assembly, touted as the Little Congress” of ARMM.

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