COTABATO CITY – Close to four million Muslims in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) celebrated the three-day Eid’l Fitr.
In his message, ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman said breaking fast every sunset during iftar, should remind everyone that unity is integral in overcoming any struggle. “Just as wickedness might be contagious, the righteousness of those around us brightens and amplifies our own,” he said.
“Banded together – as peers and friends, as families, as communities, as one people sharing the same aspirations – we become even more mindful of the greatness we can achieve through Allah.”
He added that Ramadan is a time of both reflection and struggle amid so many choices even as Muslims are taught to submit to the will of Allah; to side with what is kind, just, and good; to be cleansed of negativity; and emerge from every challenge with peace and greater clarity of purpose.
“We rise today in jubilation and gratitude to Allah who gave us the strength to overcome our struggles and to remain righteous as we did. By his boundless benevolence, too, did we find solidarity with each other. In this togetherness, we found even greater purpose and resolve,” the governor said.
During Eid al-Fitr, Muslims congregate in open areas to perform prayers followed by a short sermon given by the Imam, or worship leader. Family gatherings, feasts, visits to relatives and friends, and exchanging of gifts are part of the celebration.
Yusuf Eldani, 24, a Sama living in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, said people working outside their province come home to Tawi-Tawi to celebrate the Eid. “And we renew our expressions of gratitude and forgiveness to one another. Pagkatapos magsagawa ng congregational prayer, may kaunti kaming salu-salo,” Yusuf said.
Thousands of Muslim residents in Coatabto City also attended the congregational Eid’l Fitr prayer hosted by the ARMM government.
Engr. Avila Abobakar, Administrative Management Services Director of the Office of the Regional Governor (ORG), said the ARMM government prepared the congregational prayer and that some 7,000 worshipers had been accommodated inside the regional government compound.
The prayer was held at the ORG Quadrangle stretching to the areas of the Interior and Local Government regional office to the Regional Legislative Assembly.
“Kapag Eid’l Fitr, usually ay umuuwi ako sa amin sa Pikit, North Cotabato para makasama ko ang aking mga pamilya at kamag-anak,” said Murad Sagad, an ARMM government employee. “Nagluluto kami ng mga pagkain upang mapagsaluhan ng aming pamilya, kasama na rin ang aming mga kapitahay. Kahit kaunti lang ang aming inihahanda, ang importante ay may mapagsaluhan kami pagkatapos naming magsambayang sa Masjid,” he said.
Sagad said he prayed that the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will be enacted into law.
“Ngayong tapos na ang Ramadan, hinihiling ko na sana ay ibigay na ng gobyerno sa atin ang BBL, iyong hindi diluted version. At sana magkaisa tayong lahat, Muslim, Kristiyano o Lumad man, upang wala nang gulo,” he said.
Police Senior Superintendent Marcelo O. Pintac, ORG – Intelligence Security Service Director, said this year’s security preparation was much more intensified to ensure the welfare of the worshipers. He said that peace and security lie not only in the hands of the security forces, but also in the hands of the residents.
“Malaki rin ang parte ng mga mamamayan natin sa pag-maintain ng peace and security during the prayer. Pinapaalalahanan natin sila na iwasan ang pagdadala ng mga backpacks at mga weapons para sa maayos na pagdadasal,” he said.
The Office of the President declared Friday, June 15, a regular holiday throughout the country in observance of the Eid al-Fitr. (Bureau of Public Information)
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