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Muslims wish for peaceful 2023 Ramadhan

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 17:00 PM Thu Mar 23, 2023
John M. Unson
The mosque near Camp Siongco in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao del Norte. (John Unson) 

COTABATO CITY - Muslims are expecting this year’s Ramadhan, which started Thursday, to be peaceful and “spiritually fruitful” for all believers. 

The Darul Iftah (House of Opinions) in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao declared March 23 as the start of the Ramadhan, a holy month in Islam where Muslims fast from dawn to dusk for one lunar cycle, lasting 28 to 29 days, as a religious obligation and reparation for wrongdoings.

Brig. Gen. John Guyguyon, director of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, and Army Major Gen. Alex Rillera, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, had separately extended their Ramadhan greetings to Muslims in central Mindanao and in all areas in BARMM's core territory.

“We shall do our best to keep the peace we have in our surroundings during the Ramadhan,” Rillera said on Wednesday afternoon.

Fasting during the month of Ramadhan is one of the “five pillars” of Islam, which include belief in Allah, praying five times a day facing west, giving of alms to the poor and, for those who can afford the cost of travel, performing the hajj, or pilgrimage to Makkah in Saudi Arabia at least once in a lifetime.

BARMM’s local government minister, the lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, said he is wishing for a peaceful 2023 Ramadhan for Muslims in the autonomous region to solemnly observe the season that they eagerly await yearly.

The Ministry of the Interior and Local Government-BARMM is working closely with local government units, the police and the military in ensuring peace and calm during the fasting season.

The BARMM covers the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu ad Taw-Tawi, and the cities of Cotabato, Marawi and Lamitan.

Sinarimbo, who is also managing the regional government's Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence, most known as the READi, assured that personnel of the rapid emergency response outfit shall continue its round-the-clock operation during the Ramadhan.

The rescuers in READi will remain on standby for emergency response missions even if majority of them are fasting at daytime.

Basilan Gov. Jim Salliman and Lamitan City Mayor Roderick Furigay are to embark on special programs to complement the religious activities of their Islamic communities during the Ramadhan.

“We shall extend support to all Imams managing mosques in Lamitan City to boost their Ramadhan activities. Religious solidarity among Muslims and non-Muslims is a major concern for us in the city government," Furigay said Wednesday.

Islamic missionaries in Lamitan City gets regular monthly stipends from their local government unit.

The Moro National Liberation Front had also assured to help keep the peace during the Ramadhan in areas where it has members.

BARMM’s labor minister, Muslimin Sema, who is chairman of the MNLF, said Thursday he wishes all fasting residents of the Bangsamoro region a peaceful and solemn Ramadhan.

“Ramadhan is a very important month for us, Muslims. It is the time where we rebuild ties with people around us regardless of religions and tribal identities. It is the time where we reach out to those whom we may have offended and do reparation to rebuild relationships,” Sema said. 


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