Eid’l Fitr: Duterte exhorts Muslims to be ‘stewards of peace’

Published May 24, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Genalyn Kabiling

In observance of Eid’l Fitr that marks the end of the month of Ramadan, President Duterte has urged the Muslim community to continue to be “stewards of peace, love, and understanding.”

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte addresses the nation on the government's efforts against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on April 16, 2020.( KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO/MANILA BULLETIN)

The President extended his greeting on a solemn and blessed occasion and expressed hope that Muslim brothers and sisters will be inspired to be “living examples” of the Islamic faith and help “break down the barriers” that divide the nation.

May 25, Monday, has been declared by the President as a regular holiday across the country in celebration of Eid’l Fitr.

“As you celebrate the Breaking of the Fast, may the clarity of thought and wisdom that you have attained from this undertaking inspire you to be the living examples of what is best in the Islamic faith. It is likewise my hope that your time in prayer has nourished your inner strength and fortitude to stay true to the inherent goodness of humanity as we shun the evils that permeate our society,” the President said.

“As you further carry out your role as stewards of peace, love and understanding, I trust that you will remain committed in breaking down barriers that divide and further estrange us from one another,” he said.

Duterte also wished peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah to the Muslim community as they conclude the holy month of Ramadan.

He also called on the public to be “agents of change” in their communities. He noted that religious doctrines find relevance only in everyday lives through “actions and deeds that we attest to the benevolence and grace of the Creator.”

“Harnessing the best of our capabilities and perspectives, let us be agents of change in our communities as we contribute to the enlightenment of our nation,” he said

In Proclamation No. 944, the President said May 25 was declared a regular holiday to bring the religious and cultural significance of Eid’l Fitr to the fore of national consciousness.

Eid’l Fitr is celebrated by the Muslim world for three days after the end of the month of fasting.

Virus lockdowns stifle Eid celebrations

RIYADH (AFP) — Muslims around the world began marking a somber Eid’l Fitr Sunday, many under coronavirus lockdown, but lax restrictions offer respite to worshippers in some countries despite fears of skyrocketing infections.

The festival, one of the most important in the Muslim calendar marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, is traditionally celebrated with mosque prayers, family feasts, and shopping for new clothes, gifts, and sweet treats.

But this year, the celebration is overshadowed by the fast-spreading respiratory disease, with many countries tightening lockdown restrictions after a partial easing during Ramadan led to a sharp spike in infections.

Further dampening the festive spirit, multiple countries — from Saudi Arabia to Egypt, Turkey, and Syria — have banned mass prayer gatherings, a festival highlight, to limit the spread of the disease.

Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites, began a five-day, round-the-clock curfew from Saturday after infections more than quadrupled since the start of Ramadan to around 68,000 — the highest in the Gulf.

Eid prayers will be held at the two holy mosques in the cities of Mecca and Medina “without worshippers,” authorities said on Saturday, citing a royal decree.

Mecca’s Grand Mosque has been almost devoid of worshippers since March, with a stunning emptiness enveloping the sacred Kaaba — a large cube-shaped structure towards which Muslims around the world pray.

Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, will reopen to worshippers only after Eid, its governing body said.

In Lebanon, the highest Sunni religious authority has announced the reopening of mosques only for Friday prayers. Worshippers will be subject to temperature checks and sanitary controls before they enter.

Meanwhile, Muslims across Asia — from Indonesia to Pakistan, Malaysia, and Afghanistan — thronged markets for pre-festival shopping, flouting coronavirus guidelines and sometimes even police attempts to disperse large crowds.

Pakistan, which yielded to religious pressure by allowing mosque prayers throughout the fasting of Ramadan, is yet to make a decision over mass gatherings during Eid.

In Indonesia — the world’s most populous Muslim nation — people are turning to smugglers and fake travel documents to get around bans on the annual end-of-Ramadan travel that could send infections soaring.