Eid’l Fitr: A call for equanimity, peace and understanding

Published May 3, 2022, 12:05 AM

by Manila Bulletin

The Grand Mufti of the Bangsamoro has confirmed the sighting of the crescent moon, and based on this, has declared that the Eid’l Fitr or “the breaking of the fast” during the month of Ramadan would be observed. Hence, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea has announced that May 3 will be a regular holiday throughout the country, in accordance with Republic Act 9177, to honor the country’s Islamic heritage. 

The law declares the first day of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar, as a national holiday, observed with a prayer and a feast. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo signed the law and issued Proclamation No. 1083 in November 2002; the first national observance was held in December 2002. 

The celebration marks the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of fasting from dawn to sunset during the entire month of the Ramadan, which is one of the basic pillars of Islam. It is believed that the text of the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam, was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad during the month of Ramadan.

In previous years, prior to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, it was customary for the President of the Philippines to witness and participate in a program marking Eid’l Fitr in Malacañang Palace. 

Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim has called for equanimity in this year’s celebrations: “Naway manaig ang kapayapaan, pasensya, at pag-intindi natin sa bawat isa. ‘Wag nating hayaan na makasira sa ating pagaayuno ang hindi pagkakapareho ng ating mga pananaw sa usapin ng pulitika,” he said. (May peace, patience, and understanding prevail in everyone. Let us not let differences in political beliefs impact our fasting.)

Chief Minister Ebrahim has also appealed for caution and the observance of minimum public health standards. He has urged all those who have not yet been vaccinated against Covid-19 to heed the call of government; a special vaccination project has been scheduled by the Department of Health in the region. 

It is well for the citizenry to gain a better understanding of the significance of Eid’l Fitr. 

According to an authoritative account: “Muslims celebrate Eid Al-Fitr with prayers called “Salat Al Eid” in Arabic. They gather in mosques or open spaces and offer two units of prayer called “Rakat.” The prayers are followed by a sermon, in which the imam asks for forgiveness, mercy, and peace for every being across the world. Other key elements of the Eid celebrations are giving money to the poor (known as ‘Zakat al-Fitr‘, the amount to be given depends on the possessions someone has), sending Eid greetings and feasting with families.”

Muslims commonly manifest their celebration with the greeting “Eid Mubarak,” which is Arabic for “blessed festival.” The proper response to Eid Mubarak is “Khair Mubarak,” which wishes goodness on the person who has greeted you.

Let goodwill, peace and understanding be the hallmarks of this year’s Eid’l Fitr celebration.