Duterte joins Ramadan observance; 'Live with integrity for self, nation'

President Duterte hoped that the efforts of Muslims across the globe would be rewarded with a deeper connection with Allah as he joined them in the observance of the holy month of Ramadan.

President Rodrigo Duterte (Presidential Photo)

"In the name of Allah, the most gracious and most merciful, I join our Muslim brothers and sisters both here and across the globe in the observance of the Holy Month of Ramadan," the President wrote in his message.

"May this month be a truly holy and meaningful month for all of us. Ramadan Mubarak!" he added.

The Bangsamoro government announced that the observance of Ramadan in the country would begin on Sunday, April 3.

For Muslims, Ramadan is the annual month-long commemoration of the first revelation to Prophet Muhammad of the first verses of the Qur'an, Islam's holy book.

It is one of the Muslims' foundations inscribed in the Qur'an.

Muslims practice fasting during the day for this period to bring the faithful closer to God and remind them of the suffering of the less fortunate.

According to the President, this most sacred month is a period for Muslims to concentrate on prayer, and making amends and this is a time for them to experience and enjoy Allah's mercy.

He hoped that Muslims would be rewarded for their efforts during Ramadan.

"Similar to how the period of fasting ends with feasting, it is my hope that all your efforts for discipline and reflection will be rewarded with revelations, as well as a deeper connection with Allah," Duterte said.

He likewise wished for the month of Ramadan to allow the teachings of the Qur'an to take precedence over all the decisions of Muslims-- even the smallest ones.

"Let the enlightenment that comes with your contemplation lead you to live with integrity for yourselves and for the nation, especially now when it is needed most," the President said.