(SDN) — RAMADAN fasting will start on Friday, April 24, 2020.
The announcement was made by the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) and the Darul Ifta (House of Opinion) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
Their announcement came in the wake of the nationwide moon-sighting activity today, April 22, which yielded negative of the appearance of the crescent moon.
Earlier, NCMF Secretary Saidamen B. Pangarungan said if the Ramadan crescent (Hilal) will not be visible, then the first day of Ramadan and fasting will fall on April 24.
And none was observed in the sky.
NCMF Spokesman Dr. Dimapuno Alonto Datu-Ramos, Jr. said the NCMF “has determined that no moon was observed tonight by all the NCMF regional and field offices, and their moon-sighting groups.
Datu-Ramos, director of the Bureau of External Relations (NCMF-BER), said commission officials and employees, with ulama, imams, and muftis comprised the moon-sighters across the country.
Pangarungan said the negative sighting means Ramadan will start on Friday.
Over in the BARMM, Mufti Abuhuraira A. Udasan of the Bangsamoro, announced the none-sighting of the crescent of Ramadan.
Meaning, today, Thursday, is still the 29th of Sha’ban, 1441, corresponding to April 22, 2020.
“Based on this, the Darul Ifta has decided that the beginning of Ramadan will be on Friday, 24th of April, 2020 in sha Allah (God willing),” Udasan said.
Meanwhile, Pangarungan welcomed the donation of dates (khorma) from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
He said the donation is an annual tradition of the Kingdom distributing dates around the world during the holy month of fasting.
The NCMF secretary said the NCMF received less than what it received last year, adding that because of this and travel restrictions arising from the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), “there is a possibility that dates distribution will be limited to certain areas only.”
Pangarungan also explained that courier services for shipment may take from 7 to 21 days. The NCMF has been the distribution focal point for the dates donation.
He appealed for understanding.
“Please bear with us during these trying times. We understand that everyone is looking forward to the distribution of dates'”
The NCMF head said he will make an update on the issue as soon as the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) make new announcement about the travel restrictions.
“As agreed upon during the virtual ManCom (Management Committee) meeting on April 21, the dates will be distributed to Visayas and Mindanao once the ECQ is lifted. If, by May 15, the ECQ is still in place, all the dates will be distributed among the indigent Muslim communities in Luzon,” Pangarungan said.
He urged his Islamic brethren to embody the values and spirit of Ramadan. (EDD K. USMAN/SDN)