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MANILA/COTABATO CITY (SDN) — Saturday, April 22, 2023, is the first day of Eid’l Fitr among Philippine Muslims, coinciding with the first day of Shawwal 1444.
Eid’l Fitr is Ramadan’s the Festival of Breaking the Fast after 30 days of abstaining every day from food, drinks, smoke, sexual activities, and avoidance of evil thoughts from sunrise to sunset.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has earlier declared Friday, April 21, Eid’l Fitr national holiday on the recommendation of the NCMF.
The President also released a message expressing his oneness with country’s Muslim community in the observance of Eid’l Fitr.
He voiced hopes that Muslims in the Philippines and abroad will deeply instill and apply the teachings and values practiced during the holy month of Ramadan, ninth in the Islamic calendar.
“As you culminate the holy month of Ramadan by celebrating the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast, may you sustain the values, teachings, and practices that you have wholeheartedly discerned and embodied throughout this time,” he said.
“Let this form the foundations of your characters as you continue to fulfill righteous deeds and strive to live a virtuous life moving toward.”
In the spirit of solidarity, President Marcos said Filipinos also join the Muslim community in celebrating the solemn and festive occasion “for we recognize the Islamic faith and embrace it as part of our own collective consciousness.”
“With our many faiths informing all our actions and bridging all our differences as a diverse set of peoples, we can transcend any challenge and still remain unified under the banners of camaraderie, respect, and love,” the President noted, he noted as reported by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) headed by Secretary Cheloy Garafil.
This developed after the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), in consultation with Islamic religious leaders, and the Darul Ifta (House of Opinion) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) said the moon-sighters did not see the Shawwal crescent moon on April 20.
For Muslims Eid’l Fitr is the closest thing to Christmas celebration
Both the NCMF and the Bangsamoro government deployed their respective Moon-sighting Committee to scan the sky for the crescent moon. In Islam, every month of the Hijrah calendar — which is lunar-based — starts and ends with the sighting of the crescent moon, unlike the Gregorian calendar which is based on the Sun.
Thus, Hijrah calendar is short by 10/11 days compared to the Gregorian. It means the date of Eid’l Fitr moves back every year, occurring on different dates.
While the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia declared the first day of Eid’l Fitr was Friday, April 21, majority of Filipinos followed their government’s declaration (NCMF and Bangsamoro) that celebration starts April 22. Eid’; Fitr is celebrated at least three days in Muslim countries, some even extending to a week.
Eid’l Fitr, like Eid’l Adha (the Feast of Sacrifice) being observed at the climax of the Hajj (the Pilgrimage to Makkah), the main feature is an early morning congregational prayers, after which Muslims get back to their home or relatives or friends to join in a feast of native food and delicacies. Islam has only two major festivals.
Among Muslims Eid’l Fitr is the closest thing to Christmas celebration.
During the Eid the greeting is “Eid Mubarak” which means Blessed Eid. Gifts are given usually to children. Reconciliation, forgiveness, and seeking forgiveness are also encouraged to start anew.
The special early morning prayers at around 6:30 or 7 o’clock of Eid (including during Eid’l Adha) is being done either in mosques or open fields. (/I
Featured image of Eid greetings courtesy of Image by <a href=”https://pixabay.com/users/muzahidice-17472458/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=6062889″>K M Muzahidul Islam</a> from <a href=”https://pixabay.com//?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=6062889″>Pixabay</a>