MINDAVIEWS MY, MY, MY MARAWI: Lessons of Ramadhan

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MARAWI CITY (MindaNews/19 July) — The country’s respected “back-to-back” (Arabic and English proficient) aleem (religious scholar) likened Ramadhan to schooling with Eid as the “commencement.” And on social media, messages of Eid Mubarak and forgiveness filled pages of Muslim facebookers.

The sun shone on the backs of the faithful at the sermon 7:30 a.m. Friday at the sports field Grandstand, Mindanao State University in the Islamic City of Marawi, where more than a thousand converged for Eid’l Fitr congregational prayers.

“We have undergone training, a seminar, and today we are ‘graduates,’ said Dr. Hamid Barra, in Meranao. Barra, a lawyer, is former member of the government peace panel in the negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and former dean of the MSU King Faisal Center for Islam and Arabic Studies.

Barra listed the lessons learned from Ramadhan to include:
– taqwa – fear of God and Allah-consciousness
– acceptance of God’s commandment
– sympathy in offering charity
– delay of gratification
– sabar or patience
– brotherhood, solidarity (for the poor)

Barra noted the conflicts affecting Muslims in Syria, Iraq, Palestine and asked for prayers

In Baloi, Lanao del Norte, Imam Basher said, “in today’s crucial moment of our country’s peacebuilding, let us forgive one another as we forgive the misgivings of the past, live the present and build a future that is attuned to the needs of the time”.

Other reasons for fasting cited by Zamboanga City-based Dr Afdal Kunting include:
– Increase our faith
– Appreciate what we have
– Give up haraam things
– Control desires
– Compassion and empathy to the poor
-Weakens the devil

Medical doctor Afdal Kunting in a lecture before the Young Moro Professionals in Azenith Hotel, Zamboanga City, a week before the Eid, noted the benefits of fasting to include:
– Tranquility of the heart and the Mind
– Improves blood fat levels
– May help overcome addictions
– promotes fat breakdown and weight loss (quoting Racha Adib in Al Arabiya news)

Meanwhile, Senator Bam Aquino sent his message to this writer, “Our warmest greetings of peace to our Filipino Muslim sisters and brothers as we join you in celebration to mark the end of the Holy Month of Ramadhan!

Ang ating mga ginawang sakripisyo sa nakalipas na buwan ay patunay lang ng ating matibay na dedikasyon at pagtalima sa kautusan ni Allah.

May this dedication and strong faith to Islam serve as guide as you become instruments of meaningful change for peace and prosperity. May the spirit of Ramadhan remain in all of us.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNew. Samira A. Gutoc-Tomawis, Ll.B., is former assemblywoman, women sector, of the Regional Legislative Assembly, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao; former director, Al-Amanah Islamic Bank, Inc.; former director, Marawi Resort Hotel, Inc. See her blog at http://samiragutoc.webs.com.]

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