COTABATO CITY (ARMM BPI / 03 June) — The Regional Darul Ifta’ in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (RDI-ARMM) has set a moon sighting across the region on Sunday, June 5, to confirm the start of Ramadan this year.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Hijri calendar where Muslims are obliged to fast from dawn until sunset. It is considered to be the holiest month in Islam.
Alim Abdulmuhmin Mujahid, RDI-ARMM executive director, said they have provided a set of Newtonian reflector telescope to each of their five provincial offices in the region and to the Darul Ifta’ and Ulama of Zamboanga Peninsula to aid in the moon sighting.
He added that they’ve also designated focal persons for the moon sighting in Maguindano, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, and are in close coordination with associates in the neighboring countries of Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Thailand and Singapore.
Mujahid said the sighting of the crescent moon marks the start of the month of fasting.
He said they want to resolve the usual disagreement that Muslims in different parts of the country have regarding the start and end of Ramadan.
The RDI-ARMM had earlier organized a convention of Muslim leaders, scholars, and legal experts and representatives of Muslim organizations across the country on May 24 in Zamboanga City to discuss matters about Ramadan.
Mujahid said Ramadan is a “revival of faith, strengthening of relationship with Allah, and of respect and generosity.”
“Ramadan presents us a meaningful message. This revives our imaan (Islamic faith), strengthens our relationship with Allah, and restores broken ties with our relatives,” he said.
Mujahid added it is the “time to reflect upon our deeds in the past months, and a time to ask forgiveness.”
The RDI-ARMM has distributed a calendar that indicates prayer time this Ramadan in each of the ARMM provinces.
“The Ramadan prayer time calendar was calculated accurately per municipality based on the formula given to us by the PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration),” Mujahid said.
Meanwhile, the ARMM is organizing a series of month-long activities to highlight the observance of the Holy Month of Ramadan in the region.
The activities, which will be held in the region’s seat in Cotabato City and in the provinces, include provincial and regional Qur’an memorization contest, Islamic symposia, cultural presentation, free Iftar (fast-breaking), and nightly events sponsored by different ARMM line agencies.
A Ramadan Fair, considered the most popular annual multi-product consumer exhibition in the region, will also open on June 6 at the ARMM compound in Cotabato City.
In 2015, 40 food exhibitors and 20 non-food exhibitors showcased some of the best goods and products from the five provinces. (ARMM Bureau of Public Information)