Ramadhan starts July 9

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/08 July) – Ramadhan, the holy month for Muslims where most of them fast from sunrise to sunset, will start on Tuesday, July 9 and will last until the 7th of August.

In the Muslim calendar, since a holiday begins on the sunset of the previous day, Muslims observing Ramadhan may begin celebrating it by sunset today, July 8.

Ramadhan, the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, was established as a holy month after the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad in 610 CE during the Laylat al-Qadr, frequently translated as the “Night of Power”.

Known as Sawm, the observance of the fast is one of the five pillars of Islam, and obliges its followers to abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual intercourse.

Ramadhan is always the same day on the Islamic calendar, but the date varies each year on the Gregorian calendar. This is so because the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar and Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar.

The difference makes Ramadhan move in the Gregorian calendar roughly 11 days every year,

The month-long fasting is generally meant to purge one’s self of thoughts and actions which are contrary to Islam.

Not all Muslims, however, are required to fast. Among them are those with serious illnesses and children who have not reached puberty.

A holiday called Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadhan. On this occasion, Muslims will hold feast and celebrate after attending morning prayers.

In an article written for MindaNews, Mussolini Lidasan said: “During Ramadhan, Muslims ask forgiveness for past sins, pray for guidance and help in refraining from everyday evils, and try to purify themselves through self-restraint and good deeds.”

He added: “On a bigger perspective, this celebration of Ramadhan can be an opportunity to advocate for a stop to war in Mindanao and to offer reconciliation based on justice among Christians, Muslims, and Indigenous Peoples. About 10 million Muslims in the Philippines are expected to observe Ramadhan, all hoping for the betterment of Mindanao and its people.”

The resumption of peace talks between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front resumes on July 9 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The peace process, aimed to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao, has been stalled over disagreements on the three remaining annexes to the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, namely the annexes on wealth sharing, power sharing and normalization. (MindaNews)