DAVAO CITY(MindaNews / 23 May) – Muslims in Mindanao will not troop to the mosques or the open field early Sunday morning for congregational prayers to celebrate Eid’l Fitr, the end of the month-long Ramdan.
The threat of infection from the highly contagious COVID-19 has altered lifestyles and traditions and Sunday’s celebration, according to Sheikh Abuhuraira Udadan, the Grand Mufti of the Bangsamoro Regional Darul Ifta, will just be inside their homes.
Udasan, in a statement on May 19 said the public should offer their Eid’l Fitr prayers at home instead of the mosques.
Earlier, on May 1, he reminded the public that religious gatherings remain temporarily suspended in the BARMM. He noted that while the decision was difficult, expecially during Ramadan, “let us not forget that though the doors of our masjids will remain temporarily closed, the doors for increasing our faiths is as open as ever.”
Ramadan started on April 24.
“Let us continue to pray to Allah (SWT) during these trying times and make our homes in the meantime our places of worship,” the Grand Mufti said.
Monday, May 25, is a regular holiday throughout the country in observance of Eid’l Fitr, which marks the end of the month-long Ramadan.
President Rodrigo Duterte issued Proclamation 944 on May 19, declaring May 25 a nationwide holiday, to “bring the religious and cultural significance of Eid’l Fitr to the fore of national consciousness” and allow the Filipino nation to have the “full opportunity to join their Muslim brothers and sisters in peace and harmony in the observance and celebration of Eid’l Fitr, subject to existing community quarantine and social distancing measures.”
The proclamation is in accordance with RA 9177 passed on November 13, 2002 declaring Eid’l Fitr as an annual national holiday but whose date every year has to be determined “in accordance with the Islamic calendar (Hijra) or the lunar calendar, or upon Islamic astronomical calculations, whichever is possible or convenient”
The National Commission on Muslim Filipino’s Public Relations and Information Division Bureau of External Relations noted that “with the ongoing COVID situation, any public gathering in areas under quarantine are still subject to IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) and LGU (local government unit) guidelines.”
According to Section 4.12 of the Omnibus Guidelines of the Inter-Agency-Task Force on COVID-19 for areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ), “while adhering to the prescribed minimum health standards, religious gatherings are not encouraged but in an y case should be not more than 10 persons. (MindaNews)