By Philippine News Agency
Muslims worldwide start the fasting month of Ramadan today.
“In the name of the Ulema sector and by the authority vested upon me as NCR Mufti, I hereby declare that we didn’t see the moon today therefore tomorrow is not the first day of Ramadan, it will begin on Thursday, 17th of May 2018,” National Capital Region Mufti AleemNaquibTaher said during a moon-sighting event Tuesday night.
A Mufti is an expert in Islamic laws and is empowered to issue rulings or fatwa in Arabic on matters that concern the religion.
Moon sighting is a tradition observed by Muslims in declaring the start of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Muslim year) where strict fasting is observed from predawn to dusk.
Moon sighting expert AleemAbedin Basher explained they were not able to see the first crescent of the moon because of the clouds.
Grand Mufti Al-Sheikh Abdel Jabbar Macarimbor called on Muslims all over the country to be united in preparation for Ramadan.
“Let’s just be united so that the blessings of the Almighty will come to us especially during the fasting season in the month of Ramadan…let’s not do anything Allah dislikes, let’s be careful of our actions, words and way of life,” Macarimbor said.
On Tuesday, President Duterte greeted Muslims in the advent of Ramadan, expressing hope they would intensify “resolve to achieve spiritual cleansing and growth.”
“As we set forth into an era of change, one must make sacrifices not only to overcome personal difficulties, but also to create meaningful and lasting strides in our communities,” the President said in his signed message.
Fasting during month of Ramadhan is mandated among physically and mentally sane Muslims in fulfillment of one of the five pillars of Islam. Travellers, sick persons and women having their monthly periods are permitted to skip fasting, provided they fast later for a period equivalent to the number of obligatory days that they missed.
At sundown, Muslims start eating their meals known as “iftar”. Fasting reportedly teaches Muslims patience and increased spirituality. It is also during the period of Ramadan where Muslims ask for forgiveness for their sins.(With a report from Ali G. Macabalang)