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Muslims prepare Eid; moon-sighting ritual

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“The Catholic Church wishes to pursue a sincere and fruitful interreligious dialogue with the members of the Jewish faith and the followers of Islam. Such a dialogue is not an attempt to impose our views upon others. What it demands of all of us is that, holding to what we believe, we listen respectfully to one another, seek to discern all that is good and holy in each other’s teachings, cooperate in supporting everything that favors mutual understanding and peace”.

- Pope John Paul II, to Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Leaders, Jerusalem, 23 March 2000
Ramadan Reflection

“Prophet David (Daud in Islam) could sing so well with his religious scripture (Psalm (Zabur in Islam)) that four hundred men, it is said, breathed their last everyday in his assembly of music.”

- Al-Haj Maulana Fazhul Kasim, Al-Hadith (1st Edition, 1979)

A tale of two “doctors”, what is that? This was told to me, years ago, a funny incident, by the daughter of the late DepEd Regional Director and former President of WMSU, Dr. Juanito Bruno when he visited a school in the East coast. The daughter who narrated to me is Mrs. Rudzna Bruno-Lim, one of the superiors of the Division Office. Here is her story:

My father, she said, visited a school in the East coast being the Asst. Regional Director of DepEd at that time, hence, information was relayed a day earlier of his visit. Naturally, the school head relayed the information to the Barangay Chair who then made the announcement to the people of this Barangay that Dr. Juanito Bruno from DepEd would be coming to our Barangay.

On the day of Dr. Bruno’s arrival at the school site, he was astonished to see a line of mothers with babies in their area. Curious as he was, he asked the principal why so many mothers were present with babies with them. The principal then asked the Barangay Chief for the reason of so many mothers with babies lining to approach Dr. Bruno.

With enthusiastic response, the Barangay Chief said “I made the announcement that a “doctor” was coming to our barangay, hence, the mothers present with babies for Dr. Bruno’s medical attention!”

The same story was told to me personally by Dr. Emmylou Yanga, the CHED Regional Director who went to Lamitan City for her official visit in that island province.
On the day of her arrival, she saw a lot of women with children with them, her curiosity was aroused when those women were lining up in front of her.

She asked the school head why so many women were with children in front of her?

With laughter coming from the school head, because the news was spread to the people on the area that a “doctor” from Zamboanga City was coming”.

In both instances, the local folks knew only of one kind of “doctor”, that is the “Doctor of Medicine”. They do not know that we have now a lot of doctoral holders such as: Doctor of Philosophy(Ph.D.), Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), Doctor of Divinity (DD.), Doctor of Literature (Litt.D.), Doctor of Laws (LL.D.), Doctor of Public Administration (DPA), etc.

During our early days in college, we knew only a few doctorate degree holders such as MD (Doctor of Medicine), DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine), Ph.D., Litt.D. (Doctor of Literature) and many others were not known to many of us.

This was the reason when I advanced the suggestion to doctorate holders, as even practiced in Australia, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia and many others to append the initials of their doctorate degree in order to identify to what doctorate degree they belong. For example in Australia, the doctorate holders write their degree with their names in this manner:

- Dr. Edward Doe, Ph.D.        - Dr. Edward Doe, M.D.
- Dr. Edwardo Do, Ed.D.        - Dr. Edward Doe, D.D.

But in our country, if any of these professionals write the way I presented, the fellow who ever attempts to write in this manner maybe branded as “ignorant because this is not practiced in the United States, as some may say, this is heresy, an aberration of the professional practice”.

The University of the Philippines are doing this style of appending their doctorate title in this manner:

- Prof. Juan dela Cruz, Ed.D.

- Prof. Juan dela Cruz, DPA.

UP is doing this slowly, because there are strong adherents to the American practice, to do otherwise, is a form of “professional heresy”.

I have yet to see in this city how many who will dare write in the manner I presented above. Lets see who can start with this “blasphemy”!

Eidul-Fitri/ Eidul-Fitri falls on the first day of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar, commemorates the end of the fasting season – “Eid” in Arabic word means festivity or recurring happiness and “fitri” which is also an arabic word meaning breaking of the fast (of Ramadan). This day is locally known as “Hariraya Puasa”. The day is celebrated upon the sighting of the new moon of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic Calendar.
- National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (2013)

Let us look how an Islamic scholar, the internationally known Islamic scholar Dr. Hammadah Abdalati in his book entitled: ISLAM IN FOCUS defines the two Eids (Fitri & Adha):

“Eid” means recurring happiness of festivity. The Eid prayer is prayer that is very important for all Muslims. It has the merits of the daily prayers, the effects of the daily convention (Jumu’ah ) and the characteristics of the annual Reunion (the Hajj in Mecca) between Muslims. The Islamic Eids are unique in every way, besides their highly spiritual and moral characteristics, they have matchless qualities, thus the EIDS:
a. Is a WHOLESOME CELEBRATION of a remarkable achievement;

b. Is a THANKSGIVING where Muslims assemble in brotherly and joyful atmosphere;

c. Is a DAY OF REMEMBRANCE, the Muslims stay with a plural session of worship

d. Is a DAY OF VICTORY, the individual in securing his spiritual rights and growth receives the Eid with a victorious spirit.

e. Is a DAY OF HARVEST, all the good workers in the service of God, all the faithful believers reap the fruits of their good deeds on the DAY, as God grants His mercy and blessings abundantly.

f. Is a DAY OF FORGIVENESS, when the Muslims assemble in the congregation of the DAY, they all whole-heartedly pray for forgiveness.

g. Is a DAY OF PEACE, when the Muslims establishes peace within his heart by obeying the LAW OF GOD and leading a disciplinary life, he has certainly concluded a most inviolable treaty of Peace with God.

Eid Mubarrak! Blessed holiday to one and all!




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