Thursday, 10 July 2014 12:06
“God and His Angels bless the Prophet, O you who have faith shower him with blessings and salutation ”
——Holy Qur’an, 33:56
“Leadership is standing with your people”
—(Madame Leymah Gbowe, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Winner (Reader’s Digest (2012)
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The moon-sighting committee presided by His Eminence Abdulbaki Abubakar, the mufti of Region 09, and the rest of the Darul Iftah Eminent religious leaders of the city decreed in the evening of June 27th, this year that despite great efforts to contact other countries near our shores for the sighting of the moon, all claimed negative to have sighted the crescent moon. The edict was issued three hours after sunset of 27th June, that, no fasting on June 28, 2014 but in obedience to the command of the Holy Prophet, to complete the month of Sha’ban 30 days was followed to the letter, hence, the Muslims in all parts of Mindanao and elsewhere in the country observed the fast on June 29th.
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Ramadan may end depending on the sighting of the moon again on the last week of July 2014, which will be followed by the joyful celebration of a Eidil Fitri and the greetings will be this time, Eid Mubarak (Blessed Eid), it is not appropriate to say “Celebrating” of the month of Ramadan”, but say it, in the “observance of the Holy Month of Ramadan”.
While muslims “celebrate” the Holy Month of Ramadan, not in the form of frivolity but more on spiritual activities such as: reading of the Holy Qur’an, recital of the “Tasbih (Rosary), additional optional prayers, distribution of charity, offering of Iftar to the poor and the needy, close bonding of family ties, social and cultural exchanges around, but more importantly is the soul-searching and asking for the forgiveness of sins of the muslim faithful.
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The Holy Prophet told the muslims of the “Doors of Heaven” are opened, and rooms of hell are closed for the muslim faithful; in this holy month of islam.
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WHO ARE EXEMPTED FROM FASTING
The said qualifications exclude the following categories from fasting, according to the Ulama of the Islamic world:
1. Children under the age of puberty and discretion;
2. The insane people who are unaccountable for their deeds. People of those two categories are exempted from the duty of fast, and no compensation or any other substitute is enjoined on them.
3. Men and women who are too old and feeble to undertake the obligation of fast and bear its hardships. Such people are exempted from this duty, but they must offer, at least, one needy poor muslim an average meal or its value per person per day (this is called “fidiya” in Islam). This compensation indicates that whenever they can fast even for one day of the month, they should do so, and compensate for the rest. Otherwise they are accountable for their negligence.
4. Sick people whose health is likely to be severely affected by the observance of the fast. They may postpone the fast, as long as they are sick, to a later date and make up for it, a day for a day.
5. People in the course of travelling of distances about fifty (50) miles or more. In this case such people may break their fast temporarily during their travel only and make up for it a later day, day for a day. But it is better for them, the Qur’an tells, to keep the fast if they can without causing extraordinary hardships.
6. Expectant women and women nursing their children may also break their fast, of its observance is likely to endanger their own health or that of their children infants. But they must make up for the fast at a delayed time, a day for a day.
7. Women in the period of menstruation (of a maximum of ten days) or of confinement (of a maximum of forty days). These are not allowed to fast even if they can and want it. They must postpone the fast till recovery and then make up for it, a day for a day.( Hammudah Abdalati, Islam in Focus)
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It should be understood that here, like all other Islamic undertakings, the intention must be made clear that this action is undertaken in obedience to God, in response to His command and out of love for Him.
Greet the Muslims in this month as; Ramadan Kareem or “Ramadan Mubarak”, not “Happy Ramadan, No such thing in Islam. The Holy Prophet said; “In the Holy Month of Ramadan, when the first night is over, Allah, the Almighty and the Exalted One, forgives the sins committed by all members of my nation, the ones committed in secrecy and the one committed in public, and He elevates your status two thousand degrees and builds lofty towers in paradise”
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If you are in town caught by the traffic, its Iftar time, try Dulang Restaurant located at Zaragoza St., this City or contact #992-0952/992-2338.
By: Prof. Ali T. Yacub
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