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Muslim legal holiday on April 24

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“Glory to Him Who did take His servant for a Journey by Night from the Sacred Mosque (Ka’abah) to the farthest Mosque (Al-Aqsa) (The remains of Solomon Temple in Jerusalem)”

—Holy Qur’an, Surah 17:01

“During the Month of Ramadan, the believers foster strong will, teaches patience, and self-discipline, the ability to bear hardships and tolerate hunger and thirst,”

—Yasin T. Al-Jibouri, THE FAST Of RAMADAN: Philosophy and Ahkam

ISRAH WAL MIRAJ: THE NIGHT JOURNEY AND ASCENSION

A celebration and commemoration on the most Sublime Night when the Holy Prophet Muhammad was fetched from the Sacred Mosque in Mecca by the Archangel Gabriel (Jibril) for a journey to the Farthest Mosque (AL-Aqsa Mosque) in Jerusalem on the night of the 27th of Rajab.

The Night Journey was significant to the Muslims of the present time, because it predicted that in some future time (our time) speed travel would happen which the early Muslims did not know, now we know. The Holy Prophet was asked by the Holy Spirit, the Archangel Gabriel to mount, the Burraq, an animal from paradise, bigger than a mule but smaller than a horse, having two wings, according to Islamic narrative, narrated by Islamic Scholars through the centuries till now.

PROPHETS OF OLD ASSEMBLED

At the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Holy Prophet was asked by the Holy Spirit to lead the prayer where all the prophets of the past were assembled, some were mentioned by the narrative as Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Jonah, John the Baptist, Noah, Isaac, Ishmael and many others who prayed with Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

After the congregation prayer, the Prophet was asked to mount the heavenly steed from the “rock” where it is preserved till now in the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. It is now the symbol of Islam in the Holy Land.

Then the Ascension began. This travel is significant in our present era because it prophesized of space travels to the outer regions of our galaxy. Putting aside the religious significance, for on this one Night, the Prophet was shown the wonders and splendors of Creation, but most telling of all was the establishment of the Five Times Prayers, a day to the Muslims. This command was not given on earth but in the Celestial Realm of God Almighty, that means, the prayers is one of the keys to salvation of every Muslim while on earth in order to gain God’s favors. For this year, the Israh Wal Miraj falls on April 24, 2017, declared by the government thru the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, pursuant to PD 1083.

For the present secular ones, the significance of scientific forecast given to the early Muslims, not knowing, that this would happen in our era. Faith and science merge?

Travel from Mecca by camels to Jerusalem took three months and back, but it took only one night for the Holy Prophet in his travel by Allah’s permission. He returned before the break of daw, so said the narrative.

The rest of the narratives are for the young Muslims to know more and study the significance of that Holy Night of Islam.

PREPARATIONS FOR THE HOLY MONTH OF RAMADAN

“Ramadan is also the month of grace, of great religion fervor and a time for forgiveness,”

—Malek Chebel, SYMBOLS FOR ISLAM (2000)

“Since the dawn of history, man did not find any means better than to fast to ascend above yielding to his desires and worldly wishes, attain spiritual upliftment, according to Yasin T. Al-Jibouri in his book Fast of the Month of Ramadan: Philosophy and Ahkam; and renounce the contemptible habits to which he became addicted and which led to perdition.”

After the celebration of the “Israh Wal Miraj”, which is already the preparations of the Holiest Month in Islam, it will be the month of Sha’ban, preceding the month of Ramadan. This year, Sha’ban will start on April 27—May 26, 2017.

The 15th of Sha’ban is already the countdown to the Holy Month of Ramadan, the advent to Ramadan, which falls on May 11, 2017. The traditionalist Muslims will visit the graves of departed love ones (but the Bidaa advocates frown on the practice), some among the deeply religious will have the fast in Sha’ban, as if it is a training ground for the coming of the Holy Month. This is approved by the Holy Prophet, others start looking at expenses for the coming Holy Month, others start their grocery and stocking food supplies to last for the whole month of the fasting season, but more on the spiritual preparations are in the air.

THIS MONTH AND THE MONTH PRECEDING

This is the right months for some Recollection: Seminars, lectures about Ramadan, Symposium and other intellectual activities as a mental, psychological and spiritual preparations.

But what do our Ulama and other sectors of the Muslims society do in the month of Ramadan? It is the time for seminar, lectures and other intellectual calisthenics where many professionals criticize and frown on this practice. To many professionals, the preparations must be in the month of Rajab and Sha’ban, not while you are already fasting! Too late, for the young learners.

The professionals think, and I think they are right, our religious teachers and authorities must start learning to have an intellectual and psychological shift. But will they (I mean the Ulama) will agree? InshaAllah!

###

April 17, 2017/20th Rajab 1438 A.H. (Islamic Year)

FR. ANGEL C. CALVO, CMF

Lead Convener

Interreligious Solidarity for Peace (ISP)

ZABIDA PDRC, Macrohon Compound,

Suterville, San Jose Gusu, Zamboanga City

Dear Father Calvo:

In His Most Exalted Name, Salam.

This has reference to the preparations of the Gregorian-Hijrah Calendar for 2018/1439 A.H., ISPs Annual Project of which the undersigned is chair of the Technical Drafting Committee of the said project.

April 27 to May 26, 2017 will be the month of Sha’ban, the month preceding the Holy Month of Ramadan.

To the Muslims world-wide, the month of Sha’ban is a preparation for the Holy Month of Fasting which the undersigned is proposing for the early convening of the Technical (Drafting) Committee, the Review Committee, and the Over-sight Committee while the Summer Vacation is still on.

Its is important to note, that the participation of the staff of NCMF is important in our Committee, considering that after the Ramadan Fasting it will be difficult to request their participation due to the preparations for the annual Hajj Season. Therefore, to meet this month will ensure the attendance of the NCMF staff.

A draft schedule of meetings and membership of committee are enclosed for your perusal and consideration.

Your favorable action on this request is sincerely appreciated.

Very truly yours,

PROF. ALI T. YACUB, AL-HJ.

Chair, Technical Committee, ISP

Proposed Committees for the 2018/1438 A.H. Gregorian-Hijrah Calendar

Of the Interreligious Solidarity for Peace

Executive Committee:

1. Fr. Angel C. Calvo, CMF

President, PAZ

Lead Convener, ISP

2. Prof. Ali T. Yacub, Al-Hj.

President, GCCPBA

Muslim Convener, ISP

3. Atty. Paulino R. Ersando

President, ZMF

Evangelical Convener, ISP

4. Hji. Amilpasa T. Bandaying

Chairperson, IPCL

IP convener, ISP

5. Rosie France M. Montojo

Project Coordinator, PAZ

Calendar Committees

A. Technical (Drafting) Committee

Chair: Prof. Ali T. Yacub, Al-Hj (GCCPBA)

Co-Chair: Hja. Yasmin C. Asda (NCMF)

Vice Chair: Mr. Jaafar B. Kimpa (Jabu-Jabu)

Members:

1. Prof. Al-Rashid T. Jama (GCCPBA)

2. Ustz. Nasir Usman (GCCPBA)

3. Sr. Francis Mary G. Quinto (OND)

B. Review Committee

Chair: Dr. Grace J. Rebollos (PAZ)

Co-Chair: Prof. Ali T. Yacub, AL-Hj. (GCCPBA)

Vice Chair: Bro. Salman A. Galang (ABPIA)

Members:

1. Ustz. Abdulquddos Jamad (NCMF)

2. Pstr. Rogelio F. Alfaro (CAMACOP)

3. Mrs. Josephine Bello-Sanchez (GCCPA)

C. Oversight Committee

Chair: Dr. Rufina A. Cruz, Ed. D. (PAZ)

Co-Chair: Mr. Avelino A. Sulit (UCCP)

Vice Chair: Ms. Rosie France M. Montojo (PAZ)

Members:

1. Sr. Francis Mary G. Quinto (OND)

2. Prof. Al-Rashid T. Jama (GCCPBA)

3. Mr. Albert L. Putong (PAZ)

4. Prof. Ali T. Yacub, Al-Hj. (GCCPBA)

D. Secretariat

Chair: Ms. Rosie France M. Montojo (PAZ)

Member: Albert F. Arcilla (PAZ)  (By Prof. Ali T. Yacub)




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