COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao, Philippines — Tuesday, April 13, is the official start of the holy month of Ramadan as declared by the Bangsamoro Darul Ifta, the Islamic religious authority in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
“ virtue of the authority vested in me as Grand Mufti of BARMM, I hereby announce that we will start fasting on this blessed month of Ramadan on Tuesday, April 13,” Grand Mufti Abu Huraira Udasan said in an announcement carried live over social media platforms on Sunday evening.
Teams of Muslim religious scholars and volunteers were deployed in various parts of the region to do moonsighting on Sunday evening.
The crescent moon that heralds Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, was not visible on Sunday night, prompting the declaration of the start of fasting on Tuesday.
The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos also issued a similar declaration.
Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. During this month, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, engaging in any sexual activity, and committing sinful acts from daybreak to dusk.
The provincial government of Lanao del Sur and the city government of Cotabato have lifted the “No Movement Sunday” policy on April 11 to allow the people to prepare for welcoming the holy month of Ramadan.
–Sheila Mae De La Cruz and Taher Solaiman
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