This celebration is very significant to every Filipino-Muslim; let us offer them our respect by granting this day as theirs.
The Philippines is one of the countries populated by Muslims. Mostly of our Muslims brothers and sisters in the Philippines are situated in Mindanao although they are also all around the country.
June 6 has already been declared a national holiday in observance of Eid’l Fitr or the feast celebrated at the end of Ramadhan. The Philippine government has been observing this as a national public holiday in the Philippines since 2002. Its main concern is to orderly promote peace and goodwill among the minority of Muslims and majority of the Christians in the country.
Let us know what our Muslim brothers and sisters do or practice during this day. You probably heard of this feast a lot of times and might be wondering why the date that is being celebrated is always changing. That is a fact, because there is actually no specific date for this event since the Islamic Calendar – Hijri, has been grounding its months on lunar cycles. Islamic month usually begins with the first new moon then the sunset of the last day of the previous month.
“Eid al-Fitr. Eid al-Fitr.” Now don’t even try to utter this word if you don’t know what it actually means if you don’t want to sound funny or be embarrassed. If you wish to greet your Muslim friends you should say Eid’l Fitr Al-Mubarak meaning “The great Feast of Sacrifice”. Eid al-Fitr actually means “Feast of the Breaking of the Fast”. This feast has alternative names but in the Philippines it’s more recognized that way. It is generally celebrated for three days to be exact where it marks the end of the holy month of fasting for Muslims. Fasting on Ramadan is fourth in the 5 Pillars of Islam which is a mandatory act to be observed in Muslim life.
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Other countries way of rejoicing may be different from each and other Muslim tribes. But there are traditions being observed by the Filipino-Muslims.
Right after the communal prayer service, the worshippers rejoice and greet each other with the traditional greetings of Eid Mubarak (Blessed Eid) or Eid Sa-id (Happy Eid).
Greetings cards may also be exchanged between friends and family. Our Filipino-Muslim brothers usually say this in the Arabic language but mostly of our brothers there speak Maranao, Maguindanaon, Tausug, or even in Visayan.
Also they hand out zakat (alms in the form of food) to the needy during the celebration. Another tradition continued being practiced is visiting of the elderly and the sick then greetings.
The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has set and mounted cultural performances in Cotabato City last year, a month before observance of Eid’l Fitr. This is to highlight the Bangsamoro tribal culture including Maguindanaon, Tausug, Samal, Maranao, Yakan, Iranun, and Teduray.
Eid’l Fitr’s message rings clearer than today’s jollification. And for Muslims, they are looking after their community and also after humanity.