RAMADAN ends Muslims seek peace, end to discrimination

By: Michelle Joy L. Padayhag July 18,2015 - 12:13 AM
 Muslim children in Cebu City take  group selfies as they wait for the start of prayers for the feast of Eid  al-Fitr, a joyful break marking the end of the  Ramadhan    at Alkhairiah Mosque at N. Bacalso Ave. in barangay Basak San Nicolas.

Muslim children in Cebu City take group selfies as they wait for the start of prayers for the feast of Eid al-Fitr, a joyful break marking the end of the Ramadhan at Alkhairiah Mosque at N. Bacalso Ave. in barangay Basak San Nicolas.(CDN PHOTO/JUNJIE MENDOZA)

Muhammad Amil Asani and his family woke up at dawn yesterday to prepare for the celebration of the Eid al-Fitr which marked the end of Ramadan.

At 8 a.m., they went to the Alkhairiah Mosque in barangay Mambaling, Cebu City where they joined the congregational prayer and listened to the sermon of  Imam Aladdin Ubpon.

“We prayed for peace in the family. Sometimes we experience trials in life. We  pray for peace not just in our country but for all of  entire humanity,” Asani told Cebu Daily News.

Asani said the month-long celebration of Ramadan made clear to him  the temporary nature of life.

“What we  do here on earth is what we also bring with us in our final days,” said Asani, who hails from Jolo, Sulu. He has been living in barangay Mambaling, Cebu City since 1988.

After attending the sermon, the whole family went home and prepared for  family visits.

Asani said they prepared e meat and fruits to serve to  families who visit them in their home.

The Eid al-Fitr is considered a great festival for Muslims, and a time to visit their families and relatives.

It is also the culmination of fasting that is observed by all devout Muslims indicating compliance with “fasting” and “pilgrimage,” two of the five pillars of Islam.

PRAY FOR PEACE
Other Muslims stayed and sat outside the Alkhairiah Mosque yesterday because of the  big crowd inside during the congregational prayer and sermon.

In his sermon, Imam Ubpon discussed achieving peace not just for the country but for the whole world.

“If we want peace then we start in our own selves. If we don’t have it (peace) in our minds and actions then we can’t achieve peace,” Imam Ubpon said.

Part of his sermon touched on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that has drawn nationwide debates and discussion.

“If it is good for everyone (Muslims and non-Muslims) then there is no problem with it. We pray that yung pinaka asam-asam natin na kapayapaan ay makukuha na (the peace we so desire will come),” he added.

He also prayed that leaders of the country will be enlightened in weighing decisions so peace can be achieved especially in the country’s problematic areas.

Imam Ubpon also urged non-Muslims to stop discriminating against Muslims.

“Regardless to what religion we belong, brotherhood should always prevail,” he said.

“Please stop generalizing Muslims. Despite all the good things that we have done, I am hurt because we are sometimes judged and discriminated,” Imam Upbon added.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting from dawn to dusk to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Muslim belief.

The purpose of fasting during Ramadan is to strengthen self-restraint among Muslims and to develop piety.

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