Filipino Muslims—in Mindanao, Metro Manila, and other areas of this predominantly Christian country of 110 million—marked the start of the month-long Ramadan Sunday with prayers at mosques.
Since Muslims were not allowed to go the Golden Mosque for Ramadan in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they were excited to be able to do so this Sunday.
The Ramadan, the ninth and holiest month in the Islamic calendar, calls for prayer and fasting, one of the five pillars of the Islamic faith. The other pillars are profession of faith, five daily prayers, giving of alms and pilgrimage to Mecca.
During Ramadan, Muslims are allowed to eat from sunset to sunrise only.
The end of Ramadan, also known as Eid al-Fitr, will be celebrated on the first three days of the Shawwal, or the 10th month of the Islamic calendar.
At the Golden Mosque in Quiapo district, in the country’s capital, Muslims arrived early for the prayers which started past 4 a.m., according to a report by Rod Vega on Super Radyo dzBB.
With a total 6,064,744 followers or 6.01 percent of the Philippines’ total population, Islam is the second largest religion in Mindanao based on the result of the 2015 Census of Population.
The Mindanao island group is home to majority of the Filipino Muslims in the Philippines. It is where 93 percent of the entire Islamic population resides.
Of Mindanao’s 24,135,775 population, Muslims make up about 23.39 percent of the island’s entire population with more than half of this percentage (14.30 percent) occupying the ARMM.
In Laoag City in Ilocos Norte, Muslims prayed for peaceful elections and an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report on News Live.
Meanwhile, senators sent their messages of peace through statements released to media.
Senator Risa Hontiveros said Ramadan was a time for reflection and self-restraint.
“Now, more than ever, we need to take time to nourish our spirits as we strive to recover from crises and conflicts,” she said.
Detained Senator Leila de Lima expressed her desire that Muslims always find hope and inspiration from the holy tradition in demonstrating strong faith and solidarity to achieve shared causes for
truth, justice, and inclusive growth.
“With the guidance and love of our Creator, with our prayers and faith, with our compassion and empathy despite our differences, with our awareness of the truth, let us all cultivate an equal and transparent society, with respect to the beliefs, rights, dignity, and life of every individual,” de Lima said.
Senator Panfilo Lacson wished more blessings for all Muslim Filipinos.
“To all our Muslim brothers and sisters, a peaceful and solemn celebration of Ramadan. May you be blessed with significant time to pray, fast, and celebrate the true essence of Islam),” he said in a statement Saturday.
Senators Sherwin Gatchalian and Aquilino Pimentel III likewise sent their Ramadan messages on Sunday.
“A peaceful greeting to all our Muslim brothers and sisters. I hope that you will achieve your individual peace, put the teachings of Islam your hearts and bring you closer to Allah,” Gatchalian said.
“Ramadan Mubarak (Blessed Ramadan). Wishing our Muslim brothers and sisters a blessed Ramadan with their families. May this holy month be a time full of blessings, renewed in the strength of our faith, and promotion of peace in our community,” Pimentel stated.