Can President Benigno’s Participation In Eid’l Fitrby Bring Happiness To The Hearts Of Other Muslims?

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III leads the the whole Filiipino nation in joining the 4.7 Muslim Filipinos as they observe Eid el -Fitr.

In order to bring the religious and cultural importance of the Eid el-Fitr to the fore of national consciousness, President Aquino declared it as a regular holiday throughout the country.

The President has issued Proclamation No. 26 dated September 2, declaring Friday, September 10, 2010 as a regular holiday throughout the country in observance of Eid el-Fitr.

The President is hosting a dinner reception in celebration of Eid el-Fitr, and in solidarity with Muslim Filipino brothers and sisters.

In as much as most of the Muslims would be celebrating the same with their families, the dinner was scheduled some days thereafter in order not to intrude into the family Eid celebrations.

National and local legislative and executive officials, civil society leaders, and diplomats will attend the dinner. Halal meal will be served during the event which is the first formal sit down dinner by President Aquino.

Eid el-Fitr is a Muslim holiday that denotes the end of Ramadhan. It is considered a great festival for Muslims. During the festival Muslim families visit their relatives and friends as is the practice of Christians and Catholics during Christmas. Eid el-Fitr takes place on September 10 for this year.

Eid el-Fitr is celebrated by the Muslim World for three (3) days after the end of the month of fasting. The main date for the celebration of Eid el-Fitr for the year 2010 was determined to fall on Friday, September 10, 2010.

The celebration of Eid’l Fitr in Islam carries a “distinctive meaning and spirit as compared to other cultures.” According to Islamic website www.islamonline.net, Muslims normally start each day of the three-day festival by “taking a bath and wearing their best clothes.”

While Muslim families combine in simple gatherings, it is a prayer that brings them together “to remember Allah’s bounties and celebrate His Glory and Greatness.”

The about four point seven million Filipino Muslims take the occasion as an opportunity to do charity and good acts. The feast is not an occasion to take a vacation from Islamic responsibilities and commitments or to waste time and money in extravagance.

It is a chance to multiply good deeds by bringing happiness and pleasure to the hearts of other Muslims by helping and supporting the poor and needy, and by getting involved in pastimes that emphasize the strong and serious Islamic character.

Before the day of Eid, during the last few days of Ramadan, each Muslim family gives a determined amount as a donation to the poor. This donation is of actual food to make sure that the needy can have a holiday meal and participate in the celebration. This donation is known as Sadaqah al-Fitr (charity of fast-breaking).

Eid’l Fitr falls on the first day of Shawwal, the month that follows Ramadan in the Islamic calendar. It is a time to give to those in need, and memorializ with family and friends the completion of a month of blessings and joy. (PIA 8)

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