President Rodrigo Duterte urged Filipino Muslims to shun “misguided ideologies” ahead of the start of the holy month of Ramadan, which will take place amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
In his Ramadan message on April 23, 2020, Duterte reminded the Muslim faithful that to achieve progress, they must forgo misplaced beliefs as they embark on a spiritual journey of reflection and contemplation.
“As you embody the religious insights and epiphanies you have gleaned from this undertaking, may you be moved to advance our collective resolve to eschew misguided ideologies so that we may achieve a truly progressive and inclusive society,” he said.
Duterte hoped that Filipino Muslims would be inspired by the text written in the Quran to lead a “life of purity and clarity.”
“As you read the revelations of Allah with renewed dedication and vigor, may the sacred text inspire you to further lead a life of purity and clarity,” he said.
He was also hopeful that their devotion and sacrifices will reaffirm their commitment to foster unity and solidarity regardless of faith or creed.
Since marking Islam’s holy month will be done amid the Covid-19 threat, Duterte wished that they would achieve peace amid the health crisis.
“Let this occasion give us peace amidst the adversity and challenges we face each day,” he said.
He also wished all Filipino Muslims a “solemn and blessed” occasion.
As the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon and parts of Visayas and Mindanao continue, mosques remain closed, but Muslims continue to get together in their own homes.
They are also live-streaming daily prayers, weekly sermons, and recitations of the Quran.
The ECQ is expected to lapse on April 30, but Duterte has yet to decide on whether to lift, extend, or modify quarantine measures in place.
During Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to sunset.
The end of Ramadan is celebrated as Eid al-Fit’r or the feast of breaking the fast, one of Islam’s two major holidays aside from Eid’l Adha or the feast of sacrifice. (Azer Parrocha, PNA)