President Rodrigo Duterte enjoined Muslim Filipinos to be “living examples” of Islamic faith as the world celebrates Eid’l Fitr while grappling with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) health crisis.
“As you celebrate the Breaking of the Fast, may the clarity of thought and wisdom that you have attained from this undertaking inspire you to be the living examples of what is best in the Islamic faith,” he said in a statement.
Duterte expressed hope that the month-long Ramadan fasting has helped the Muslim community nourish their inner strength and fortitude to stay true to the goodness of humanity and at the same time shun evil.
He also remained hopeful that they would further carry out their roles as stewards of peace, love and understanding.
“I trust that you will remain committed in breaking down barriers that divide and further estrange us from one another,” Duterte said.
Duterte also urged them to be “agents of change in our communities” by harnessing the best of their capabilities and perspectives.
“It is only in our everyday lives that our religious doctrines find meaningful relevance as it is through our actions and deeds that we attest to the benevolence and grace of the Creator,” he said.
Eid’l Fitr is celebrated for three days on different dates each year, depending on the sighting of the new moon in the 10th month of the Islamic calendar. This year, the celebration of Eid’l Fitr is set on Sunday (May 24).
Duterte has declared May 25 as a regular holiday for the observance of Eid’l Fitr through Proclamation No. 944.
“In order to bring the religious and cultural significance of Eid’l Fitr to the fore of national consciousness, it is necessary to declare Monday, 25 May 2020, a regular holiday throughout the country,” the proclamation read.
The proclamation also reminded the Muslim community to observe community quarantine and safe physical distancing measures amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The entire Filipino nation should have the full opportunity to join their Muslim brothers and sisters in peace and harmony in the observance and celebration of Eid’l Fitr, subject to existing community quarantine and social distancing measures,” it read.
Muslims traditionally gather in mosques to pray on the first day of Eid’l Fitr, however, since public gatherings remain banned due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they will have to celebrate inside their respective homes.
Mindanao, home to majority of Muslim Filipinos, is currently under a less restrictive general community quarantine (GCQ).
Metro Manila, Laguna, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga and Zambales are under a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) while only Cebu and Mandaue cities were placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from May 16 to 31. (Azer Parrocha, PNA)