COTABATO, Philippines – The Office of the Wali of the Bangsamoro region and the Datul Iftah of the Philippines declared Thursday, March 23, as the beginning of Ramadan.
The announcement came after religious scholars confirmed that there was no sighting of the crescent moon on the evening of Tuesday, March 21, which would have meant the start of the Muslim holy month the following day. As such, the first day of Ramadan will begin on Thursday.
The regional government greeted the announcement with the Ramadhan Festival of Lights at the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Complex in Cotabato.
At the same time, the Bangsamoro Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence also started the distribution of food packs for workers of 200 mosques as part of the Ramadan package and relief aid, according to BARMM Interior Minister and spokesman Naguib Sinarimbo.
In a statement, the officer-in-charge of the Office of the Wali of BARMM, Omarkhalid Ampatuan, acknowledged the significance of moon sighting to all Muslims and expressed gratitude for their patience and understanding.
He also urged those observing Ramadan to use this time to spiritually prepare for the month ahead and reflect on its importance.
Darul Iftah, the religious advisory council of the Bangsamoro region, also made the same announcement during a live broadcast this evening. – Rappler.com
Ferdinandh Cabrera is an Aries Rufo Journalism fellow.
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