VP Binay, embassy execs wish Muslims peace, strength as Ramadan starts
Philippine officials on Thursday sought strength and resilience for Muslim Filipinos as they start the Holy Month of Ramadan on Friday.
Vice President Jejomar Binay noted Ramadan is a period not only of sacrifice and worship but also of celebration and unity.
"I pray for strength and resilience for our Muslim brothers and sisters as they begin this month of renewal. May this also bring all of us closer together in peace and harmony," Binay, who is also presidential adviser on overseas Filipino worker concerns, said in a statement posted on his office's website.
Binay said Ramadan brings together Muslims, who get an opportunity to reflect on their lives and find that their faith can only be strengthened by this sacrifice.
"I believe it is very humbling to place oneself under trying circumstances so that one may understand the value of giving and sharing. Likewise, I believe this time of self-denial will only lead to personal growth and reverence to the Almighty," he said.
For its part, the Philippine embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia prayed for forgiveness of sins, as well as good health and blessings for Muslim Filipinos during the month.
"We pray that Allah the Almighty accept our fasting, forgive our sins, give us good health and bless us all during Ramadhan, and throughout the year, with His forgiveness, mercy and peace, and bring us all closer to Him and to each other," the embassy said in a release on its website.
The embassy also invited some Filipino Muslims in the Kingdom to join its Iftar on the first day of Ramadan at the Embassy compound.
Earlier, a prominent Islamic group had announced that Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, will begin on July 20.
US-based Fiqh Council of North America, a group affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America, based its findings on scientific calculations to determine July's new moon, The Huffington Post reported.
The Islamic calendar follows a lunar cycle and the dates of Ramadan, the holiest Islamic month when Muslims fast during the daylight hours, change each year.
At Ramadan, Muslims wake up before dawn for breakfast and abstain from food, water and sex during the day then break their fasts with group dinners at night.
During the day, they pray and read the Quran at least once in its entirety before the month ends. - VVP, GMA News
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