Aquino to host dinner for Eid’l Fitr on Sept.13

September 9, 2010 10:12 am 

MANILA, Sept. 8 — President Benigno S. Aquino III will host a belated dinner in celebration of Eid’l Fitr in solidarity with Muslim Filipinos on September 13.

Eid'l Fitr falls on September 10. The delay in holding the dinner is to give the Muslim leaders time to celebrate the feast with their families.

The President’s general relationship with the estimated 4.7 million Muslim Filipinos is based on the fact that majority of the Muslims nationwide voted for him during the last presidential elections.

His parents, too, shared a special closeness with the Muslims. Ninoy was the one who exposed the Jabidah Massacre while President Cory enshrined in the Philippine Constitution the autonomy of Muslim Mindanao through the establishment of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The dinner will be attended by national and local legislative and executive officials, civil society leaders and diplomats where halal (in conformance with the Koran) meal will be served.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the main celebration of Eid’l Fitr is done during the Eid itself.

However, celebrations extend a few days after the end of Ramadan and this will be the first formal sit-down dinner by President Aquino, Lacierda explained.

Ramadan is the month when Muslims observe a strict fast for a period of 12 hours daily, from sunrise to sunset. By fasting, the Muslims hope to strengthen their self-restraint and develop piety. It is also a month of sacrifice and purification as the Muslims worldwide fast, pray and act with kindness towards the poor and less fortunate.

Eid’l Fitr is the end of Ramadan. It is a great festival for Muslims when they visit their relatives and friends to celebrate the happy occasion much like Christmas for Christians.

Eid’l Fitr is also called Hari Raya, a Malay term for “day of celebration". It is derived from Hari Raya Puasa, commonly used in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei but Eid’l Fitr has a more universal application, Lacierda said.

Eid’l Fitr is one of two Eids the Muslim world celebrates. Eid’l el Adha celebrates the performance of Hajj, which indicates compliance of two of the five pillars of Islam: fasting and pilgrimage. The other three are bearing testimony to the oneness of God, through five times daily prayers and giving of zakat, the Islamic tithes.

The Philippines recognizes Eid el Fitr as a regular holiday nationwide under Republic Act 9177 of Nov. 13, 2002. The law was enacted in deference to the Muslim Filipinos and to promote peace among major religions in the country. (PNA)

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