by Samira Gutoc
Sectoral Rep for Women
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
My family and the women sector that I represent in the Regional Legislative Assembly (RLA) join the Muslim Ummah in celebrating Eid’l-Fitr.
Eid’l Fitr is a Muslim celebration done after fasting of the Month of Ramadhan. It symbolizes gratitude to Allah/God as we have completed fasting season. It is a celebration of achievement after the 30 or 29 days of struggle not merely from hunger but a struggle for realization of the self and of the world.
As we celebrate this very important Muslim festivity with full enthusiasm, let us bear in mind that our reason for celebrating is not because the hardship and suffering of fasting are over and we can enjoy our normal lives again, BUT to express our jubilation that we were given the opportunity to fast and successfully complete the observance of the Holy month of Ramadhan to be worthy of God’s mercy and blessings.
Eid’l Fitr is indeed a festival of joy as it is also a feast of self-sacrifice, commitment and obedience to the Almighty. Today, we commemorate the great act of obedience to Allah by the Prophet Ibrahim who showed his willingness to sacrifice the life of his son Ismael. Thus, we are enjoined to share contribution to the less fortunate such as evacuees in Magunidanao, the halaws or trafficking victims in the islands, and those who cannot eat at all.
As service to our people especially in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is our way of obedience to Allah SWT, we enjoin everyone to join and support reform initiatives of the Regional Autonomous Government.
Fasting is symbolic as we all must help clean up our government in the ARMM. At a time of search for a true Muslim social order, fasting reminds that we do not need to await that product of a peacetalks to practice our true nation. Everyday, we must uphold human rights. Indeed, it is written in the Qur’an, “O you who believed, decreed upon you is Fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you might become righteous (2:183)”. That is also the reason why we are encouraged to pay Zakat (charity) to share, and to help each other.
I hope, as Ramadhan bids farewell and as we pray for the Eid’l Fitr, let us stand as united reformed individuals – the source of Peace not only for Muslims but as well as for the whole humanity, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong.
May we remember the teachings of Ramadhan – patience in adversity, the patience to wait, to hope and to trust ALLAH for the acceptance of our prayers – in everyday of our lives. Thank you Grandpa, Mama, Hubby, family and clan, friends, Bangsamoro and reformists, and to every Juan and Aisha for inspiring me to treat every problem as a project.
May Allah SWT continue to guide and bless us as we endeavor for the greater good of our people in the ARMM and for the pride of the whole Muslim world.
Happy Eid’l Fitr Al Mubarak!