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More than 10,000 members of the Muslim community in Puerto Princesa are observing Ramadan that started April 23. The seven major mosques all over the city are closed to the public in compliance to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
City Muslim Affairs Program Manager Imam Sonsong Mustafa Camama told Palawan Daily News that they are strictly following all government-mandated orders to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Fasting and prayers are being practiced individually in their homes, the traditional Tarawih or night masses usually held at 8 in the evening is celebrated online by different Muslim organizations headed by the Human Development Foundation in the City.
“Yung panahon ngayon may COVID-19, malaki ang pagkakaiba kasi ang mga Muslim pag panahon ng Ramadan nagsasamba, lahat ng Muslim gusto mag fasting at magsamba dahil alam nila malaki ang gantimpala na binibigay ng Panginoon at pinapatawad ang mga kasalanan, importante dun yung Tarawih, mahigit isang oras yun, ngayon hindi namin maisagawa sa mosque kasi bilang Muslim ay pinag-utos sa amin na sumunod kami sa mga pinuno, parang pagsunod namin kay Mayor Bayron ay parang sumunod din kami kay Allah,” Camama said.
Ramadan in Islamic calendar is a month-long observance of fasting, prayer and reflection, a commemoration of Prophet Mohammad’s first revelation of the beginning that was later on called Qur’an.
Camama said that it usually ends at the 29th day depending if the moon appear is called Eid al-Adha, to which a joyous feast follows. This year it will happen on May 23, if in case the quarantine will end on the said date – they wish to hold a celebration only if the local government will allow.
“Pag payagan kami may plano talaga, ina-ano lang namin yung sa gobyerno kasi kami sumusunod lang kami sa kung anu ang kautusan ng gobyerno, pero kung hindi bawal atat na atat na kami na maisagawa namin yun, napaka importante sa amin yun,” Camama added.
Main message of this year’s Ramadan in time of the pandemic is to share each other’s suffering.
“Ang Ramadan ngayon kahit mayaman ka, mahirap o katamtaman ang buhay mo ay obligado mag-fasting, kaya mararamdaman mo yung gaano ka nagugutom, gaano ka nauuhaw, para maramdaman mo yung nararamdaman ng kapwa mo rin muslim,” Camama explained.