{PHOTO - The month of Ramadan is the month in which
the Quran was sent down, a guidance for the people,
and clear verses of guidance and criterion.
[Quran: Chapter 2:183]

MANILA, AUGUST 30, 2011 (BULLETIN) By EDD K. USMAN - President Benigno S. Aquino III has greeted Muslim Filipinos and wished that Eid'l Fitr, the Ramadan-end festival, observed either Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on moon-sighting would usher in a year of peace in the Islamic community and the entire Filipino nation.

“I commend your resilience in surpassing the test of your devotion to the Almighty. May this event signify another year of meaningful and peaceful relations in your community and among all Filipinos," said the President.

Aquino's message was made through the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), headed by Secretary Bai Omera D. Dianalan-Lucman.

“Faith and patience being among the important virtues in Islam, they are reflected in Ramadan and further celebrated in Eid'l Fitr. Thus, your festivity serves as a recompense for the sacrifices which you have willingly endured during your spiritual struggle in the past month," the President said.

He urged Muslims to consider Eid'l Fitr not just as the end of Ramadan, but an occasion to strengthen their humility and discipline.

Meanwhile, Vice President Jejomar C. Binay pitched for lasting peace in Mindanao on the eve of the celebration of the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan of Filipino Muslims.

In a statement, Binay greeted Filipino Muslims in their celebration of Eid'l Fitr as he expressed hope for an end to years of conflict and bloodshed in Mindanao with government renewing talk with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Binay said Eid'l Fitr is “more importantly a time to foster unity and peace.”

“I am hopeful that as the government renews its talk with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, we can finally put an end to years of conflict and bloodshed,” Binay said.

“I am with you in praying for the best interest of our country and I hope that this brings us further down the path to-wards lasting peace and harmony. May you be blessed as you celebrate this end of Ramadan,” he said.

Binay said he shares joy of the festivities of Filipino Muslims for the conclusion of the month “that you have devoted to fasting and the worship of God.”

“I hope that this period of challenge has brought you contentment and spiritual growth, especially with the knowl-edge that you have strived once again to fulfill an obligation for the Almighty,” he said.

Last Aug. 11, the President, following Republic Act No. 9177, the Eid'l Fitr law, and NCMF recommendation, proclaimed Aug. 30 a nationwide regular holiday for the Islamic feast.

“To promote cultural understanding and integration, the entire Filipino nation should have the full opportunity to join their Muslim brothers and sisters in the observance of celebration of Eid'l Fitr," Proclamation No. 234 said.

While Muslims in the United States have already set tomorrow, Aug. 30, as the end of Ramadan and will celebrate Eid'l Fitr (Festival of Breaking Fast) based on astronomical calculations, Islam believers in the country and elsewhere will still do it through moon-sighting with the naked eye.

The moon-sighting result was to be known last night. Thus, if may happen that local Muslims would still fast today, if the crescent moon was not sighted. Every new moon signals the start and end of Islamic months.

As a precaution, the proclamation indicated the national holiday may not coincide with the actual Eid'l Fitr prayer.

Aquino said he joins Muslims in the country in their celebration. (With JC Bello Ruiz)

Laylatul Qadr (The Night of Power)

The last 10 days of Ramadan is upon us. As we approach the most sacred nights of the holy month of Ramadan (Laylatul Qadr), we encourage all Muslims to maximize the next 10 days with a lot of duas and as always to please keep us in your duas.

Today's article is on Laylatul Qadr. Please read this so that you can maximize the last 10 days of Ramadan.

Only Allah knows if we will be around to experience Ramadan next year. Do not let anything interrupt you from worshiping Allah as He should be.

In the month of Ramadan, certain nights have greater significance and hold more barakah (blessings) than others. One such night is Laylatul Qadr (The Night of Power). Allah, the Exalted, has described this night as ‘better than a thousand nights’. The Exalted says:

“Verily We have revealed this [Qur’an] in the Night of Power. And what will explain to you what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit (Jibra’il) descend therein, by the permission of their Lord, with all decrees. Peace it is, till the break of dawn.” (Al‐Qadr v 1‐5)

The above surah indicates to the many virtues of this night:

First Virtue: Allah the Exalted revealed the Qur’an on this night as guidance for mankind and for their success in this world and the Hereafter.

Second Virtue: The question ‘And what will explain to you what the Night of Power is?’ indicates to the unparalleled greatness of this night.

Third Virtue: This night is better than a thousand months

Fourth Virtue: Angels will descend on this night and they do not descend except with goodness, blessings and mercy.

Fifth Virtue: This night is a manifestation of peace as it saves many from the punishment [of Hellfire].

Sixth Virtue: Allah revealed a complete surah in honour and greatness of the night, a surah which will be recited till the Day of Judgement.

As regards to the exact date of Laylatul Qadr, it has not been conclusively disclosed. However, it is reported from the Prophet that it is in the last ten odd nights of Ramadan (i.e. the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, 29th or the last night of Ramadan).

Aisha said: “The Messenger of Allah used to practice i’tikaf in the last ten nights and say: ‘Seek out Laylatul Qadr in the [odd nights] of the last ten days of Ramadan.’” (Bukhari)

Concealing the exact date of Laylatul Qadr was not a haphazard decision but rather a divine wisdom. Allah the Exalted has concealed [the exact date of] Laylatul Qadr so that Muslims may seek it and their keenness for worship may grow and all their nights during the concluding part of the month be spent in prayer and seeking forgiveness.

However, many scholars are of the opinion that the most likely date for Laylatul Qadr is the night of the twenty seventh of Ramadan. Ibn Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “Laylatul Qadr is on the twenty seventh [night].” (Abu Dawud and Ahmad)

Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, was among those who were of the opinion that Laylatul Qadr falls on the twenty seventh night of Ramadan. Although there is a multitude of evidence to substantiate this opinion, there is no absolute surety that Laylatul Qadr falls on the twenty seventh night. Hence, it is advisable to seek this blessed night in the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan.

There are no specific acts to be performed for Laylatul Qadr. The night should be spent by offering much nafl (voluntary) prayers as one can offer, in recitation of the Glorious Qur’an, in dhikr, durud and tasbih. Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger if Allah said: “Whoever stands in prayer and worship during Laylatul Qadr, with complete iman and sincere hope of gaining rewards, will have all his previous sins forgiven.” (Bukhari)

The forgiveness and mercy of Allah should be sought.29 It is reported from Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, that she once asked: “O Messenger of Allah! If I happen to find Laylatul Qadr, then what should I say in it?” He said: “Say ‘O Allah you are the most forgiving, you love to forgive so forgive me.’” (Tirmidhi)

One should ensure that worship on this night is not neglected or given priority over other worldly duties. The Messenger of Allah once said: “Whoever is deprived of the blessings of Laylatul Qadr [i.e. neglects to worship on this night] is deprived of all good.” (Ahmad)

May Allah give us the ability to reap the benefits of Ramadan and Laylatul Qadr and deprive us not of any of its blessings. May He also enable us to build a long lasting relationship with the Book which has made Ramadan a blessed and glorious month. It is only through the recitation, study, propagation and implementation of this very same Book, that ultimate success can be attained in this world and the next. Source: Fasting & Ramadan: The Essentials SM Hasan Al‐Banna

"Loving is better than anger, hope is better than fear, optimism is better than despair; so let us all be loving, hopeful and optimistic and we'll change the world together." by the late Jack Layton (Leader of the Opposition, Federal Govt of Canada)

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved