ILOILO – At 7 a.m. today members of the Muslim community here will gather at the public plaza of La Paz district to celebrate Eid al-Fitr or the Festival of Breaking the Fast.
Eid al-Fitr is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide. It marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting.
There will be an hour of prayer at the plaza, said Sultan Samsodin Hadji Manan, spokesperson of the Iloilo Muslim Community Association, Inc.
Imam Alim Abdullah Atoay will lead the prayer.
Manan said over 1,000 Muslims are expected to attend the La Paz plaza festivity.
Eid al-Fitr marks the conclusion of the 29 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan.
“Ma-pray kami bilang pasalamat nga natapos namon ang Ramadan sa sulod sang 29 days nga wala sing daku nga sablag sa lawas kag nakaluoyan man kami. Just imagine, 29 days nagapagutom ka,” said Manan.
Aside from the La Paz gathering, there will also be simultaneous prayers in mosques in Barangay San Isidro, La Paz and Molo district here, and in mosques in Iloilo province.
There are over 3,000 Muslims living in this city and Iloilo province, according to Manan.
Aside from praying and feasting on food (it is forbidden to fast on the day of the Eid), Muslims also give alms to the poor to mark Eid al-Fitr.
Manan said most Muslims here feel secure, accepted and loved; they are not discriminated, and thus decided to live here and not just do business such as selling cell phone accessories and ready-to-wear items.
“Kag peace-loving people ang mga Ilonggo,” added Manan./PN