Eid Al-Fitr Prayer 2019 in Datu Paglas, Maguindanao (Courtesy of Xoielvester Vien Guiaber FB)

This year’s celebration of Feast of Eid Al-Fitr is different from the past

Tacurong, Sultan Kudarat– 1st of Shawwal 1441 Hijri corresponding to the 24th of May 2020 is the Feast of Eid Al-Fitr here in the Bangsamoro where Muslims in the whole World celebrate the end of fasting in the Holy Month of Ramadhan. 
Today is a different Eid Al-Fitr because Muslims used to pray and celebrate this yearly event in big congregations in open space, while this morning’s eid prayers happened in houses to prevent the contamination and spread of COVID19. 

Eid prayer today brings different reactions from the believers. “I am so glad to be the imam of our congregation, the first in my life”, Abdulkadir Nalg, the Municipal Administrator of President Quirino in Sultan Kudarat province told us. 

“My first time to pray eid at home in my whole 61 years of age and I missed the big celebration”, said Datu Udza Nagon, a brigade officer of 109th Base Command, BIAF-MILF. 

“I feel pity to those who couldn’t lead their family in eid prayer”, Ustaz Helmie Utto, an officer of the Former Overseas Bangsamoro Workers said, as he was asked by some families to lead them in prayer but refused due to restrictions. 

Ramadhan as believed by many Muslims is like a month-long university training where believers learnt practical lessons in life. “I used to know that compassion is among the lessons a Muslim should learn during Ramadhan, but in this Ramadhan 1441H, while distributing relief assistance to the most vulnerable sectors of our society, I deeply internalized the meaning of true compassion”, confessed by Abdullatip Nalg, a Municipal Link Officer, MSSD/DSWD, Pandag, Maguindanao. “Due to Darul Ifta direction to pray taraweeh at home, we were forced to memorize more short surahs (chapters) of the Holy Qur’an to make ourselves ready when called upon to lead taraweeh prayer”, narrated by Tanny Abdullah and Dante Uyag, both battalion officers under the 109 Base Command, BIAF.   

Whatever reactions there are and lessons learnt during this month of Ramadhan, the most valuable lesson being rehashed is discipline.  That is discipline to practice what we’ve learnt in this month-long university training in our socio-political and spiritual lives!