Darul Ifta announces start of Ramadhan on April 24

The Darul Ifta, the highest Islamic religious authority in the country, announced here that the fasting month of Ramadhan officially begins on Friday, April 24, after several moon sighting teams failed to see the crescent moon on Wednesday evening.

Members of Darul Ifta held moon sighting in various parts of the Bangsamoro region Wednesday to determine the official beginning of the fasting month of Ramadhan.

Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Grand Mufti Abuhuraira A. Udasan. (Photo courtesy of BPI-BARMM)

“By the authority vested in me as grand mufti in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), I hereby declare that we shall start the fasting month of Ramadhan on Friday, April 24,” Abuhuraira Udasan, grand mufti (the titular head of the Muslim community) in the BARMM and head of Darul Ifta (Islamic House of Opinion), said Wednesday evening.

“The moon sighting teams failed to see the crescent moon tonight, so automatically fasting begins on Friday,” Udasan said. He admitted that Muslims are facing a huge challenge due to the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

The Ramadhan observance is seen as more challenging this year with the whole country and the rest of the world fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in lockdown measures that have severely restricted the movement of people.

For instance, some religious scholars pointed out that difficulty in buying food for the breaking of the fast at dawn because of the existing lockdown measures.

Ustadz Abuhalil Upam, an Islamic preacher based here, said Islamic scholars believed this year’s fasting requires more sacrifices due to the pandemic.

The fasting month is the 9th and most sacred month of the Islamic calendar.

Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam and obligatory for Muslims all over the world. It is also one of the most important festivals in the Islamic calendar.

Udasan said the Darul Ifta has canceled all Islamic religious gatherings, including the temporary suspension of the congregational “Taraweeh” prayers in mosques due to the Covid-19 onslaught. (PNA)

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