COTABATO CITY –- Muslim religious leaders in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will conduct moon sighting Friday night to determine whether fasting starts on Saturday or Sunday.
Commissioner Mike Ibrahim, a member of the National Commission for Muslim Filipinos and a religious leader, said members of the Darul Ifta (House of Opinion) of Islam will conduct moon sighting at 7 p.m. Friday.
”If the moon is sighted tonight, the month-long Ramadhan starts Saturday,” Ibrahim, also chair of the Ulama Council of the Philippines, said.
”If the crescent moon is not sighted today anywhere in the world, fasting automatically starts on Sunday,” he added.
Fasting from food, water and earthly desires are observed by Muslim faithful from dawn to sunset that will last for a month.
It is one of the five pillars of Islam and all abled bodied Muslim believers must observe fasting as a religious obligation, according Ustadz Jaafar Ali, speaking for Darul Iftah, the organization of Islamic religious leaders.
Various activities like nightly presentation at the ARMM compound have been prepared ahead of the fasting month.
ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman said a food festival is being prepared at the ARMM compound so Muslims can break the fast shortly after work.
The start of fasting month is a regular working day but Muslim workers are allowed to work until 3 p.m. without noon break to give them ample time to prepare for breaking of the fast at sunset.
The month of Ramadan begins with a new moon, which marks the start of the ninth month in the Islamic calendar.