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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, May 17, 2018
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Ramadan starts


Strength to surpass life’s challenges will be included in the daily prayers of the Muslim community at the Al Dhikr Islamic Call and Guidance Center in Barangay Mansilingan, Bacolod City, with the start of the 30-day Ramadan, today.

Imam Omar Betita, head of the Al Dhikr Islamic Call and Guidance Center, said they are also praying for continued peace among thepeople inthe world.

Today is also the start of the month-long fasting that will end June 16, when the Muslim community will also celebrate the Eid Al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan, Betita said.

The start date is set by both lunar calculations and physical sightings which determine when the last day of one lunar month ends and a new one begins.

Traditionally, many Muslim-majority countries have followed the dates set by Saudi religious authorities, but in recent years many have used their own astronomical calculations.

Ramadan is a holy month for the world's nearly 1.5 billion Muslims, many of whom practice the ritual of dawn-to-dusk fasting and prayers.

“There should be no food or water intake and no sexual intercourse, from dawn to sunset among Muslims, except pregnant women and those who are sick,” Betita said.

He said the pregnant women and those who failed to do the fasting due to illness or some circumstances should pay back by giving food to others based on the number of days that they did not fast.

Tradition holds that it was during Ramadan that the Prophet Mohammed started receiving revelations of the Muslim holy book, the Koran.

Ramadan is one of the five "pillars" of Islam.

The others are the profession of faith ("there is no God but God and Mohammed is his messenger"), the obligation to pray five times a day, charity, and the pilgrimage to Mecca.*SGG/AFP


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