Monday, August 16, 2010

Fasting and Ramadhan

Muslims around the world are observing Ramadhan. Ramadhan is a most sacred month. It is when the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) observed the holiest practice which is fasting and trying to discern the Voice of God. It was in this period that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was given the task of writing down the laws of the One True God.

Fasting distills the noise around you and enables one to sharpen one's senses. When one's senses are sharpened, one can actually hear God's voice, soothing one's soul and enriching one's Spirit.

Muslims fast before the break of dawn and after the last rays of the run has set in the West. Fasting starts and ends with a prayer. Prayer, for a Muslim, is everything. It sets in motion his day. It energizes him. It enables him to do all the tasks for him that day. Fact is, even work is considered a form of worship.

Muslims pray five times a day. Before he starts his day, he prays. When he reaches midday, he prays. Before he sips his coffee at the afternoon coffee break, he prays. When he sees the sun setting in the West, he prays. And when he retires for the day, he prays and asks God for mercy and for forgiveness.

That's why it is important for government to give Muslims a place where he can pray. During the time of Arroyo, there was a representative, a Muslim Youth, who asked Arroyo to pass an Executive Order, requesting schools and work places (factories, etc.) to provide prayer rooms for Muslim employees. If schools have their chapels, then, why not provide for prayer rooms? If factories have a place where Catholics are able to pray, then, why not assign a room where a Muslim can pray?

Some Muslims I know would want to ask President Noynoy Aquino to do what Arroyo failed in her term. Filipino Muslims are not second class Pinoys. They enjoy the same equal rights as other Pnoys. Their religious rights should be respected.