MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday urged Filipinos to mark the start of Ramadan, Islam's holy month of fasting and sharing of blessings, by “helping those who are less fortunate and most in need.”
One of the five pillars of Islam, Ramadan “reminds us of the value of sacrifice, obedience and charity in our daily lives,” Duterte said in a statement.
“As we mark this holy occasion, I ask everyone to promote solidarity among all Filipinos by manifesting faith through action and by fostering peace, hope and unity as we face the most challenging of times,” said the President.
The Philippines is battling one of Asia's worst COVID-19 outbreaks. An over yearlong lockdown has left businesses struggling and thousands jobless.
“Let us all come together and channel the spirit of Ramadan by helping those who are less fortunate and most in need,” Duterte said.
Muslims make up around 6 percent of the Philippines 100 million people, where 8 in 10 are Catholic, according to official data.
Muslims believe the Koran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed at around the time of Ramadan. It ends with the Eid al-Fitr festival.
They abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and having sex from dawn to dusk during Ramadan. They only break the fast with an early meal known as suhur and an evening meal called iftar.
They also engage in reflection, prayers, and improving their relationships with others.
The Koran exempts the ill, elderly and others who cannot give up food and water.
FROM THE ARCHIVES