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Maguindanao's pink mosque to open for Muslims in Ramadan
Friday June 27, 2014 3:28 PM, John Unson

Muslim clerics will converge in designated spots in the city and surrounding Maguindanao towns starting dusk on Friday for the centuries-old moon sighting tradition to determine the start of the Ramadan.

Pink Mosque

Meanwhile, a pink mosque in Maguindanao is set to open to public this Ramadan season.

As a religious obligation, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk during the month of Ramadan, a practice meant to inculcate among them the importance of self-restraint in achieving spiritual perfection and harmony with all people, regardless of religions and races.

Fasting during the month of Ramadan, which comes after Shaban, begins with the sighting of the new moon. The atonement season lasts for 29 to 30 days, and ends with the sighting of the new moon, which signals the start of the month of Shawal in the Islamic Hijrah calendar.

The observance of Ramadan is one of the "five pillars of the Islamic faith," which include fear and absolute subservience to Allah, praying five times a day facing the west, giving of "zakat" (alms) to the poor, and going at least once in a lifetime to Mecca to perform the hajj.

"In case the new moon is not seen for various valid reasons, like poor visibility, or bad weather, we shall commence our fasting season on Sunday, June 29," said Imam Jaafar Ali, spokesman of Central Mindanao's Darul Iftah, also known as House of Opinions.

Jaafar, who studied Islamic theology in religious schools in the Middle East and North Africa, said they will make a final announcement regarding the start of Ramadan on Saturday morning over local radio stations.

The office of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Gov. Mujiv Hataman and the regional trade and industry department will operate a "Ramadan food market," where vendors can sell food for fasting Muslims at low prices.

Lawyer Laisa Alamia, ARMM's regional executive secretary, said the trade fair inside the 32-hectare regional government compound will be opened on Monday.

Alamia said the Hataman administration is looking forward to a peaceful, solemn observance of Ramadan by the region's Muslim communities.

Col. Dickson Hermoso, spokesman of the Army's 6th Infantry Division, told reporters Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu had asked the 6th ID to relieve Muslim soldiers from strenuous daytime physical duties for the whole duration of the Ramadan.

"We don't have any problem giving in to the request of the governor because it has been a long-time practice of the 6th ID to let Muslim soldiers perform evening security duties during the Ramadan," Hermoso said.

Mangudadatu, in an emailed statement, said he had ordered local government units in Maguindanao's 36 towns to help the police and the 6th ID maintain peace and order in the province during the 30-day fasting season.

Maguindanao residents will witness this Ramadan season the launching of a "pink mosque" in Datu Saudi Ampatuan town, built by Mayor Samsodin Dimaukom.

Dimaukom said the worship site will be opened to public use starting Saturday. (

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