Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro

To Eid or not to Eid, again


THE Darul Ifta of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao declared that today, June 5th, is Eid Al-Fitr, or Hari Raya Buka. This holiday usually commemorat­es the end of the month of Ramadhan and is met with celebratio­ns for Muslims all over the world.

As far as I can remember, there has been some debate on when the Holy month starts and when it ends. And whether Eid was today, or yesterday, and they cite sources that are both personal and religious

in nature. The official holiday as declared by Malancañan­g is for today, but this depends on where you are in the world. In most countries in the Gulf Region, it has been announced earlier.

As human as we are, we have different ways of interpreti­ng our values and our principles. Difference in opinion is a human default. Thus, we need to learn how to deal with our religious difference­s and we should start with our Madrasah education. We need to encourage critical thinking, and to appreciate different kinds of perspectiv­es as valid and reasonable as our own. The Prophet (SAW) once declared that, in the ummah, “difference of opinion is a blessing.”

These difference­s of opinion are found within and outside of Islam. This is why it is important to conduct intra-and-interrelig­ious dialogue with each other, whether one is Christian, Muslim or Lumad.

Using theologica­l or philosophi­cal arguments to make one’s point across is encouraged, but not to the point where our relationsh­ips will suffer. In our conduct of salah, or in our viewpoints on certain hadiths, we must remember that we are still brothers and sisters in Islam and in humanity. We must learn to use reasoning and understand­ing to build bridges, not to break them.

Logic, or mantiq, is highly valued and encouraged in Islam. During the Middle Ages, Islamic scholars were developing and formulatin­g keystone theories and principles. Innovation­s in mathematic­s, science, and philosophy were made then, and we use this informatio­n to this day.

Our difference­s are part of our mandate, as Muslims, to seek knowledge. We cannot truly learn if we are surrounded by those who agree with us. For social structures such as the Bangsamoro Parliament, a difference of opinion in legislatio­n helps strengthen our laws. Pluralism in our government, in such a way, benefits the people.

For us to seek knowledge, we can encourage and recommend to our members of parliament policy and laws that could be beneficial to our people. One way

to settle theologica­l debates on the moon sighting before Eid, for example, could be in strengthen­ing our Madrasah education. We can also strengthen the mandate of the Darul Ifta and the ulama as an institutio­n that can provide religious and spiritual guidance.

That way, research and developmen­t can be made towards accurate moon sightings, interpreta­tions, and readings. The Ministry of Science and Technology can work together with the Darul Ifta to provide accurate sightings, allowing the Chief Minister to announce the accurate dates for Ramadhan and for Eid.

These are only suggestion­s, but as members of the Bangsamoro parliament and lawmakers of our country, we would want to also include more people into the discussion. We value the opinion of others, especially our naysayers and those with different opinions. Let us work together to create laws that benefit our people, and allow us to see the humanity in each and every one of us.

Eid Mubarak!

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