Ramadan in the Philippines

Ramadan in the Philippines

In the land of smiles and manners, the Philippines Muslim communities gather together in Ramadan for a month of unity and helping each other.

Saara Benizamani, a Filipino revert to Islam, says that in Ramadan in her city of Pangasinan the Muslims do more than the obligatory fasting.

"We try to make Ramadan a time for reaching out to the non-Muslim community. We go from door to door explaining what Ramadan is all about," she said.

It is also a time to remember those less fortunate around them, and to give thanks to Allah for the many blessings He has bestowed upon them. The ladies gather during the day to read Quran together, and the families all go out to the mosque at night to offer Taraaweeh prayer.

"Ramadan in the Philippines is very nice because we make it almost obligatory to go to the mosque for Iftaar," she says smiling.
"When people finish work at 5:00, they all go to the mosque because they know that there is where the best and most food will be."

There, the Iftaar often consists of soup with noodles, "Adobo," which is a chicken dish with soy sauce, rice, macaroni, and sweets. "We Filipinos love to eat," she said, "which can be a bad thing sometimes."

One problem she faces is lack of dates. "When I'm in the Philippines I ask my Arab friends to send me dates from their countries so that I can break my fast the way the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) used to do."


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