Here and There

Secessionist MILF’s ancestral idol

By Gerry Garcia

THE month-long feast of Ramadan ended last Wednesday often referred to as the Eid’l Fitr an annual 30-day holy ritual of prayer and spiritual purification achieved jointly with fasting and meditation.

In our Christian world, what corresponds to the Ramadan is the Lenten season, a period of 40 week-days extending from Ash Wednesday to Easter Eve observed by Christians as a time of fasting and penitence in commemoration of Christ’s fasting and temptation in the wilderness.

It was presumably PGMA’s Christian sharing of oneness with the Muslims in Sulu and Mindanao to declare the last day of Ramadan (who are also fellow-Pinoys) that led her to declare the last day of Ramadan a regular holiday hoping against hope this would finally put an end to a misunderstanding that has been hounding both Muslims and Christians for the last 40 years in the South.

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My Encyclopedic Dictionary tells me a Muslim is one who professes Islam, he’s not a juramentado who kills for a religious cause, to earn spiritual favor from his god Allah despite the fact that killing is in itself a sin.

Islam (which is Mohammedanism) was founded by Mohammed, not a self-proclaimed saviour like Jesus Christ, but a prophet. He was born in Mecca about the year 570. His father having died, the boy was brought up by Abu Talib, his uncle. In the year 595, he married Khadija, a wealthy widow many years older than he was. At this time, Mohammed was a prosperous merchant in Mecca. When he was 40 years old, Mohammed was seized with conviction that he was ordained to teach a new faith to his people. Believing this to be a revelation, he went about seeking converts, at first with very little success. His later revelations and sayings are collected and recorded in the Koran, the sacred book or bible of Islam.

Meccans did not welcome Mohammed’s attacks on the established faith and persecuted the Prophet and his followers.

In 622, to escape a plot to murder him, Mohammed fled to Mecca. Mohammed went to Yathrib (Medina) where his teachings gained foot-hold. Here he expanded his following. When an army from Mecca came to annihilate him for being a menace to Meccan commerce, Mohammed’s men successfully resisted. Other victories followed and in a few years Mohammed had won all over Arabia. Mohammed offered himself to Jews and Christians as the successor of Jesus Christ, but was met with severe opposition.

As a consequence, he condemned the Jews in his teachings.

He died June 7, 632 in the arms of Ayesha, his favorite wife at that time. He left no son.

Since we Christians have the Lenten Season while the Muslims, the Ramadan, there’s no reason why we can’t come together and unite in peace. After all we have a lot to share in common.

(Readers may reach columnist at sundaypunch2@yahoo.com. For past columns, click http://sundaypunch.prepys.com/archives/category/opinion/here-and-there/ For reactions to this column, click “Send MESSAGES, OPINIONS, COMMENTS” on default page.)

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