Ramadan serves momentum to build nationhood

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Minister of Religious Affairs Lukman Hakim Saifuddin urged Muslims to maintain the sacredness of the fasting month of Ramadan as the basis for building their personality and the nationhood.

“Take this Ramadan a moment to reflect, evaluate and improve quality. In addition, Muslims are required to be devoted individually and to be pious socially, as well as be able to establish peace among human beings,” Lukman said in a written statement in Jakarta early this week.

According to him, Ramadan in Arabic means to burn. That means that Ramadan is a month for Muslims to burn lust, anger, scorn and other destructive behaviors.

To that end, Lukman hoped that Ramadan is not littered with hate speech, insult and defamation, both in the space of social perspective and in the realm of religions.

“Do not let the religious realm, let alone worship places, be littered with hate speech that can eliminate the sacredness of worship,” he said.

The Minister hopes fasting can increase a sense of compassion, mutual respect and honor for others. People who fast will not get any reward if they are not able to establish peace in social life.

In the nationhood context, he said, the sacredness of Ramadan should be maintained to strengthen the national commitment to preserving the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia and the philosophical ideology of Pancasila.

“The momentum of Ramadhan should be used as a point of a joint movement in reaffirming and upholding the ideology of Pancasila as the basis for developing the country as a nation for religious people. In addition to building perfect Muslim personality, Ramadan is also expected to strengthen the nationhood of Muslims as citizens,” he said.

Now Muslims have come to the end of the Arabic month of Syaban, which means that the first day of the Ramadan fasting month falls on Saturday.

Based on the Isbat (deciding the beginning of Ramadan) session of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the first day of the fasting month in Indonesia falls on Saturday. Hence, Indonesian Muslims begin fasting on Saturday.

Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin said the new moon marks the beginning of the Ramadan fasting month or hilal and was sighted in four observation points across the country before the Isbat session decided the first Ramadan day on Saturday.

“There are two considerations in deciding the beginning of the Ramadan fasting month, namely the sighting of the new moon or hilal and the position of the hilal based on astronomical calculation,” the minister said in Jakarta on Friday evening.

Based on astronomical calculation, according to the minister, the position of the moon was 8.51 degrees over the horizon. Thus, the participants of the Isbat session unanimously agreed that the beginning of the first fasting month would fall on Saturday, May 27.

During the days of the fasting month, Muslims throughout the world will undergo spiritual exercises, restrain from passion, abstain from drinking and eating during day time, from dawn until dusk.

After fasting for the whole consecutive days of the fasting month, with deep submission to the wish of God, the Muslims come out free of sins. God redeems those who consecutively fast on the days of the fasting month because they have undergone redemption by communing with God with a deep submission.

Now the days of fasting month are coming up to bring fortune. Muslims therefore welcome it with determination to develop their relations with God and with the human beings through joint evening teraweh prayers.

With the fasting month, Muslims have the chance to build their quality once a year, both as a creature of God and as a citizen of a country.

The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) urged Muslims to utilize the momentum offered by Ramadan for realizing spiritual awakening based on faith, science, and good deeds for building personal and social devotion to help benefit Indonesia.

“The MUI has called on Muslims to welcome the month of Ramadan with faith and sincerity,” MUI Deputy Secretary General Amirsyah Tambunan stated here on Friday.

He also called on Muslims to practice tolerance during the holy month and not get involved in conflicts, including differences in religious faiths.

Muslims should avoid consumptive, wasteful, and undesirable behaviors, as it will only bring harm to themselves and others, the MUI secretary general emphasized.

Tambunan urged financially sound Muslims to offer prayers and do good deeds by helping the poor and needy by distributing alms, giving charity and endowments, as well as conducting other forms of social charity during Ramadan.

The MUI has also called on law enforcement officials to crack down on various unlawful acts that could affect the solemnity of the fasting month of Ramadan, such as the circulation of liquor, or alcohol, and the practice of nightlife and prostitution.

The MUI has also urged societal groups or organizations to avoid taking the law into their hands and avoid engaging in acts of violence, such as conducting raids and carrying out violations of the law.

Source: Antara News